Chi­nese in­ter­est spikes

Balonne Beacon - - BEST OF THE WEST -

FROM Mongolia, Hong Kong and Shang­hai to Roma and Chin­chilla – it’s not every day a del­e­ga­tion of Chi­nese busi­ness­men tours the Western Downs.

But Steven and Ur­sula Keat­ing last week hosted a con­tin­gent of six in­vestors from Hong Kong, Shang­hai and In­ner Mongolia.

The Chi­nese in­vestors have shown an in­ter­est in the lo­cal beef in­dus­try that could pave the way for ma­jor in­vest­ment in the re­gion.

Mr Keat­ing, com­pany di­rec­tor of Aus­tralian Agri­cul­tural and En­vi­ron­men­tal So­lu­tions, said Chi­nese in­vestor in­ter­est in the Western Downs re­gion was ig­nited by Aus­tralia’s clean and green rep­u­ta­tion and strong biose­cu­rity and quar­an­tine pro­to­cols.

The visit was the cul­mi­na­tion of the Keat­ings spend­ing a year build­ing key con­tacts in China.

“There is a very high de­mand for beef that can be branded and mar­keted,” Mr Keat­ing said.

“The sig­nif­i­cance of the trip is that they’ve seen stock in the flesh and we’ve showed them our prop­erty.

“We’ve been able to build more of a re­la­tion­ship.

“We’ve li­aised a lot and thrown a lot of fig­ures around in terms of buy­ing and run­ning cat­tle, slaugh­ter­ing it, right through to live ex­port, so we’ve been through the whole pad­dock to plate.

“There are a lot of in­vestors in China watch­ing us.”

In­dus­try ex­perts have con­firmed Chi­nese in­vestors are seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to lease lo­cal land for cat­tle pro­duc­tion be­fore ex­port­ing prod­uct to China.

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