Dar­win, Guangzhou sign agree­ment to ex­pand ties

Global Times US Edition - - BIZOVE -

The coun­cil of Dar­win, cap­i­tal of Aus­tralia’s North­ern Ter­ri­tory (NT), has signed an agree­ment to build a stronger re­la­tion­ship with Yuexiu district in the city of Guangzhou, cap­i­tal of South China’s Guang­dong Prov­ince.

Kon Vatskalis, mayor of Dar­win, said the agree­ment re­sulted from meet­ings with mu­nic­i­pal and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials where his del­e­ga­tion gave de­tailed pre­sen­ta­tions about in­vest­ment, tourism and ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in Dar­win.

“We were lucky to be in­tro­duced to the Machen group of com­pa­nies, which is look­ing for in­vest­ment in Aus­tralia. We vis­ited their mas­sive shop­ping cen­ter and we were briefed about their com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties,” he re­cently told News Corp Aus­tralia.

“We signed a let­ter of in­tent to co­op­er­ate and it is my in­ten­tion to make it hap­pen. They see this as a cat­a­lyst for forg­ing stronger re­la­tions be­tween south­ern China and Dar­win.”

The deal is the lat­est at­tempt by the city of Dar­win and NT to open it­self up to Chi­nese tourism and in­vest­ment.

The Port of Dar­win is a key cog in the Belt and Road ini­tia- tive and Vatskalis spoke in fa­vor of the ini­tia­tive.

“We would be stupid, as Aus­tralians, to let this op­por­tu­nity es­cape us,” he said. “We can work with the Chi­nese and ben­e­fit or we can ig­nore it and be iso­lated... it will pass us by.”

Michael Gun­ner, chief min­is­ter of the NT, wel­comed the agree­ment be­tween Dar­win and Yuexiu district.

“Chi­nese firms are in­vest­ing in the Ter­ri­tory’s gas, agri­cul­ture and tourism sec­tors and we wel­come that in­vest­ment,” he said. Xin­hua

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