Namoi Unlimited hosted a delegation from China at AgQuip on Wednesday.
The delegation of government and business representatives from Ningbo has been in the area since Sunday and has been visiting each of the member council areas.
The delegation attended a seminar at AgQuip this morning, where Namoi Unlimited chair and Gunnedah mayor Jamie Chaffey spoke about the role of the joint organisation.
Among the Chinese delegation at AgQuip was Yang GuoCai director of the Agriculture and Forestry Bureau of Yinzhou who attended on behalf of the Ningbo government.
Alex Wang from Tamworth Regional Council translated for Mr Yang who said he hoped to have an understanding of Australia’s agriculture by the end of the visit.
“[Mr Yang] believes it is a very rich agricultural area,” Mr Wang translated.
“He believes at the end of the visit… there will be some very good opportunities they can discover.”
Cr Chaffey said the delegation’s time in the region had been “very successful” so far.
“It’s the start of a relationship that we’re really focused on being long-term,” he said.
“Our strategy with Namoi Unlimited is… partnering from government to government, so from Namoi Unlimited with the Ningbo government, to build a bridge so it makes it easier for our businesses in our region to be able to look at trade and investment opportunities.
“I know over the last three days, there have been a lot of connections that have been made that will turn into some strong trading partnerships [and] we know through regional collaboration, we’ll see major benefits for all of our regions.”
Jacqui Donoghue of Lively Linseed is among those who have benefited from exporting to China.
“Despite the strong demand for Australian products, only about seven per cent of Australian businesses export,” she said.
“I believe exporting is the key to the growth of rural Australia.”
At the end of the seminar, Cr Chaffey gave Mr Yang a certificate of appreciation and a group photo from the delegation’s first visit three years ago on behalf of Namoi Unlimited.
We know through regional collaboration, we’ll see major benefits for all of our regions.Namoi Unlimited chair Jamie Chaffey
The JO chair said for the next three years Namoi Unlimited would focus on water for the future, enabling and connecting infrastructure, and engaging and retaining people in their regions.
One of Namoi Unlimited’s major projects is international engagement and Cr Chaffey said the JO had received funds from the Australia-China council to send a delegation to China in November to deliver a trade seminar in at an agriculture seminar in Shenghai.