James Riley
September 25, 2014

Baird champions China tech trade

Baird champions China tech trade

Old China Plate: Mike Baird redoubles mainland trade effort

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has committed to increasing the state’s research collaboration with partners in China, and wants better integration of technology industries between the two countries.

In opening the 25th Joint Economic Meeting with officials from Guangdong - the New South Wales sister-province in China - the Premier said it was past time for Australia and China to forge stronger relationships in higher value-added technology-based industries.

New South Wales Premier Mike Baird has committed to increasing the state’s research collaboration with partners in China, and wants better integration of technology industries between the two countries.

In opening the 25th Joint Economic Meeting with officials from Guangdong – the New South Wales sister-province in China – the Premier said it was time Australia and China forged stronger relationships in higher-value, technology-based industries.

Mr Baird said there were specific opportunities for better collaboration in agri-tech businesses, in the smart technology related to urban management, and in fields of IT research and development. The Premier opened the joint economic meeting at NSW Parliament House last week with his Guangdong counterpart, Governor Zhu Xiaodan.

“There is a lot we can do together in technology and innovation,” Mr Baird said.  “Today’s Joint Economic Meeting has focused on supporting and developing the smart technology, agribusiness and research and development industries.”

“The Governor and I have signed a Joint Statement that identifies specific and practical initiatives that relate to these areas, which we can progress as part of our relationship,” he said.

Governor Zhu became the first Chinese leader to address the NSW Parliament last week, to acknowledge the 35th anniversary of the NSW – Guangdong sister-province relationship. Since it was signed by former Premier Neville Wran in 1979, both state have grown to become economic powerhouses.

Guangdong in particular has grown at a startling rate, from being an economic pauper in the Chinese context in 1979, to become the nation’s largest economy.

Governor Zhu said information technology was an area “that will play a pivotal role in our future economic growth,” and that the two provinces “should actively play to each other’s advantages.”

“We can explore more opportunities [in IT]. We should encourage our IT businesses to create closer direct ties,” he said.

China themes will be dominant in Australia in the next several months. Sydney will play host to the most powerful meeting of Chinese and Australian political leaders ever gathered in November.

Mr Baird will host a meeting between the Australian state premiers and Chinese President Xi Jinping and a delegation of provincial leaders from China. It is expected this meeting will discuss Free Trade Agreement issues, with both sides hoping the FTA will have been completed by this point.

NSW is eagerly anticipating approval from Chinese authorities nominating Sydney as an offshore trading hub for Renminbi currency.

Governor Zhu used his address to the Parliament to open the doors to further trade possibilities between the two states. He wants NSW and Guangdong to increase the presence of respective trade offices to help assist relationship building.

He wants to boost the sale of NSW agricultural products into Guangdong and to enhance two-way investment. Specifically, Governor Zhu said Guangdong cities can be an important base for NSW companies building businesses in China and the rest of Asia.

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