Existing ties with China strengthened

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher's visit this week to China has further strengthened Canberra's relationship with China.

"The ACT has already forged close ties with China and we see this across the city ranging from artwork around the city to some of our favourite spots to eat and I am confident that the delegation I have led to China this week will continue to build on the strong relationship we enjoy today," the Chief Minister said.

"This trip has not only been about building on business links or promoting Canberra as a great place for Chinese people to live, study or work but it is also an opportunity to celebrate the everyday benefits that Canberra enjoys with thanks to the influence of Chinese culture."

"Last year I travelled to China to promote Canberra as a study destination for Chinese students and I am pleased that since that trip significant progress has been made on the StudyCanberra project," the Chief Minister said.

"During the last trip to China there was clear feedback from Chinese tertiary education professionals that a website written in both English and Simplified Chinese would be a valuable tool to promote Canberra as a place to study.

"This website was launched recently and I am confident it will help to sell the positive attributes of Canberra to a wide Chinese audience."

  • The ACT has more tourist visits from China than any other country and recent research indicated that the Chinese in general have a high awareness of, and desire to, visit Canberra. This has led to the ACT Government focussing on the Chinese market in its 2020 Tourism Strategic Plan.
  • Chinese students form the largest international student group at our two major university campuses.
  • There are over 200 full fee paying international students from China studying in ACT public schools - 58 percent of the international student cohort. Nine ACT public schools have sister-school relationships with China.
  • Around 2% of Canberra's population was born in China and Mandarin is the most commonly spoken language after English in the ACT.

"The contribution Chinese culture makes to the ACT is not insignificant and I look forward to discussing how the ACT Government can build on the strong links that already exist across a wide range of areas including business and education," the Chief Minister said.

Many Canberra businesses have close ties with China built up over many years.  Most recently, ACT-based media company WildBear Entertainment (formerly BearCage) has signed an agreement with China's Central Television Network for a six part documentary, the first such agreement signed by an Australian company.  Local wine exporter, Inland Trading, is also experiencing huge growth in sales of premium wines into China.

The ACT Government is currently facilitating the establishment of a branch of the Australian China Business Council in the ACT, with the aim of building on existing relationships and identifying new business opportunities.

"Since the early 1980s the ACT Government has been involved in several trade missions to China and welcomed Chinese businesses into the ACT.  Huawei is an excellent example, and I'm pleased to be visiting Huawei's research and development facility in Shanghai as part of this visit," the Chief Minister said.

Huawei is also a major sponsor of the Canberra Raiders, and planning continues for the Raiders to play the first ever NRL game in China.

"Another key part of the ACT Government delegation to China in 2013 was the establishment of a sister city relationship with Beijing which is a clear demonstration of the close relationship that the two capital cities share," the Chief Minister said.

"It's my intention to ensure that existing relationships with China continue to strengthen, and that we grasp every opportunity to foster new ones, particularly in business, education and diplomatic arenas," the Chief Minister concluded.