In­vest­ment hopes pinned on China trip

Pilbara News - - Business - Ben Leahy

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.”

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

The Pil­bara Re­gional Coun­cil is seek­ing more Chi­nese in­vest­ment in the Pil­bara.

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