Trade Minister welcomes senior Chinese leader

Media release

7 June 2012

Trade and Competitiveness Minister Dr Craig Emerson will today welcome to Australia Mr Wang Yang, Party Secretary of Guangdong Province in China, for talks with federal and state ministers and business leaders.

The visit, at the invitation of Dr Emerson, is the latest of a series of events which celebrates the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Australia.

Guangdong, with a population of over 100 million, has China's largest provincial economy, accounting for around one-quarter of the country's two-way trade in goods with the world.

The province is also the largest source of Chinese students in Australia and one of the largest of Chinese tourists to Australia.

Australia's close ties with Guangdong go back more than 150 years, Dr Emerson said.

"Australia and Guangdong have enjoyed cultural links since the Gold Rush, and many Chinese Australians can trace their ancestry back to Guangdong," he said.

"Today, Australia has a diverse trade, investment and cultural relationship with Guangdong."

Guangdong has a sister-state relationship with New South Wales and a friendship-state agreement with Queensland.

Dr Emerson will host a dinner for Mr Wang in Sydney, following a meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard at Kirribilli House.

Talks will focus on growing trade opportunities with Guangdong Province, which is positioning itself as a services hub for southern China.

Dr Emerson led a 100-strong service industry business mission to Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, and five other Chines cities in August 2011.

"Australia's world-class services businesses have already made inroads to Guangdong," Dr Emerson said.

"Mr Wang's visit gives us the opportunity to share ideas on how to develop this relationship further."

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