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Cr Kylie Gaston and Manager Economic Development and Investment Shaun Miller launch the Warrnambool China Bureau web

Expert advice on doing business in China

News Article Date: 
Friday, 16 December 2016

Warrnambool City Council (WCC) is set to provide a unique service for local businesses seeking to establish links in China.

The Warrnambool-China Bureau is the first such service established by a local council in Australia.

It will cater to Great South Coast businesses, providing expert advice and practical assistance, including language translation, cultural and commercial awareness, presentations, due diligence and help in organising visits to China.

“The Bureau is an expansion of business support services built on the success of our relationship with Chinese sister city Changchun,” WCC Manager Economic Development and Investment Shaun Miller said.

“Any Great South Coast business that has an interest in exporting products or services to China, or is already engaging with the Chinese market would benefit from getting in touch with the bureau.”

“There is a form we will ask people to fill out to ascertain the level of assistance businesses might be seeking.

“This assistance might be entry level market advice or mentoring, background checks on potential customers or partners, or arranging for an interpreter to sit in with you during your meeting in China.”

WCC and the Victorian Government are supporting the Warrnambool-China Bureau, which leverages the market-leading expertise of Asialink Business, Australia’s National Centre for Asia Capability.

"Congratulations to Warrnambool City Council for this initiative that will be a game-changer for local businesses," Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said.

"China is Victoria's largest trading partner and this will see our regional businesses get the help they need to sell their products direct to consumers in the world’s largest economy."

Warrnambool Mayor Cr Kylie Gaston said the bureau was a highly practical measure for helping local businesses.

“For businesses wondering how to start having a conversation about doing business with China, it can start with a simple phone call,” Cr Gaston said.

Warrnambool established a sister city relationship with Changchun in 2012 with a view to focussing on commercial outcomes along with cultural exchange.

In October the arrangement with Changchun was recognised with an Economic Development Australia award for “Economic Development Through Partnership & Collaboration”.

Economic Development Australia is the national professional body for economic development practitioners in Australia.

The municipality of Changchun has a population of about 7.5 million people and is a manufacturing hub, producing about two million motor vehicles annually, 2,500 train carriages and a large quantity of farm equipment.

The Warrnambool-China Bureau will “go live” on January 10, 2017.

In the meantime interested businesses are encouraged to fill out the form registering their interest in the service.

The form and further details are available at:


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