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SA must work on lifting profile in China, Weatherill says
18/07/2012 - South Australia must continue to work to lift its profile in China, Premier Jay Weatherill says.
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Weatherill spent last week meeting senior government and business officials in the world's second largest economy.
He said there was growing recognition at all levels about what South Australia had to offer, including its food and mining industries.
"There's certainly a very strong appreciation of Australia and there's a growing awareness of South Australia," Weatherill told reporters on Tuesday.
"But it's necessary for us to raise the profile of South Australia amongst the broader Chinese leadership.
"This is absolutely important because Chinese state-owned enterprises don't take a step unless they are supported by the Chinese government and the Chinese government takes very seriously government-to-government relations."
Weatherill said there was a great opportunity for South Australia to supply key ingredients to fuel China's economic growth through the state's mineral and agricultural resources.
"The uranium resources, the copper resources neatly fit the next phase of China's development," he said.
"They also need an extraordinary amount of food and South Australia has an enviable reputation for clean, premium and safe food."
Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond said Weatherill should outline exactly what he achieved on his trip to China.
"The Premier's predecessor Mike Rann had a habit of taking extravagant overseas trips that generated questionable benefits for South Australians," Redmond said in a statement.
"At a time when purse strings are tight and are likely to tighten even further, the Weatherill Labor government cannot afford to spend a single dollar on fruitless endeavours and meaningless gestures."
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