THE opening of a Chinese Consulate-General office in Adelaide, South Australia, has been welcomed by the local Chinese business community and international students, who say it will increase trade and make it easier to study in Australia.
Opened at a celebration in the Adelaide Town Hall on January 18, the Chinese Consulate-General made headlines on local Chinese news platforms and brought WeChat alight with celebratory posts from the Chinese students.
As one of five offices across Australia, the South Australia Consulate marks the potential for South Australian businesses to engage more deeply with the growing Chinese market.
Jun Huai, sales director of local Chinese marketing agency Chopsticks Media, said the establishment of the Consulate would open up further opportunities to promote South Australia's tourism, agriculture and education offerings to the China market.
“We are excited about the opportunities this presents to our business," he said.
According to Jonathon Li, cofounder and marketing director of Orchid Wine Estate, China is only the third country to set up a Consulate-General in Adelaide, after Italy and Greece.
“This is in line with the vision of the Australia-China free trade deal,” he said.
“South Australia has been an agriculture powerhouse and we are excited about the future opportunities to boost trade with China, especially in the wine industry.”
Chinese students expressing their excitement on WeChat have also welcomed the convenience it will bring to their lives, especially in processing official procedures such as passport renewals and visa applications.
“The consular protection services offered by the Consulate would be very valuable to Chinese citizens in times of emergency," iAge Media editor Keith Jin said.
The opening ceremony was witnessed by 300 people. Among the distinguished guests were South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, Governor Hieu Van Le AO, Lord Mayor of Adelaide Martin Haese and the state’s first Chinese Consul-General, Rao Hongwei.
The Consulate-General was officially declared open by Chinese Ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu.
Premier Jay Weatherill said the event marked a very important escalation of diplomatic relations between China and South Australia, and would put the state on an equal footing with the Consulates in the eastern states.
China currently has a Consulate presence in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Adelaide Chinese Consulate-General Office - Telephone: +61 8 8268 8807