The Australia China Resources Symposium opens today reinforcing to Chinese mining delegates the vast investment opportunities presented by the rapidly expanding minerals and energy sector in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis, in partnership with Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources Kon Vatskalis will jointly welcome delegates to this important event.
Mr Koutsantonis said the South Australian Government regarded its relationship with China as one of its most important – a point reinforced by his several trips to China in the past year and the current investment mission to China by Premier Jay Weatherill.
“We recognise that China is playing an increasingly important role in our overall economic development, with substantial growth in exports, education, migration and resources investment,” he said.
Mr Koutsantonis said the South Australian Government had developed the SA/NT Alliance to host the event and promote business opportunities between China and central Australia.
“While Western Australia is well known in China as Australia’s leader in the resource sector, South Australia and the Northern Territory provide a formidable resource base to support China’s growth and its realisation of ambitions for economic and social development, established in the 12th Five Year Plan,” he said.
“Together our regions are well-placed to serve as a central resource corridor to meet China’s requirements for key mineral commodities such as copper, uranium, iron ore, and base and precious metals.”
China Mining Club of Australia President Dr Hou Mingjin, Minister Counsellor Qiu Deya of the Chinese Embassy, and Mr Yu Yi, Vice Chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers and Exporters, are among the 200 participants at the two-day Symposium at the Hilton Adelaide.
Mr Koutsantonis said the opportunities to increase knowledge about South Australia’s resources sector among Chinese delegates, followed last month’s signing by the People’s Republic of China and the South Australian Government of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on trade and economic cooperation.
“This MoU established a regular consultation forum between the Chinese Embassy in Australia and the South Australian Government on bilateral trade and economic cooperation opportunities,” he said.
During the Symposium, the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters will sign another MoU, specifically to promote collaboration on issues related to Chinese/Australian minerals trade and investment. Mr Koutsantonis and Minister Counsellor Qiu will witness the signing.
Mr Koutsantonis said recent activity to increase China’s knowledge about South Australia’s resources sector would be reflected in the China Strategy – a whole-of-government framework to guide the state’s development of a long-term and multi-faceted relationship with China.