Australia-China Chamber of Commerce and Industry
of New South Wales









15 April 2002

Michael C. H. Jones, President, ACCCI


Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen

Let me begin by thanking the sponsors and organisers of this Seminar, it is a very timely initiative in the context of China’s recent admission to the World Trade Organisation, WTO.

Let me also thank the TVE CCPIT Hubei Province for their hospitality and encouragement to participate on behalf of the Australia China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales.

I want today to develop a number of themes, which will give you a “whole-istic” view of:

v      Australia/China economic relations

v      New South Wales/Hubei Province connections

v      Sydney/Wuhan partnership prospects

v      SME/TVE business opportunities

These themes include:

v      Australia as part of the Anglo-Saxon World

v      China opened up to the world

v      International Corporations and good governance, duty of care and business ethics

v      Urbanisation and Rural Industries

v      SMEs, including TVEs, as the basis for employment in a Global Society

Australia as part of the Anglo-Saxon World:


My full name is Michael Cornelius Hetherington Jones.  I am third generation Australian – my father’s father was born in Young, a rural city of the Province of New South Wales, in 1870.  My great grandfather on my mother’s side founded the Presbyterian Church is Collins Street, Melbourne and his bust is at the entrance foyer for all to see when they pray.

Cornelius is my father’s family name – it is over 2000 years old and comes from the Romano-Britons who withdrew to Wales before the ravages of the Jutes and Angles, invading tribes from Germany in the 5th century.  His family were Welsh and Scots.

Hetherington is my mother’s family name – it is part of a direct line of history that goes back to William the Conqueror when in 1066 my relative, Baron de Rufus, carried the spears for the Duke of Normandy when he successfully invaded England. Her family were English and Scots.

My family has witnessed the overthrow of many Kings and the execution of many Nobles, the defeat of many rebellions and the slaughter of many peasants.  We participated as political leaders, military commanders, religious proselytisers and business entrepreneurs.

The Scottish Taipans were my relatives.  Indeed 150 years ago my British ancestors chased your Chinese ancestors up the Yangtze River beyond Wuhan to Chongqing, Chengdu and places beyond.  Again, just over 50 years ago your relatives chased my relatives down the Yangtze River to Shanghai and out into the East China Sea – although I must say that a few cousins remained as advisors to the British in Hong Kong and the Americans in Taiwan Province, Korea and Vietnam.

The Anglo-Saxon Club of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, arising from the Empire of Great Britain and then transferring to the victorious Yankees of post Civil War America, has in the 21st century become the Anglo-Saxon World.  The language, culture, values and aspirations of young and old all around the world are Anglo-Saxon – that is English and North American.

It is the same in China, no matter how unacceptable or unpalatable to some, not all, that reality may be.

So how do those of us who are unhappy with this global situation resist it and change it for the better and not the worse.

The understandable cultural hostilities and resentments to past injustices of very large sections of the Arab regions and communities to the Anglo-Saxon domination or hegemony, will not find profitable and permanent satisfaction through international terrorism and anarchy.  That is an agenda for the end of civilization, as we all know it.

In my view there are two ways to overcome the Anglo-Saxon domination of the world – the Chinese way from without and the Australian way from within.

The Chinese way since December 1978 has been to open up and join the Anglo-Saxon world – the seat at the United Nations, the signing of the Human Rights Covenants and the admission to the World Trade Organisation, WTO, are all examples of China accepting the leadership of the English speaking world and North America.

But China is betting on its 5000 years of cultural history, its huge population representing 20 per cent of mankind, and the diplomacy, industry and social stability of its people to maintain not only independence but also add its own flavour to the new global society of the 21st century.

China is still and will remain for many decades a predominantly agricultural society with an overwhelmingly rural population; it is continental and not coastal in personality.  The growth of democratic processes both within and without the Chinese Communist Party will accentuate this thinking in the deliberations of the National People’s Congress and the People’s Political Consultative Conference.

On the other hand the Australian way is Irish, Scottish and Welsh – just as these small regions and communities resisted and preserved their cultures for up to a 1000 years against the overwhelming power of the English out of London, so some Australians are determined to maintain control of our Australian Continent and future and to move beyond the shadow of both our English history and current North American hegemony.

Just as the growth of the European Community has helped make the smaller nationalities free, witness the blossoming of independence in so many areas including Ireland, Scotland and Wales, so the regionalism of an ASEAN + 3, and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC, as well as the economic globalism of the WTO, will enable Australians to overcome their historical racist fears of invasion and hence pretended superiority as spiritual handmaidens to England and the United States.

Always remember, and this is why I shared my family history with you, the people resident in England and the United States do not have a mortgage on Anglo-Saxon heritage.  We in Australia, my family, share ownership of that heritage and our spiritual freedom from North American hegemony will come as the multicultural diversity which is my country, including the hundreds of thousands of Chinese migrants since the Gold Rushes of the 1850s, brings the confidence to deal with the USA, EC, ASEAN, PRC and Indian Republic on an equal footing.

Australia has been for over one hundred years an overwhelmingly urban society with a coastal or maritime personality. Our thinking has alternated between free trade with the British nations of the world and economic protectionism based on ideas of self-sufficiency and ethnic security.  It is only since the late 1960s that our horizons have ventured beyond Empire and the Anglo-Saxon Club to Asia generally and China in particular.

China opening up to the world:

What does this truly mean?  What are its implications for both the Chinese people and the peoples of the world?  Does it mean an ever accelerating widening of the economic disparities between urban internationalists and suburban domestic service providers, between the cities and the rural areas, between the Eastern coastal provinces and the Western underdeveloped regions of China?

I wish to touch on just three aspects of these issues – globalism, social stability and information.

As I have already said China reacts to globalism, in the sense of the Anglo-Saxon world, from the outside – from rejection and isolation, whereas Australia struggles from the inside, as a people who have been culturally smothered and denied spiritual air.

China, the rural and continental society with a massive population, opening up in all areas simultaneously.  Both its international and intra-provincial boundaries are being dramatically and irretrievably erased by traditional historical Chinese standards.  There is nothing in the world today that is not known in China and being experimented with in one way or another, legally and illegally, with and without the sanction of State and the Communist Party of China.

In the year of the horse, some think it poetic justice that an entirely new bread has been genetically engineered by the Chinese Government such that it may be impossible to ride by any in the future leadership ranks of the Communist Party.  Yet what is the alternative?

In my view, for reasons of social stability, it has become more important today for the Communist Party of China to be in the forefront of State leadership because the only immediate alternative would be the military.  However, the People’s Liberation Army, even with its historic closeness to the rural population of China especially, is not equipped intellectually or by training for government. 

The educational and training levels of mid-ranking and senior officials of the CPC must be given priority particularly in philosophical and ethical matters, certainly as the doors of membership are opened up to business people who by experience are more inclined to short term economic considerations. Ironically this decision will speed up the democratisation pace at all levels of government as citizens, urban and rural, become dismayed by business excesses in China and elsewhere.

Finally, the concept of information. You cannot send tens of thousands of government officials, hundreds of thousands of students, millions of businessmen and ultimately tens of millions of tourists overseas without learning the best and worst that the world has to offer. Information and ideas go hand in hand as I am sure the leaders of China fully understand.

The trends to corporatisation, privatisation, decentralisation and private responsibility are global and can only be mitigated in their worst features by the CPC.  Again it is ironic that the social cement of family, community and rural lifestyle will be what holds China together before the flood of information alternatives presented to the youth of all countries.

I often worry about what there is in the Australian cultural mix that will hold our country together, and whether or not we are strong enough to assert our individuality beyond a pale imitation of other peoples as portrayed by Hollywood.

International corporations:

Well may you ask – What has this got to do with township and village enterprises in Hubei Province?  And I will answer – everything.

The “iron rice bowl” is gone. The farm “collectives” are gone, or at least they have to operate in a totally different way and under far more severe competitive pressures.  The world has changed – your centre of reference is no longer the village or the town, not even the county or district.  In some cases it is beyond the city and the province.

The WTO means China is open, or at least will be virtually completely open in 15/20 years time.

Your livelihood, your business, your family, your community, your town and village are open to the world.  You can in a sense go anywhere with your business ideas and expertise but everywhere can come to you with theirs.  This is both exhilarating and frightening.

Two sets of statistics come to mind.

Firstly, that over half of China’s current international trade is already conducted by foreign owned enterprises, predominantly major international corporations from the USA, EC and Japan.

Secondly, that only just over half of China’s present economic activity is conducted by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), allegedly the most inefficient and indebted sector of business.

What do these figures really mean?

It means that if US President George Bush listens to his Republican “hawks” and puts the economic squeeze on China, the business corporations might refuse and fund the Democrats in the next Presidential Election.  On the other hand if they were to agree with President Bush then China economically is in a very big mess.  Of course US corporations would also loose a lot of money.

It also means that either the efficiency and profitability of SOEs have to be dramatically improved, and thereby arresting the privatisation process, or otherwise more and more control of Chinese economic activity will pass to foreign owned corporations with their command of the strategic aspects of both domestic and international trade.

Can township and village enterprises, which are predominantly SMEs – that is small and medium sized businesses, survive and prosper in this economic environment dominated either by inefficient and huge SOEs or by foreign controlled global corporations with little allegiance to rural and agricultural China?

In this context the TVEs must quickly become interested and expert in the concepts of political good governance, professional duty of care and business ethics.

Political “good governance” is about the role of governments at central, provincial and municipal levels and the institutions associated with them such as the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.  What legislative processes and administrative procedures are currently in place to prevent rampant corruption and irresponsible management of the SOEs?  How can small and medium sized businesses be sure that there is truly a level playing field, or in Australian terms equal opportunity and “a fair go” for all?

Professional “duty of care” concerns the obligations of qualified professional lawyers and accountants and others to do their job to a recognised standard accepted as the norm by their peers.  It is about certifying to the general public that the decisions and activities of companies, particularly mayor corporations with potentially massive economic and commercial power over the market, are according to law as set down by governments from time to time.  The recent shameful events in the United States, Australia as well as in China highlights the fact that even some of the most reputable auditing companies in the world were very poorly managed and not doing their jobs at all.  Hundreds of thousands of ordinary people, if not millions, lost their investments due to criminal negligence.

Business ethics is related to internal company standards of behaviour, which recognises that the free or socialist market is not a licence for collusion and extortion through “insider” trading and “conflict of interest” situations.  The external relations of companies especially with members of government and the public service must always be at arms length to prevent corruption, whilst the internal procedures must be of such a nature that discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex and so on is limited to the greatest degree possible.  Favouritism is favouritism whatever the rationalisation and it does not lead to efficient and profitable business. It just leads to very poor management.

In a recent speech to the Asia Media Centre in Sydney on the topic “ Business Networking in the Asia Pacific Region” I stated and I quote:

How can companies, big and small, undertake their business with the guarantee of a “level playing field” which is another way of saying “an equal opportunity”?  That is the single most important question for any collective government decision making in the Asia Pacific Region.

That question is the question that unites SMEs all over the world.

Urbanisation and rural industries:

Australians have very little idea about, and therefore understanding of, the nature and structure of Chinese cities or municipalities.  Though we have always been one of the most urbanised countries in the world, Australia’s 200 years of history and traditions are fundamentally different to those of China’s 5000 plus years.

In my home city, Sydney, which is over four million in population and the financial and commercial capital of both Australia and New Zealand, there is no mayor for the entire municipality, rather there are over 40 independent mayors controlled by the state or provincial government of New South Wales. The population for the rest of the state is barely 2 million people and most of them reside in urban centres, the rural component is very small.

The Chinese situation of municipalities such as Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai being on the level of states or provinces is unheard of in our history.

Similarly that urban-based city officials would be responsible for significant rural populations and agricultural industries is very foreign to our thinking and experience.  For example let me briefly comment on Chongqing.

In 1997, Chongqing was restructured as a municipality that is equal to a province.  The new governmental authority contains a population of 30 million people and encloses a region with a distance approximately equivalent to that from Sydney to Griffith in an east-west direction, and from Batemans Bay to Taree in a north-south direction.  This municipality contains cities, towns and rural areas.  Within the city administration there are 1,502 towns and township offices and approximately 24 million rural inhabitants or about 80 per cent.

This 20/80 percent ratio between urban and rural areas requires a delicate balancing of the development needs of both sectors, urban industrialisation and rural agriculture.  One important aspect of any development strategy has to be the management of substantial rural to urban migration wherein already almost 20 per cent of the urban population is considered a “floating population” requiring urgent improvements in urban services such as water supply and wastewater treatment.

Wuhan, on the other hand is at the opposite end of the municipality scale compared to Chongqing.  Depending on the figures read, it has an urban population of about four million and a rural population of up to three and a half million.  The municipality is an amalgamation in 1950 of three cities that became Districts – Hankou, Hanyang and Wuchang.  Nevertheless, again, the city’s unitary authority and substantial rural/agricultural responsibility marks it out from Australian cities.

China has 668 official cities, and that number continues to grow as county level towns become reclassified as cities. I am advised that China has about 19,000 established towns with an average population of 8000.

China’s current Five Year Plan (2001-2005) projects a 1-percentage point increase per annum in the urbanisation rate (the proportion of the population living in urban areas).  This means that more rural villages will become reclassified as towns and more towns will be reclassified as cities. That means about 87 million more people living in urban areas.

China’s urbanisation strategy, as stated in the current Five Year Plan, places emphasis on the following:

v      Constructing and developing new cities.  This is particularly relevant to China’s vast central and western regions where the urban density is reasonably low.  It will allow greater attention to be placed on new urban development, rather than on urban renewal.  It is also consistent with the desire of the central government to reduce the regional disparities in income and wealth.

v      Accelerating and developing small towns.  This will focus on a small number of existing with good infrastructure and generally good potential to enable them to grow into medium sized cities.

v      Designing and guiding areas with a high density of towns.  The Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta are the main focal points for high-density living, a high level of industrialisation, a large number of relatively high-density towns, and close economic links between the towns.  The major task is a combination of urban expansion and urban renewal that will allow those urban areas to absorb a large population in an effective and efficient manner.

v      Upgrading cities as regional centres.  This is sometimes referred to as “constellation plan” for urban development, through which regional cities are developed in conjunction with outlying areas (smaller cities and towns) in such a way that they function collectively.

v      Developing international metropolises.  Efforts will be made during the next 20 years to enable cities such as Beijing and Shanghai to become internationally competitive and to be classified as “global cities”.

What does This urbanisation strategy mean for rural industries in the various regions of China?

By rural industries my Chamber would mean:

v      agriculture

v      aquaculture, including fisheries and processing

v      livestock and animal husbandry

v      forestry and timber industries

v      mining and energy production

And also the TVEs, township and village enterprises, which are in the main SMEs – small to medium sized enterprises.

It means that there is an orderly response to the critical challenge of rural unemployment.

At the end of 2000 China had about 480 million rural workers, of whom some 328 million were engaged in agricultural production.  However according to the Ministry of Agriculture, China had a surplus in rural labourers of around 100 million and this situation was becoming even more serious in the major grain, cotton and oil producing areas.  The number of surplus rural labourers is expected to increase by about 8 million a year for at least the next five years.

In addition it has been predicted by Mr Xue Liang, Director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Development Planning Department, that China’s joining the WTO will lead to 20 million fewer job vacancies for the nation’s farmers.

It is commonly agreed that to meet this problem there needs to be a more speedy structural reform of rural employment, and adjustment through two processes:

v      Firstly, through labour intensive industries such as animal breeding and aquaculture and

v      Secondly, through the promotion and construction of small towns and cities, making them “reservoirs” for the creation of job opportunities for surplus rural labourers.

SME/TVEs are the basis for employment in a globalised society:

I think it is generally agreed, and resulting from extensive research in many countries, that SMEs account for the overwhelming majority of businesses and employment opportunities throughout the world.

In China, according to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and I agree the figures are a little dated but they were the best I could obtain at short notice, by the end of 1994 there were 8.57 million registered companies in China of which only 20,000 were classified as large or medium sized concerns.  In other words 99 per cent were small enterprises.

Again, in the industrial sector, large medium and small businesses accounted for 1.11 per cent, 3.27 per cent and 95.625 respectively, among 465,239 units with independent accounting systems.

SMEs have been the major providers of job opportunities whether in urban areas absorbing 75 per cent of industrial labour, or in the rural areas where the TVEs have provided jobs for 100 million peasants or half of the whole rural surplus labour force.

Mr Liu Zengsheng, Director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Township Enterprise Management Bureau, is reported as stating late last year that 20.8 million TVEs employed 128 million rural residents in both industrial and non-industrial activities and this generated a combined export value of $US113.2 billion

Obviously one avenue for increased rural employment opportunities lies in giving more and more TVEs the power to engage in the export trade.  Only 10,000 had that right at end of 2000.

But the growth of TVEs faces the “bottleneck” or logjam of lack of access to funds such as bank loans unlike the SOEs.  Again one possible way around the problem is for TVEs to start to tap into the overseas finance market by launching or engaging in more joint ventures outside China.  By the end of 2000 Chinese TVEs had only invested about $US1.98 billion overseas to run 1886 businesses abroad.

It is my view, and the view of the Australia China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales, that “the establishment of strong and lasting economic linkages between non-government organisations in Australia and China” will be achieved in the sector of small to medium sized enterprises including township and village enterprises in the rural areas of China.

Every possible encouragement and support should be given to their export potential and formation of partnerships with appropriate international enterprises.  Employment prospects and the people’s livelihood is dependent on it.

At this point it might be interesting to refer to the World Bank, and in particular its resident economist in China, Mr Deepak Bhattasali, who clarifies the definition of SMEs.

He gives two definitions.

v      the level of fixed assets – small industry is up to $1.8 million in book value of fixed assets

v      the number of employees – small enterprises are between 10 and 50 employees

Mr Bhattasali goes on to say that in China, on the basis of the industrial census, the average size for:

v      small enterprises is 15 employees

v      medium sized enterprises is 893 employees

v      large enterprises is 3755 employees

He contends that the SME sector is large and growing and may be the dominant sector already.  Moreover a large percentage of SMEs are non-industrial firms, that is either service sector firms or rural based firms and not urban firms.

Mr Bhattasali asserts that “if these firms are not allowed to purchase, produce and market their product especially for import and export, then you have a major obstacle to SME development”.  Thus in his view all regulatory obstacles to incorporation and competition should be removed.

The major objective should be economic growth for stability.

But there are two problems.

Firstly, conversion from entrepreneurship, which is what creates a firm, to management, which is a professional skill – whether

v      strategic management – managing entry into new markets,

v      functional management – financial, inventory, production, or

v      technical management – how to run a production line

All three are required for the development of SMEs into viable enterprises providing permanent jobs.

Secondly, management requires people who run businesses to know:

v      purchasing, production, sales,

v      costing, and

v      financial accounting and reporting that comply with government laws and regulations

Finally there needs to be proper access to finance but direct finance is not good as it creates non-sustainable employment, and a bad business and financial culture within the enterprises.  Indirect finance through intermediaries is desirable, so the longer-term objective should be to introduce more sources of equity finance.

Concrete steps for co-operation:

Having made these comments, and in this context I would now like to return to the objectives of my speech, and that is to outline to you where ACCCI is making concrete steps for cooperation in the following areas:

v      Australia/China economic relations

v      New South Wales/Hubei Province connections

v      Sydney/Wuhan partnership prospects

v      SME/TVE business opportunities

Australia-China economic relations:

The Chamber recognises the present global hegemony of the USA.  That China will inevitably challenge that political, economic, social and cultural and then military hegemony.  That international corporations have changed forever the nature and structure of global economic relations.  That urbanisation is an irresistible social force in human history with the ending of traditional agricultural lifestyles.  That the foundation for employment opportunities increasingly in the future lies with small to medium sized companies whether in the cities or in the rural areas of countries such as China.

ACCCI has over recent years promoted the concept of an Australia China Trade Treaty, which would be some form of International Economic Cooperative Agreement between both governments for our countries to pool complimentary resources in the Asia Pacific.

In many respects the China-Australia Joint Working Group on Transport, which is a bilateral MOU signed by the Australian Minister for Transport and Regional Services in April 2001, is an embryo form of such an agreement and the Chamber is supporting its activities and working as closely as possible as you will read on our Website at

For your information the memoranda of understanding were signed with the following Chinese central government agencies:

v      The State Development and Planning Commission (SPDC), covering all aspects of transport, regional development and trade facilitation;

v      The Ministry of Communications (MOC), covering highways and waterway transport;

v      The Ministry of Railways MOR); and

v      The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), this MOU is specific to cooperation in air safety and accident investigation.

The Australian Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services’ objectives for the MOUs are to:

v      Facilitate trade in transport goods and services, including those from regional Australia;

v      Facilitate trade through improved transport links, logistics and supply chain efficiencies and through skills transfer; and

v      Promote positive government-to-government relations as part of the broader Australia-China bilateral relationship, including promoting our multilateral agenda.

The four agencies mentioned above will participate in the Joint Working Group (JWG) together with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC), the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), and the Australian Department of Transport and Regional Services. The JWG will serve as the coordination point for the implementation of the MOUs.

The Chinese agencies agreed to include Chinese and Australian industry in the JWG.  This provides Australian firms with an interest in the Chinese transport and logistics market with the opportunity to explore issues that affect their operations and aspirations in the market.

The inaugural JWG meeting was held in Beijing, China over three days between 3rd and 5th April.  ACCCI was one of only two Australian non-government organisations to have Official Observer Status, together with the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Chamber was represented by our Chief Representative, Beijing, Mr Lin Kun who was the former Head of the Economic and Commercial Section of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Sydney.

To assist Mr Kun, ACCCI held a workshop on urban services in China on Thursday 28th March, and devoted a substantial part of the proceedings to a discussion of transport and distribution in China with recommendations on matters related to some of the agenda topics of the JWG, namely on:

v      transport logistics in an integrated setting;

v      transport technology

v      trade facilitation for transport goods and services.

You will not receive a medal for understanding how all this relates to Hubei Province, China

New South Wales/Hubei Province Connections:

Should you have already had an opportunity to visit the ACCCI Website, again at, you will read a lot of Chamber papers, reports and workshop proceedings dealing directly and indirectly with economic, trade, investment and commercial matters relevant for companies in Hubei Province.

In the Key Cities Index you will read our material on Hubei and see that Chamber has selected 8 from 25 cities on which to concentrate. Those are:

v      Wuhan, Huangshi and Erzhou in the Eastern Industrial Region with leading industries including metallurgical, engineering, textiles, chemical and building materials.

v      Yichang, Jingzhou, and Jingmen in the Western Industrial Region with industries including electric power, oil, chemical, and light industries.

v      Xiangfan and Shiyan in Northern Industrial Base including the industries of motor vehicles, electronics and light industry.

In the section on the recent Sister City Forum held on 12th March, organised and sponsored by ACCCI together with the NSW Local Government and Shires Association (LGSA) and the Australia Sister City Association (ASCA), you will read about the experiences of some 50/60 Australian and New Zealand cities with Chinese cities including Chinese Taipei. From memory there are no Hubei Province cities on the list, but there should be.

Over the next few years Chamber will seek to assist our 8 special cities to enter Sister City Relationships with the appropriate Australian and New Zealand cities. This will in part be achieved by an in-depth analysis of four key sectors of the respective cities in both regions, namely:

Urban Services:

v      Urban design, real estate and property

v      International trade services

v      Finance, insurance and business services

v      Communications, transport and local storage

v      Government services such as public administration, health and social welfare

v      Wholesale and retail services

v      Entertainment and recreational services

v      General manufacturing services

Rural Industries:

v      Township and village enterprises

v      Agriculture

v      Aquaculture, including fisheries and processing

v      Livestock and animal husbandry

v      Forestry and timber industries

v      Mining and energy production


v      Urban and rural water supply and reticulation

v      Wastewater treatment

v      Solid waste disposal

v      Pollution control

v      Gas supply, especially transmission and distribution

v      Electricity supply, including generation, transmission and distribution

v      Telecommunications in their totality

v      Air transport systems

v      Sea transport systems

v      Rail transport systems

v      Road transport systems

Commercial Culture:

v      Education/intellectual

v      Tourism

v      Media

v      Venue and facility design

v      Visual arts

v      Performing arts

v      Professional sports

v      Recreational sports

v      Associated industries

Sydney-Wuhan Partnership Prospects:

On the 26th of January 2002, the day on which Australia celebrates its foundation as a independent nation in 1901 – Australia Day -- the Chamber assisted by the Hubei CCPIT at the Shangri-La Hotel in Wuhan, officially announced that Wuhan would be its Central Communications Centre in China, the CCCC Headquarters, responsible for coordinating relationships between 200 cities in China including Hong Kong SAR and Chinese Taipei, and 100 cities in Australia and New Zealand.  Further, as soon as possible the President of ACCCI and the Chair of the ACCCI China Liaison Committee based in Beijing would appoint a Deputy Chair of the ACCCI China Liaison Committee to be based in Wuhan.

In addition an MOU was signed between the Hubei Foreign Service Corporation and the Australia Education and Business Training Centre, witnessed by both the Australian ACCCI President and the Hubei CCPIT President, to establish the Office for the ACCCI CCCC Headquarters in Wuhan as a priority activity.

For your understanding the Australia China Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New South Wales (ACCCI) was established in Sydney on 16th September 1976 to operate all over Australasia and China including Hong Kong, then under British Administration, and Taiwan Province, recognised as such by the Australian Government when officially recognising the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the only legitimate authority in China in December 1972.

The first Hubei Province delegations were received by Chamber in Sydney in about 1982 and I am advised that there were 17 meetings during the mid 1980s up to June 1989 concerning the possibility of a Sister City Relationship between Wuhan and Newcastle, a major city to the north of Sydney.  These negotiations collapsed with the events of 1989 and the subsequent trade sanctions placed on China by the USA and other Western Governments including Australia.

However by the end of 1990 Chamber was again receiving delegations from Hubei and Wuhan.  Then in 1992, at the direction of the then Governor of Hubei Province and in his presence at the Mitchell Galleries of the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, I signed on behalf of ACCCI our first official Cooperative Agreement with your province.  Subsequently in 1994 ACCCI publicly announced that it wished to form a special relationship with Wuhan Municipality, and in 1997 signed a second cooperative agreement with the city – the signer on the Chinese side was the current Chairman of the Hubei CCPIT.

My point is simply that Sydney and Wuhan have had a long and thoughtful partnership over 20 years.

I do not wish to discuss business relations between companies in both cities and provinces in too much depth, as firstly these should always be commercial in confidence and secondly because you Chinese keep much more accurate statistics then we Australians.

But I would urge you to follow the comments on these opportunities on our Internet site.

Thank you.


Related documents

Introduction to the Chamber’s Key Cities Strategy

Urbanisation in China, with “case study” information about:




China’s Pearl River Delta, with annexes on:

China’s Classification of Cities and Towns

Other City Clusters in China

Links to external Web sites about China’s cities (includes Shanghai and Ningbo)