- WA recently welcomed high-level Sichuan delegation of government and business leaders
- Meeting has fostered ongoing economic cooperation with key trading partner
- Visit boosts tourism ties and takes WA a step closer to landing direct flights between Perth and China
Following Premier Mark McGowan's successful recent mission to China, for the first time, a high-level delegation from the Sichuan Province has been welcomed by Western Australia.
While in Perth, the representatives consisting of senior government officials and business leaders met with Premier Mark McGowan and Deputy Premier Roger Cook.
With a commitment to mutual prosperity and growth, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between Tourism WA and Sichuan Airlines to increase awareness of WA as a premium destination, creating the foundation to increase visitation from the China market. The MOU aims to develop opportunities for new direct flights between Perth and China.
A second MOU was signed between the WA Museum, WA Museum Foundation and Tianqi Lithium, a significant investor into WA.
This collaboration is another example of industry supporting initiatives benefiting the local community while promoting culture and the arts and people-to-people links.
Located in the centre of China's south-west region, Sichuan is home to 150 million people and its capital, Chengdu, is celebrating over a decade as a sister city to Perth.
China is WA's number one trading partner with merchandise exports to the country last year valued at $135.6 billion dollars.
It is also the State's largest market for key export commodities including iron ore, gold and petroleum and the largest agrifood export market.
China is also WA's second largest origin market for international students and there are more than 80 Chinese companies operating in WA, including 40 Chinese State-owned enterprises, contributing approximately $30 billion of investment to the State.
Sichuan Province is an important contributor to China's broader economy in the areas of agriculture, space and aviation, ICT, high-tech, bioengineering, stomatology, biomedicine, Chinese traditional medicine, tourism and Chinese liquor.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"WA's economic relationship with our key trading partner China is crucial to growth and prosperity for both regions.
"This important visit shows a mutual commitment to positive and ongoing engagement which strengthens trade and investment links.
"Securing direct flights between Perth and China will only increase our economic and cultural ties with Asia and will encourage further investment into the State."
Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:
"The WA Government is committed to its Asian Engagement Strategy and ongoing strategic partnerships in China.
"This opportunity to connect with leaders from the Sichuan Province supports our continuing diplomatic, economic and community links with Asia.
"These relationships are crucial to the strength of the local economy by supporting tourism, industry and local Western Australian jobs."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister's office - 6552 6500