AgForce will be part of a high-powered business delegation travelling to Shanghai to accelerate and activate opportunities for agriculture in the Chinese market.
The Access China 16 delegation – organised by Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise – will leave on the first international passenger flight from Wellcamp airport 23 October 2016 for a five-day program that will include a major conference, a beef extravaganza dinner and industry tours.
AgForce General President Grant Maudsley, who will be part of the delegation along with CEO Charles Burke, said Queensland rural and regional communities were among the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement to open up agricultural trade to China.
“Queensland is home to half of Australia’s cattle herd and produces a significant grain tonnage each year, which is why the elimination of tariffs through the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement provides so many opportunities for our producers,” he said.
“Already China is the fourth largest export market for Australian beef with almost 150,000 tonnes exported in 2015 at a value of about a billion dollars, while our sorghum exports were worth $379 million in 2014/15 in what is an ever changing and complex market.
“In addition, China is Australia’s second most important sheep meat export destination and accounts for 73 per cent of Australia’s global wool exports.
“This visit provides a great opportunity for agricultural representatives and businesses to grow their understanding of the Chinese market, to connect with potential customers and to develop relationships with other delegates.”
Delegates will hear from Australian exporters currently trading with China and Chinese customers describing their own supply chains during the ‘Ag in the Asian Century’ conference, and will also visit the headquarters of Chinese online retailer Alibaba and a Shanghai beef importing company.
The broader Access China 16 delegation will include businesses in resources and manufacturing, education and training, financial services, tourism and health.
Mr Maudsley thanked new corporate partner iOR Petroleum for providing generous financial support for AgForce to be part of the Access China 16 delegation.
iOR Petroleum Managing Director Stewart Morland said the Queensland owned and operated company was now in its 32nd year supporting regional and remote Queensland’s refuelling requirements.
“iOR Petroleum is delighted to be partnering with AgForce to advance the agricultural sector, and are looking forward to being part of the Access China 16 delegation as we recognise the value of strengthening business relationships to ensure a brighter future for regional and rural Queensland communities,” he said.