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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (29 May) . . Page.. 1093..

MR STANHOPE: The decision was made in the recent past by cabinet.

Trade delegation to China

MS MacDONALD: My question is to the Chief Minister in his capacity as Minister for Business and Economic Development. Chief Minister, can you advise the Assembly of the outcomes of the recent trade mission to China?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Ms MacDonald for a very important question. It was a great pleasure and honour to be associated with the recent trade mission to China. The trade mission included 15 Canberra organisations or businesses, including some of our most significant corporate citizens, and it visited three cities within China in the space of, I think, seven days. The delegation spent two days in Shanghai, 21/2 days in Beijing and similarly in Shenzhen.

The businesses that were part of the mission, which included the University of Canberra, Wellspring Environmental Arts and Design, Airsine Pty Ltd, Inland Trading, Yellow Edge Pty Ltd, Ruleburst, Perpetual Water, ACT Education and Training Pty Ltd, John Walker Crime Trends Analysis, Lambert Vineyards, ACTECH Australia Pty Ltd, the Hindmarsh Group and Snedden Hall and Gallop, were involved in a series of targeted meetings organised in consultation with them by Austrade, the mission facilitators. I believe that the involvement of Austrade in both the delegation to China and the delegation to India has procured very significant results or returns to the ACT, and indeed for businesses that were involved in the delegations and more broadly.

The meetings for businesses that were members of the delegation were finely targeted, and each of the businesses and organisations that were part of the delegation have reported very positive outcomes from each of the meetings that were held. Up to three meetings a day generally were scheduled for each of the business members of the delegation. In the context of three cities over a week, it was a frenetic and highly demanding program, with each of the businesses attending, on average, three separate meetings each day organised by Austrade. This represented a mammoth effort by Austrade.

There is no doubt that China, with its incredible growth and the strength of its economy, will match, if not lead, the United States of America in economic growth and strength. It really is a signal to all jurisdictions in Australia, most particularly us, as we seek to strengthen our export capacity and our economic base that we should seek to establish partnerships within China.

It was the first time that I have been involved in a visit to Shenzhen. Shenzhen is very much a powerhouse of Chinese industry on which we, as a jurisdiction, should in future increasingly focus our attention. Shenzhen province, with a population of 130 million—approaching one-tenth of the Chinese population—is the economic powerhouse of China. Thirty per cent of China's industry is located within Shenzhen and in Juanghou. It is an area where there is great potential for the ACT and ACT businesses.

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