The Australian Government dispatches a large official delegation to participate in the 9th China Investment Fair for Investment and Trade for the first time.
     The delegation consists of staff from Invest Australia, Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), Australian Consulate General in Guangzhou, and representatives of governments of three states of Australia -- including Queensland, Victoria and West Australia.
     In the past eight years, a number of Australian companies have attended the fair.     
     The fair has since brought the country many investors and trade partners from China.
     "By the invitation of China's Ministry of Commerce, Invest Australia led the delegation on behalf of the state government of Australia to join the worldwide well-known fair," Henry Wang, senior investment commissioner of the Greater China of Invest Australia, told the Express yesterday.
     "Australia is developed in agribusiness, biotechnology, environmental industries, energy industries, and minerals," Wang said. "But few Chinese businessmen are investing in Australia at present."
     The major reason is Chinese people know little about the country, Wang said.
     "We intend to present all features of Australia to China's businessmen and governmental departments through the fair, making them know Australia is not only famous for tourism," Wang said.
     Since Invest Australia set up the head office of Asia in Shanghai, Wang and his fellows have found more and more potential Chinese investors for Australia.
     About 100 Chinese investors have entered Australia's market with the support of Invest Australia and 500 potential investors are connecting with the organization, Wang said.
     Most of the investors are engaging in the energy sector, such as Shanghai Baosteel, Capital Iron & Steel Company and China Huaneng Group, Wang said.
     Wang said there are 10 good reasons to invest in Australia, which consist of strong economic credentials, democratic and politically stable, highly skilled and multicultural work force, cost competitive location, sophisticated telecommunications and information systems and infrastructure, innovative culture with excellent research and development infrastructure, open and efficient regulatory environment, strategic time zone advantage, excellent quality of life, and a welcoming attitude to foreign investment.
     "A foreign investor can get a licence to set up a company in Australia within two days, which is protected by local laws," Wang said. "The procedure is believed to be the one of the most simple in the world."
     The bilateral trade volume between China and Australia in 2004 was about US$22 billion, with an increase of 37.4 per cent over 2003.
     China now is the third largest merchandise trade partner with Australia, and is expected to exceed the United States to take the second place, according to statistics of Invest Australia.
     "The figures show that investing in Australia is a bright prospect for Chinese investors," Wang said.
     He said Invest Australia would continue to try its best to boost China's investment in Australia. "One more office will be built in Guangzhou, capital of South      China's Guangdong Province, before long," he said.
     Invest Australia is Australia's national inward investment agency, set up by the Federal Government in 1997 to promote inward investment.
     It attracts productive foreign direct investment into Australia to support sustainable industry growth and development.
     The agency achieves this by promoting Australia's competitive advantages as an investment destination and actively facilitating investment projects into Australia.
     Invest Australia has investment advisory specialists in 12 locations around the world, including New York, San Francisco, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing to provide potential investors with a comprehensive, free and totally confidential service.
     Industry specialists of the agency also work in Australia to advise investors on the benefits of investing in Australia's key industries.
     In the past eight years Invest Australia has helped a wide range of international businesses invest in Australia and today it is currently working with companies on projects with potential investments in Australia of more than A$50 billion (US$38 billion).
    Investors from China should look to mature markets such as Sweden when devising their strategies for overseas expansion, officials from the Scandinavian country told a seminar on investing in Northern Europe held in Xiamen yesterday.
    "China has become a big player in the world economy and it is important to develop economic relations with them," said Kai     Hammerich, president and director-general of the Invest in Sweden Agency (ISA), a governmental agency that helps foreign investors find out about business opportunities in Sweden.
    Eddie Chen, chief representative for ISA's China operation, added that Chinese firms could do well to invest in mature markets such as Swedent.
    By investing in developed economies, companies gain strength in technology and brand building, and add value to their products, Chen said.
    Sweden's advantage as an investment location lies in its technology and its geographical location as a hub of Northern     Europe and as stepping stone to Europe as a whole, Chen said.
    It also boasts human resources that are relatively low cost compared with many other developed countries, its made-in-Sweden competence and the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe.
    Sweden is highly sophisticated in innovation, information technology and its overall knowledge-based economy, with resources worth 4.3 per cent of its gross domestic product being put into research and development (R&D) activities every year, he said.
    Access to the Northern European market has never been more important, given its recent population expansion to 100 million following the emergence of former Soviet Union nations.
    Ulf Sormark, consul general of the Swedish Consulate in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, pointed out that many large companies in China are already mature enough to
  


expand abroad, with Sweden particularly suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
    In the field of wireless communications, for example, the R&D and product developing capacity of Sweden combined with the manufacturing and marketing advantages of China could prove highly successful.
    Among the Chinese firms already operating in Sweden are telecom equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, Shanghai     Automotive Group and Guangsha Group, which is based in East China's Zhejiang Province.
    China's Ministry of Commerce is currently organizing an exhibition for promoting trade and investment between China and     Northern Europe in Sweden for this October, said Yu Hua, deputy director of the Investment Promotion Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce.
    About 90 projects will be on offer for foreign investment during the fair, which is the largest of its kind in Northern     Europe in recent years.
    This year marks the 55th anniversary for the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sweden.
To provide satisfactory services for investors and projects, International Investment Express sets aside a special section aiming to make available information shared by global investment projects and investors.
Editorial Department of International Investment Express for the ninth China International Fair for Investment and Trade
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