Thursday, 22 May 2008

Shanghai says big 'Gidday' to Sydney


SHANGHAI and Sydney, Australia's biggest city, signed an historic agreement this week that will open the door to a myriad of business opportunities.

Morris Iemma, the premier of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, revealed yesterday he had signed a "Friendship Co-operation Agreement'' with Shanghai authorities which he says will open the door to many significant possibilities.

He told more than 200 guests at the NSW Premier's China Business Mission "Gateways to the Future'' function at the Portman Ritz Carlton that this new relationship would extend to business, tourism, research, education and culture.

Mr Iemma led a 40-strong delegation of New South Wales businessmen and academics into town this week to seek out business and other opportunities in the country that is Australia's biggest trading partner.

He told guests at the function 25 different Australian companies and nine universities were represented within the delegation.

Mr Iemma said China had a long history of investment in New South Wales but the relationship between Australia and China is more than 150 years old.

More recently however Sydney and NSW had become major tourist and education destinations for Chinese people, he said.

In announcing new relationships between the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales with Chinese universities this week, he said more than 85,000 Chinese were attending educational institutions in NSW.

Meanwhile, Iemma expressed deep sympathy for victims as he pledged AU$600,000 (US$576,210) to the relief fund.

Speaking at the NSW Premier's China Business Mission function in Shanghai, Iemma said the "heartfelt sympathy" of everyone from New South Wales went out to the earthquake victims and their families.

Iemma also praised the way China had handled the earthquake crisis.

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