Just like any relationship, one between countries takes time, trust and - at some point - making it publicly known there is one.
And so it is with the relationship between the Namoi region and part of eastern China, as they court each other for economic, social and cultural opportunities, Namoi Unlimited chairman Jamie Chaffey has said.
The most recent delegation to Ningbo, Shanghai and Guangzhou has hit home soil, after a study tour that included the signing of a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) - another step in making the relationship official.
The MOU with the foreign affairs office, Ningbo, was a "strategic and important relationship that builds on an MOU we have already signed with the agricultural bureau," Cr Chaffey said.
"It's non-binding but certainly documents the interest from both sides and that commitment [to] further developing the relationships - business, cultural, economic and the like," he told the NVI.
"It's about publicly showing that commitment."
The joint regional councils group received a $20,000 Australia-China Council grant to undertake the tour.
Eight people in total - Namoi Unlimited delegates, business people and industry leaders - went on the week-long trip, visiting Shanghai, Ningbo and Guangzhou.
One attendee was University of New England deputy vice-chancellor Todd Walker, who said the MOU would give UNE a boost in working with Chinese counterparts.
"UNE will be exploring teaching and research collaboration with Zhejiang Wanli University, Ningbo, with a view to teach Chinese students agriculture in the Namoi region," Professor Walker said.
What the MOU could mean
Cr Chaffey signed the MOU with Ningbo foreign affairs office deputy director-general Xu Pingyuan.
Among other points in the document, both parties have agreed to look for chances to trade agricultural commodities and services, education, tourism, renewable energy, transport and logistics.
They have also agreed to explore opportunities for exchanges, whether of cultural groups; people-to-people; or of business, industry or educational leaders.
Cr Chaffey said among Namoi Unlimited's next actions would be to support any export efforts from the region's businesses, likely welcome another delegation to AgQuip in August, and help facilitate any exchanges both sides wished to make.
"We'll continue to look at ways to best strengthen outcomes for both sides out of the relationship, but it's very much a work in progress," he said.