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Direction One - Reinforcing and furthering government-to-government relations

Direction One - Reinforcing and furthering government-to-government relations

Overview:

Establishing intergovernmental relationships are an essential component of doing business with China.  Creating and sustaining successful relationships in China requires clear goals.  It is particularly important to work with Government to facilitate market access, business deal structure and government approvals.  In recognition of this, Warrnambool and Changchun (Jilin Provence) entered into the Sister-City agreement in 2012, with a view to provide social and economic outcomes for the two communities.  

Objectives:

1. Harmonize and leverage government activity across Australia and China to build a trade and investment framework to support the economic drivers of Warrnambool city and surrounding Great South Coast.

Actions:

  • Develop a 24-month calendar of business missions to Changchun and other relevant Chinese cities to pursue economic, social and cultural activity.
  • To formalise the continuation and commitment of the Warrnambool City and Changchun City’s Sister-City relationship.
  • Ensure allocation and focus of government resources to support the Warrnambool City Councils China Strategy.
  • Support visits to Warrnambool by key decision makers from Changchun and other cities deemed important to Warrnambool and surrounding Great South Coast economic, social and cultural goals.
  • Develop case studies to demonstrate and promote the opportunities for our region from the activation of the Free Trade Agreements with China.
  • Develop and advocate to Federal and Victorian Governments for alternative funding models to finance economic development initiatives presented in the China Strategy.
  • Engage with the Chinese government sector with the aim of entering into formal agreements to support long term cooperation in areas of mutual gains.

Warrnambool – Changchun Economic Demonstration Project –
Success through Mutual Gains

The Warrnambool China Bureau was created to function as a Chinese market business incubator, providing free customised support to small and medium-sized local businesses in the Great South Coast of Victoria.  In co-operation with Asialink Business, the Warrnambool China Bureau assisted local businesses by offering end-to-end China market engagement support.

Camperdown based, Total Livestock Genetics has sent shipments or product to new markets in China after using the Warrnambool China Bureau’s services. As a result, Total Livestock Genetics also received an AustCham Westpac Australia-China Business Award in Shanghai in 2018.

Other benefits from the Warrnambool China Bureau include:

  • a sister city university scholarship program resulting in 12 Chinese students coming to the region with an economic return to the Great South Coast region of $1.2 million;
  • a wine company shipping product to China and partnering with a distribution company in Beijing;
  • The regional tourism body presenting the city and surrounds on Chinese television to more than 10 million Chinese viewers.
  • an aged care provider partnering with a China-based counterpart for a knowledge-based commercial exchange;
  • the Bureau’s experts accompanied a delegation from the Warrnambool region to Changchun to prepare an itinerary, provide commercial guidance and language support. High level meetings included meetings between the Mayor of Changchun and the Mayor of Warrnambool.

Over a 12-month period the Bureau received more than 60 inquiries from Great South Coast businesses, offered range of workshops attended by more than 250 participants including wine retailers, hospitality and accommodation operators.

Ultimately the Bureau generated a region-wide engagement with businesses which were able to consider – or take – the first step into a new, potentially vast market.

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