TRADE: Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow with Xia Jinwen, Zhenjiang's Party Secretary.
TRADE: Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow with Xia Jinwen, Zhenjiang's Party Secretary.

Mayor's desk: How Rocky is cashing in on Chinese investment

PROJECTS Advance Rockhampton economic development advisory committee is working on:



'Rockhampton Day' Celebration in Zhenjiang - November7, 2019: Organising a promotional video of Rockhampton for Zhenjiang to play on several hundred electronic public boards throughout their city.

Special Tour Program from Rockhampton to China: Launched to attract local residents to be part of the Rockhampton Day Celebration in November this year - draft itinerary:

Library Book Exchange - a selection of 100 books from each city exchanged.

Establishing Sister School relationships - A delegation from Rockhampton Grammar School visited Zhenjiang in March and signed a sister school agreement with two schools in Zhenjiang.

Separately, two schools from Zhenjiang have approached Heights College to enter into a sister school relationship and have invited the principal of Heights College to their schools in May.

The Morning Bulletin-Zhenjiang Daily Media Promotional Activities - Regional article exchange starting from the end of March: the project will feature sister city articles four times throughout the year.

Health, Allied Health and Medical Cooperation - Partnership with CQUniversity and CQ Hospital and Health Service.

Artist Exchange Program - artist exchange for cultural learning and expanding.


A Friendship City with Rockhampton since December 2018.

Second largest city in Guangdong Province that is the most affluent region in China with over 105 million people.

First-tier city in Chinese standards with a strong food supply chain capability and manufacturing:

  • 40 per cent of fresh food leaving China for Hong Kong going via Huizhou Port;
  • Manufacturing 70 per cent of Apple's touch screen and electronic control systems;
  • Manufacturing one in every eight mobile phones in the world.

Huizhou's main interest in Rockhampton is agribusiness to import quality food products.

The Celebrity Chef Show scheduled for March28-30 is to showcase our beef and processed food products.

A partnership with Huizhou Municipal Government and Guangdong Provincial Government, around promoting Rockhampton Region and food products.


  • Agricultural Tech Showroom on Alma Street: A Brisbane/Shanghai-based investor and food exporter, MsLisa Liang, has purchased land on Alma Street and is in the planning stage to develop it as an agricultural tech showroom (e.g. equipment, machinery).
  • Travelodge: Advance Rockhampton is working with the Fifty Group who recently purchased Travelodge. The Fifty Group focus areas includes, but is not limited to: asset acquisition; hospitality management and tourism.
  • Farm investment: A Sydney-based Chinese company is looking for a farm investment opportunity (existing farms) to trial cropping of some high-value Asian herbs.
  • Advance Rockhampton is connecting the company with CQUniversity for potential trials.
  • Rockhampton Dairy investment: Advance Rockhampton is working on the feasibility of utilising existing infrastructure to attract Chinese investment to produce fresh and UHT milk and milk powder for export.
  • Black Sesame Oil Production: Advance Rockhampton has been in communication with a number of stakeholders, including Agriventis, CQUniversity, Peter Foxwell and a local business to increase the current black sesame production. Agreement reached to gradually increase to 6000 metric tons a year. Black sesame can be used for ice cream, biscuits, lollies, drinks, salad dressings, porridge, skin care products and more.


Advance Rockhampton is developing its own 'Great Bay Area' development to increase trade and investment opportunities for the region.

In late 2016 the concept of the Great Bay Area was introduced by the Chinese Government which includes nine cities and two special administrative regions in south China (mainly Guangdong Province).

As Huizhou is part of the identified nine cities, Advance Rockhampton will continue its work to connect Huizhou-Guangzhou-Hong Kong to be utilised as a platform for trade and investment.

Advance Rockhampton has been in communication with some major companies in Zhenjiang, Huizhou and Shanghai regarding exportation of food produce.

One example, a major state-owned enterprise from Zhenjiang (High Hope Group) is in communication to showcase Rockhampton's food products in their Global Showcase Centre in Nanjing (Zhenjiang is part of Jiangsu Province with Nanjing being the capital city).

Proposed Commercial Kitchen for food trials - Provide an opportunity for business to produce products for market.

Advance Rockhampton assists various food companies to grow their business to export. Some products include beef jerky, honey, bake-at-home gluten-free products, energy drink, etc.

Advance Rockhampton also assists fresh food producers to explore potential to diversify product range by adding value.

A local mango farmer (Tim Keogh) is snap freezing his third-grade mangoes to supply to local supermarkets, and lychee farmers Krystal & Paul are dehydrating lower-grade produce to increase margins in their business.

The team is also working with Peter Foxwell (black sesame) and Barry Price (sorghum).

The President of the 'Australia China Diagou Association,' DrMatthew McDougall, is proposing to visit the region in March to provide Chinese market insight and feedback on food products with the relevant businesses, CQUniversity and government agencies.


Advance Rockhampton continues its work with education providers and businesses to promote growth in the international education sector.

A Rockhampton Region Promotional Event will be held in Brisbane on April5 in partnership with Mazars (formerly known as Hanrick Curran, a major accounting firm), Holding Redlich Lawyers, Australia-China Business Council and Business and Skilled Migration under TIQ.

The expected number of participants is about 150 and they are investment businesses, business migrants and migration agents.


Advance Rockhampton is helping the Association to plan a large celebratory event to coincide with next year's Chinese Moon Festival (September) to showcase Rockhampton as an attractive destination for tourism, trade and investment.


Domestic and international Chinese group itineraries developed. These include:

  • Drive tours from the Gold Coast to ROK;
  • Train experience from BNE to ROK and flight to BNE;
  • Return flights from BNE-ROK-BNE.

Destination marketing into China - development of a destination marketing plan has been commissioned including a presence on Wechat/Weibo and other social/digital platforms to promote our region to FIT, VFR, soft adventure, group and business markets.

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