Chinese investors looking to buy big in Gympie
A 30-STRONG Chinese trade delegation was in Gympie yesterday to establish a relationship of friendship and business between Wide Bay and one of China's most productive provinces.
The delegation met with business and council leaders and would have met with state and federal representatives if Tony Perrett and Warren Truss had been able to drag themselves away from parliamentary chores elsewhere.
"They want to buy my honey," Amamoor organic avocado farmer and bee keeper John Tidy said after meeting some of the delegation members at the Pavilion.
He was talking about his boutique extra tangy avocado flower honey.
"But I'm pretty sure I can't make as much as they want to buy," he said.
It was probably a fair reflection of the flea on an elephant comparison between Wide Bay and the economically huge Weihai coastal prefecture in China.
Larger scale businesses also were part of the visit when delegates visited the Nolan Meats processing works at East Deep Creek.
"They were interested in real estate too and dairy investments," property agent and dairy farmer John Cochrane said.
It was all part of a new relationship which Gympie Mayor Mick Curran helped establish, the early stages of a formal Economic Friendship Society relationship, including cultural and student exchanges, as well as the kind of instant business card friendships which can be the beginnings of big things in international trade.
And a lot of interesting communication seemed to take place, including between people who could not really understand a word of what they were hearing from each other.
The whole thing was brought together by one of the few people who could understand most of it, Michael Guo, of the Australia International Trade Association.
Mr Guo effortlessly translated Cr Curran's speech while others translated the speeches made in support, including from council CEO Bernard Smith and Chamber of Commerce president Sally Garrahy.
Slightly smaller than Gympie region in area, the historically fascinating port and university city and supporting region has a population of 2.8 million and an economy which reflects its rich trading past.
They also sampled Chris Doyle's Dagun pineapples and Dick Schroder's Cooloola Milk.