Private meeting leads to high hopes for Chinese investment
TWO high-level groups of Chinese businessmen have met privately with business and community leaders in Cairns to discuss multi-million dollar investments in the region.
Advance Cairns chairman Cam Charlton told The Cairns Post that the meetings with the business development organisation and Cairns Mayor Bob Manning were of “some significance and very real”.
He said the meetings in the past two months coincided with the announcements of the trial direct flights by China Eastern and China Southern airlines with the first starting next month. Mr Charlton said the discussions signalled “an exciting future for he region”.
“They herald the beginning of a wave of long-term investment in a similar way to Japanese investment after the opening of the Japanese tourism market,” he said.
Mr Charlton said he was unable to reveal details because the discussions were “commercial in-confidence”.
But, he said the investors involved in publicly listed companies had broad interests, ranging from tourism to agriculture. Mr Charlton said the businessmen were “serious players” which would amount to multi-millions of dollars.
He said Advance Cairns and other groups were working together quickly to develop a trade and investment strategy.
“The investors are highly sophisticated, highly intelligent, very smart and very business-savvy,” he said.
Mr Charlton said the Chinese already had bought sugar mills and there was keen interest in a number of rural properties on the Tableland.
Planning is under way for a high- level delegation involving Mr Charlton, Cr Manning, airport chief Kevin Brown and other business leaders to travel to Shanghai and Guangzhou in November with invitations to Premier Campbell Newman, Treasurer Tim Nicholls and Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey.
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Talks under way: Advance Cairns chairman Cam Charlton says recent discussions between government and business groups "herald the beginning of a wave of long-term investment". Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS.