With rich deposits in uranium, copper, gold, iron ore and many other minerals, South Australia (SA) abounds with investment opportunities. China is South Australia’s second-largest trading partner and their relationship continues to grow.
South Australia’s leading exports to China include iron ore, copper, wool, lead and zinc. Several areas have also been identified for their growing potential as exports to China. These include motorcycles, crustaceans, dried and fresh nuts and fruit, and audio-visual services. The export of wine and alcoholic beverages is another booming industry due to the significant increase in demand from China. In 2007, wine exports to China were worth A$28m and by 2010 this had increased to $49m. This is an area the SA government wishes to develop further, and in June 2010 a delegation of South Australian wine companies toured China to promote their products and make connections with major wine retailers and distributors.
With 50 per cent of the world’s known uranium resources, SA is set to benefit from the Australia-China Nuclear Material Transfer Agreement. SA is currently home to two of the three operating uranium mines in Australia and has another six mines in the project stage. Olympic Dam is one of these operating mines and is home to the world’s largest uranium deposit, the fourth-largest copper deposit and fifth-largest gold deposit. As a result of such a rich resources sector, more than 16 Chinese resource companies have invested in SA, with A$51m being spent in 2009–10 on uranium exploration alone.
Geothermal company Petratherm is developing a close relationship with china. (SA Paralana project shown).
SA is also working to ensure a successful future. Originally constructed in 2004 and regularly reviewed (most recently in 2010), South Australia’s Strategic Plan aims to ensure continual development and prosperity through business investment and labour productivity. The Government has also established the Gateway Business Program, which offers A$1m worth of export assistance grants to small-to-medium sized business in order to encourage overseas export. The SA government also has three representative offices in China, while the Department of Industry and Trade and the China Development Bank have agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to enhance investment opportunities in resources, infrastructure and agriculture. Education and tourism are the top services in SA’s trade relationship with China and as a result a MoU between the SA government and the Chinese Ministry of Education aims to deliver TAFE SA courses in China through Zhongqing TAFE.
Individual SA companies are also developing close relationships with China. Adelaide company Petratherm has exclusive exploration agreements to identify geothermal projects within China, while Neuplex Pty Ltd has been working with Austrade to provide solar energy solutions to remote communities in China since 2008. Also in 2008, agribusiness Elders LTD opened a processing plant in Shanghai to complement its offices in Beijing and Shanghai, as did wool processor and exporter G.H. Michell. Collaboration even extends to the film industry, with SA production company Reckless Moments creating a series of co-productions with Shanghai Animation Film Studio, while in 2008 Adelaide film company, AMPCO Films and China’s Salon Films signed a MoU for the initial co-production of three films.
|South Australia Highlights