THE region’s strengths were put on display in China by Namoi Unlimited Joint Organisation (JO) members.
Over the past several weeks mayors and council representatives from the seven shires within the Namoi Unlimited JO visited China to help build investment opportunities and establish economic ties.
Liverpool Plains Shire Council mayor and Namoi Unlimited JO chairman Andrew Hope said the trip was very successful.
“I feel more confident about our region’s relationship with China than I did before we left,” Cr Hope said.
“All of the mayors and general managers who went worked extremely hard, regularly working 12 to 14 hour days.
“Overall I think the whole trip went really, really well and I want to thank my fellow mayors and council staff for their efforts.”
Cr Hope said the visit will potentially open the door for future foreign investment within the region.
“Each mayor gave a presentation on their respective shire’s strengths,” he said.
“Overall I think the members of their agricultural ministry were very impressed.”
The Namoi Unlimited chairman told Fairfax Media building a relationship with China is “a work in progress”.
“We are currently taking the first steps and building the foundations to a strong relationship with China,” he said.
“Any investment will be on our terms, we are not looking to sell our land or anything like that.
“We will only be looking for investments that will mutually-benefit everyone, so from here, we will work closely with NSW trade and investment to determine what kind of investment and investors we can work with.”
Tamworth mayor Col Murray said visits like these are vital for the region’s future strength.
“For me it confirmed the appetite for Australian products and processing that exists in China,” Cr Murray said.
“We need to get better at doing trade with China to help meet the demand for our products.
“So we need to set up these relationships for future generations to also benefit from them.”
Cr Murray said Tamworth Regional Council representatives also had productive meetings separate from the JO meetings.
“We are one step closer to a solar farm for Tamworth,” he said. “It’s a project we as a council have been working on for a few years and to be one step closer to making it happen is exciting.”