Investment hopes pinned on China trip
Pilbara and West Australian businesses attending an April trade forum in China expect to secure Chinese investment off the back of the trip, organisers say.
Pilbara Regional Council chief executive Tony Friday said businesses travelling to the EASTxWEST forum in Shenzhen from April 11-13 planned to use the event to promote their products and present investment proposals to Chinese companies.
These include the Pardoo Beef Corporation, which intends to promote WA food and tourism, and an Australian film company that hopes to create a partnership with a Chinese production house.
Mr Friday said businesses had spent months working on their proposals with financial consultants RSM Bird Cameron.
“The intention is not to turn up in China with a pocketful of halfassed ideas,” he said.
“We have been working closely with RSM Bird Cameron and their role in the forum is to assist project proponents to make sure they are China-investment level.
“(We want to ensure) the deals they are putting forward will survive at that first pass of the ruler by Chinese investors.”
With the PRC acting on behalf of the Pilbara’s four local governments, most Town of Port He- dland councillors expressed their support for the forum during December’s council meeting.
Deputy Mayor Camilo Blanco and councillor Louise Newbery opposed the event because they deemed it a waste of ratepayers’ money.
Mr Friday said it was critical the forum generated value for money by creating genuine business links with China.
“When you are spending investment attraction dollars you have to make sure that whatever you are spending has to spin up or multiply,” he said. He said the PRC hoped also to bring a delegation of Chinese investors to the Pilbara after the forum.
“We certainly don’t want to bring them out here on a holiday,” he said.
“The intent is they would have already been exposed to investment proposals at the forum and have done some due diligence and formed an early relationship.
“Chinese investment is big, but the relationships form slowly.”
The Pilbara Regional Council is seeking more Chinese investment in the Pilbara.