Source: Australian Labor
Trade Minister Simon Crean today welcomed the signing of an eco-tourism deal in Tianjin, the sixth largest city in China and Melbourne’s sister city.
Mr Crean attended the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between an Australian financial services company and the Ji County of Tianjin Municipality to jointly develop a sustainable tourism township.
The new agreement highlights the growing diversity of Australian economic links with China – especially in rapidly developing regional areas.
“This eco-tourism agreement is another example of Australian expertise in demand in China in non-traditional areas,” Mr Crean said.
“Our trade relationship with China is much more than just exporting iron ore and coal. It is also diversifying into areas such as services, agribusiness, clean energy, green design and construction.”
“This is my seventh visit to China and I continue to pursue agreements in the regions through my second track approach aimed at developing opportunities for Australian companies in the world’s fastest growing major economy.”
Tianjin has a population of 11.8 million and recorded economic growth of
16.5 per cent in 2009, despite the global economic downturn.
“China is the place to be and this agreement with the AIMS Financial Group will further links between Australia and Tianjin,” Mr Crean said.
Trade between Australia and Tianjin is worth almost $2 billion a year.
Tianjin was the first Chinese city to establish a sister city relationship with an Australian city on 5 May, 1980. The relationship with Melbourne is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
The Mayor of Tianjin Mr Huang Xingguo, who met with Mr Crean, will visit Melbourne next month to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship.
Tianjin is 100km from Beijing and in the midst of major re-development and diversification. It is considered a gateway to northern China.
Tomorrow in Beijing Mr Crean will co-chair the annual High-level Economic Cooperation Dialogue and on Thursday will launch Brand Australia internationally at Shanghai World Expo 2010.