A PLANNED trip to meet business leaders in Chinese sister city Changchun is already attracting interest from south-west businesses.
Warrnambool City Council’s director of city growth Bill Millard told this week’s council meeting that a delegation loosely scheduled for May this year would have to be capped at 10 or 12 people.
“A number of businesses and others have expressed interest already,” he said in his report to the council.
“It is important to note that several local business people, either seeking to learn more about business prospects in China or already doing some business in China, are urging the city council to undertake a delegation using the networks already in place with Changchun.
“We’ve had contact from businesses in the city that have done business in China, whether exporting to China or importing from China.”
Mr Millard said some south-west businesses found the business culture in China difficult or intimidating and saw Warrnambool’s connection with Changchun as a way to make things easier and potentially open new avenues.
The sister-city relationship is part of a five-year agreement between the cities. The idea of a Warrnambool delegation to China was mooted by Changchun officials during their visit to Warrnambool last year.
Mr Millard said participants would have to pay their own way to China, although accommodation and transfers in Changchun will be paid for by the host city. Cr Rob Askew said it was great that south-west businesses had taken an interest. “If it can produce great outcomes for our exporters and other businesses ... it’s worth making the effort,” he said.