A contingent of eight will travel to Haining, China on Monday 3 November to participate in an exchange program with the Shire of Augusta Margaret River sister city.

President Mike Smart, Councillor Kylie Kennaugh and Chief Executive Officer Gary Evershed will represent the Shire for the exchange and will be joined by Steve Harrison (Augusta Margaret Tourism Association), Merv and Jan Smith (Adinfern Wines), Christopher Mayfield (South West Institute of Technology) and Emma Glynn (Margaret River Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

The trip will focus on business networking, building trade relationships and promoting Augusta Margaret River as a tourism and investment location.

Delegates will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from the Chinese film industry, the Federation of Literature and Art, the Foreign Affairs Office, Commerce Bureau, Tourism Board and the Economic Development Zone.

Participants will also attend an international sister cities economic co-operation event where Augusta Margaret River delegates will market the industries and attractions of Margaret River Region.

Shire President Mike Smart said promotions included a 30-minute joint presentation to audience of investors, business operators, and consulate and government officials, static displays and participating in networking events and meetings.

The group will then attend the Jaixing Trade Fair partner event with attendees from the Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Shire of Manjimup and the South West Development Commission to jointly promote the South West Region.

Shire President Mike Smart said this year’s exchange would also seek to formalise the sister city arrangement between Haining and Augusta Margaret River following five years of an informal arrangement.

“We have certainly built a constructive working relationship with Haining representatives over the last five years,” he said.

“The exchanges offer valuable insight into market and trade conditions and practices and are highly educational in terms of improving our cultural understanding and appreciation.

“We would like to continue to build on this productive partnership into the future and will be seeking to sign an official sister city agreement during this trip.”

Delegates will also meet with representatives from the Hong Kong Austrade office, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, and the Hong Kong Government on their way to China.

The Shire of Augusta Margaret River will host a return Haining delegation in Margaret River in late November to coincide with Gourmet Escape Food and Wine Festival.