Greater Shepparton representatives newly returned from a trade delegation to China will take steps to identify opportunities for Chinese investment in the Goulburn Valley and pave a way for local companies to make the most of the Chinese market.
Outgoing mayor Dinny Adem and Greater Shepparton City Council chief executive Peter Harriott spent last week on a ‘‘tiring’’ but ‘‘enjoyable’’ delegation to China with Premier Daniel Andrews, ministers and representatives from other Victorian regional cities.
Mr Harriott who yesterday said it was ‘‘good to be back’’ stressed the visit marked a ‘‘great opportunity’’ to talk face to face about how the region could better access Chinese markets.
‘‘And how we can attract investment,’’ Mr Harriott said.
‘‘And what are the opportunities for attracting investment.’’
The chief executive described the trip as largely about ‘‘promoting our area, our businesses and our opportunities’’, ‘‘talking about food, wine, milk products, irrigation technology, student exchange opportunities’’.
But the visit had also served to improve the relationship with the Victorian Government, Mr Harriott said.
The chief executive and Cr Adem said having the only mayor present on the trade visit likely gave Greater Shepparton increased visibility.
The Great Things Happen Here campaign, which was shown during the visit was ‘‘well received’’, they said.
Mr Harriott said mapping business opportunities — ‘‘What local businesses want to break into Chinese markets’’ and ‘‘What opportunities exist in Greater Shepparton for Chinese investors’’ remained the next step, with the help of the Victorian Government.
‘‘What businesses want assistance growing their business?’’ he said.
‘‘We now need to pursue the contacts we’ve made and continue discussion with local businesses.
He said there remained a ‘‘whole range of opportunities’’ in China that met the description of businesses operating in Greater Shepparton.
‘‘The next step is to linking producers with buyers,’’ Cr Adem said.
‘‘We’ve agreed we’re going to make up a list with what we have here ... a list of potential buyers and sellers from our region.’’
The outgoing mayor stressed the need to keep the momentum moving forward and now sought to establish an ongoing commitment from the council to maintain a consistency of contact.
‘‘The council have to have a consistency of communication,’’ he said, to ensure that ‘‘even if people move on, there’s a policy there’’.