SOUTH-west businesses will be encouraged to tackle emerging trade opportunities in China at a forum in Hamilton next month.
The forum will be presented by Regional Development Australia Barwon South West and the Australia China Business Council. It follows Warrnambool City Council’s successful trade mission to China in June.
Next month’s forum will explore specific market opportunities and explain how firms can prepare to do business with China.
Southern Grampians Shire mayor Albert Calvano said China’s large population and growing economy offered a range of opportunities for regional businesses.
“There is so much potential for us to be doing more business with China, but it can be hard to understand how to go about tapping into those opportunities,” Cr Calvano said.
“This forum really should be a priority for any business operator who is dealing with China now or who is thinking about it.”
Guest speakers will provide an overview of China’s evolving market, with a particular focus on agribusiness and food.
They will also explain how businesses can protect their intellectual property and provide tips on the practicalities of banking and doing business in China.
The Hamilton forum will be held on Tuesday, October 8 at 2pm at Southern Grampians Shire’s Martin J. Hynes Auditorium, 1 Market Place.
Great South Group (GSC) chairman Chris O’Connor said Warrnambool City Council’s recent trade mission had shown the high esteem in which local government was held in China.
Dairy processors had gained good access to overseas markets with the help of local government and he hoped GSC would become more proactive in developing trade with China.
A 14-member delegation from Warrnambool to its Chinese sister city of Changchun in June opened up opportunities for joint initiatives in dairying, agriculture and tourism.
Chinese academics are planning to visit south-west farms and facilities at the Midfield Meat group and two tourism officials will hold a familiarisation tour along the Great Ocean Road and Great South Coast.
Warrnambool mayor Mike Neoh said China had been a big importer of milk powder in the past, but there was now a swing towards Western-style products such as yoghurt, meaning further opportunities for the south-west dairy industry.