NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today met with His Excellency Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), during the first visit to Australia by a Chinese Premier in 11 years.
Premier Li’s visit follows the first anniversary of Australia’s free trade agreement with China (ChAFTA), which came into effect in December 2015. Ms Berejiklian used the opportunity to confirm that she will visit China in December to attend the NSW-Guangdong Joint Economic Meeting (JEM).
“I am delighted to welcome Premier Li to Sydney and can confirm that I plan to return the gesture later this year, in a clear sign of our continued strong friendship with the People’s Republic of China,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Ms Berejiklian’s visit to China will be her first as Premier. She will lead a delegation to Guangdong and tour business centres and tech hubs across the nation.
On Friday, Sydney hosted the second China-Australia State/Provincial Leaders’ Forum, enabling state, territory and provincial leaders to engage on a breadth of issues.
“This unique opportunity for face-to-face interaction has drawn state Premiers and other senior leaders from across the nation,” Ms Berejiklian said.
China is NSW’s largest two-way trading partner in goods, with NSW exports worth $5.7 billion in 2015-16.
Education and tourism remain key sectors, with Chinese tourists spending $2.7 billion in the year to September 2016 and Chinese students representing more than 40 per cent of higher education international enrolments.