Premier leads second trade mission to China

2 August 2012

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell with His Excellency Mr Xiaodan Zhu, Governor of Guangdong Province

Premier Barry O'Farrell has led a high level trade and investment delegation from NSW to Guangzhou, Chengdu, Jinan and Beijing in China.

In Guangzhou, Mr O'Farrell met the Governor of Guangdong Province, His Excellency Mr Xiaodan Zhu. "I was delighted to meet the new Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr Zhu, and reaffirm to him the importance NSW attaches to our Sister-State relationship with Guangdong."

"Guangdong remains one of the strongest regional economies in China – its economy grew by 10 per cent in 2011 and was ranked first in China with a GDP of US$836 billion. The importance of our economic relationship is underlined by the presence of our NSW Government Business Office in Guangzhou."

Mr O'Farrell visited China Southern Airlines where he met recently hired Australian cabin crew, who are training at the airline's facilities in Guangzhou.

"China Southern Airlines has employed and trained 28 Australians who have recently started working on flights between Guangzhou and Sydney. It's very encouraging that the airline is employing Australians because it underlines the airline's commitment to further developing their services between China and Australia.

"China is the world's fastest growing tourism market so more flights between China and NSW will help us to benefit from that growth."

Mr O'Farrell witnessed the signing of a partnership between the President and Chief Executive Officer of China Southern Airlines, Mr Tan Wan'geng, and Sydney Festival Executive Director Christopher Tooher, formalising the company's three-year sponsorship of the event.

"There is no greater compliment to Sydney Festival than to have the support of a Chinese company on the scale of China Southern Airlines," Mr O'Farrell said.

"This three-year partnership is the most significant ever obtained by the Festival with a Chinese company. The continuing sponsorship and the exposure this gives Sydney and NSW in the Chinese market will help to build greater cultural and tourism links between China and NSW."

Mr O'Farrell also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Xinghai Conservatory of Music and the Sydney Symphony, one of Australia's leading cultural organisations.

"This partnership will strengthen connections between musicians from both cities while contributing to the growth of the study and playing of orchestral music in China," Mr O'Farrell said.

In Chengdu, Mr O'Farrell announced that the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) would establish an office in Chongqing to help its members connect with Chinese education providers and their students.