Monday 22nd Oct, 2018

Ciobo looks to ‘footy diplomacy’ to further China trade

Image: Jim Wilson and Shutterstock
Image: Jim Wilson and Shutterstock

BACK in the early 70s there was ‘ping pong diplomacy’ and now there is an Australian variant with ‘footy diplomacy’ seen as a way of not only enhancing trade with China.

Trade minister Steven Ciobo has announced he will travel to Shanghai to advance preparations for Australia’s participation in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and attend Asia’s largest food and beverage exhibition, SIAL China.

His visit is to occur just as the AFL teams the Gold Coast Suns and Port Power are to play a match, also in Shanghai.

Mr Ciobo said this would be his 13th official visit to China during the past three years.

“The Australian Government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with CIIE organisers for an Australian pavilion at the Expo,” the minister said.

“This will be the second occasion I have attended the SIAL China Exhibition. I will support Australian businesses at the Exhibition and promote the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) that is helping grow, among others, our food and beverage exports. More than 60 Australian businesses are exhibiting at SIAL China.”

Mr Ciobo said while in Shanghai he would also deliver the keynote address at the annual AustCham Westpac Australia-China Business Awards.

“I will likewise attend events to promote the second annual AFL match at Shanghai’s Jiangwan Stadium between Port Adelaide and the Gold Coast,” he said.

“China is Australia’s largest trading partner, largest source of tourists, fifth-largest direct investor and an important partner for regional cooperation.

“Growing trade, tourism and investment with China will create new Australian jobs and is part of the Turnbull Coalition Government’s plan for stronger economy.”

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