Commissioner eyes New England for Chinese investment prospects

6 February 2018

NSW Trade and Investment Commissioner for North and East China Tony Zhang at Walcha Dairy

NSW Government Trade and Investment Commissioner for North & East China, Tony Zhang, has finished a tour meeting the local New England business community to get an understanding of the market for Chinese investors.

Mr Zhang clocked 1,000 kilometres over five days visiting the seven Namoi Councils – including Gwydir Shire, Gunnedah Shire, Liverpool Plains Shire, Uralla Shire, Narrabri Shire, Tamworth Regional and Walcha Council.

Seven Namoi Unlimited Mayors will travel to China in March as part of a mission to help drive Chinese investment into regional NSW.

One of Mr Zhang’s stops was Walcha Dairy, a dairy farm which supplies the Murray Goulburn with 19,000 litres of milk each day.

'We talked with Walcha Dairy about what it would take to lift their cow numbers from 900 up to 2,000, whether that would mean buying more land or building more infrastructure.

'It’s about bringing in capital to increase a producer’s capacity – which can then be exported to markets like China.'

Also on Mr Zhang’s itinerary was New England Fibre Testing, which tests animal fibres from across the world for strength and yield and assists woolgrowers with flock selection and profitability.

Mr Zhang made nine presentations to business chambers and councils over five days across the seven regions, finishing up in Tamworth.

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the Namoi Councils Joint Organisation was working with Mr Zhang on initiatives to grow trade and investment between the broader Namoi region and China.

'This visit allowed Mr Zhang to get a first hand insight into the opportunities available and to drive investment into the region.

'Mr Zhang will be providing expert advice to Naomi Unlimited to inform the development of their pipeline of regional investment opportunities.'

Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair said China is NSW’s largest overall trading partner, our most valuable tourism market and greatest source of overseas students.

'According to KPMG, NSW is the top destination for Chinese investment in Australia, attracting more than half (53%) of total Australian investment in 2016.

'Regional NSW has a particular opportunity to promote areas that are aligned to sectors of focus for Chinese investors – Agriculture and Food, Natural Resources, Healthcare and renewable energy.'