Catering for China’s insatiable Hunger

The Murraylands’ reputation for clean, green, premium produce is paying dividends. The signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, together with the weakening Australian dollar and burgeoning middle-class has made China a more viable export market for local businesses than ever before. China is the region’s largest export market for goods and services and the state’s highest export partner with an export value of $2.2 billion annually.

More than one-third (34pc) of our gross regional product comes from primary production. Under full implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, 95pc of the agricultural product exported to China will be tariff free. With China home to more than 1.4 billion potential customers, the numbers stack up.

Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR) has this month released an update to its China and Asia Trade and Investment Strategy. The strategy aims to capitalise on the unheralded international business opportunities for the region and provide support to local businesses for which China is an untapped market. The region is the state’s largest food bowl, but we know we can do even better.

Our 2020 Strategic Roadmap outlines how we will assist growing primary production and increasing local capability. This will help to improve our competitive advantage and position ourselves firmly in the value chain.

Highlights from this year’s China engagement strategy have delivered real outcomes.

A review of product packaging and marketing to help a business capitalise on the Chinese gift-giving culture.

Product delivery costsnegotiated and confirmed to facilitate more efficient trade for a local business selling direct with China.

An agribusiness now has direct links and a two-way communication channel with a Chinese cold chain operator.

Chinese interns will now work with one business to ensure their plans are culturally relevant and appropriate.

Next month, as part of Invest SA and business migration month, RDAMR will be introducing China-ready businesses to business migrants who are visa-approved and ready for trade or business investment.

For more information about trade and investment with China, RDAMR office on 8535 7170.

Jo Podoliak, chief executive officer,

Regional Development Australia Murraylands & Riverland