More than 1000 Australian business leaders, mostly SMEs, are visiting China this week to explore new business opportunities.
The delegation is attending Australia Week in China (AWIC) from April 11 to 15.
AWIC 2016 will deliver more than 150 events across 10 cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Shenyang and Hangzhou and Shanghai.
Activity is scheduled across eight business streams: agribusiness, financial services, health and aged care, innovation, education, urban sustainability and water management, premium food and beverage and tourism.
The delegation, which is the largest trade mission ever to leave Australia, hopes to make the most of opportunities created with the signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) signed in December last year.
Trade Minister Steven Ciobo, who is leading the delegation, said a highlight of AWIC is the first ever innovation-focused program.
The program brings together Australia’s and China’s fast-developing innovation ecosystems for the first time.
$1 billion in export sales
It includes a series of events promoting Australia as a premium investment, education and tourism destination, including the Chinese launch of Tourism Australia’s coastal and aquatic campaign.
The first Australia Week in China promotion resulted in significant trade and investment outcomes for Australia. About $1 billion in export sales were generated and more than $3 billion in investment followed the event.
“We anticipate that the breadth and scale of AWIC 2016 will generate similar outcomes and be the catalyst for significant export sales and investments into Australia, further driving jobs and growth,” Mr Ciobo said.
Tourism Minister and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade Senator Richard Colbeck said China is now our largest source of international students and our highest-spending tourism market, with both sectors experiencing strong growth.
“The Australian Government recognises tourism and international education as key economic super-growth sectors for the next decade,” Senator Colbeck said.
Senator Colbeck is leading the tourism and education streams of Australia Week in China (AWIC) 2016.
The program includes meetings, site visits and events focused on promoting Australia to Chinese businesses, students, tourists and consumers.
AWIC will also help tourism and education providers explore new opportunities arising from the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
“It will also allow them to see first-hand how China’s transition to a consumer-driven economy is affecting demand for services like tourism and education, which are currently our top two services export earners,” Senator Colbeck said.