After visiting government representatives, business operators and a high profile fruit expo across Asia, a Shepparton delegation has returned to the shire.
Greater Shepparton City Council staff, the mayor and a local orchardist recently embarked on an 11-day visit to China and Indonesia with the aim of furthering trade opportunities and channels.
The group represented the region at the Asia Fruit Logistica in Hong Kong as part of the trip, which Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said ‘‘provided the opportunity to build strong international relationships and showcase Greater Shepparton and the opportunities we can offer in investment, export and also lifestyle.’’
She argued the visit was crucial to develop supportive relationships face to face.
‘‘To be competitive in attracting trade with these countries you need to be there and meet with people.’’
‘‘There were a lot of honest conversations and respect between all parties we met with, especially at Fruit Logistica,’’ she said.
Cr O’Keeffe said the aim was ‘‘to increase the amount we can export to Asia from Greater Shepparton,’’ and that ‘‘there are opportunities there for growers.’’
Sustainable Development Director Geraldine Christou, also part of the delegation, said the city’s orchardists were ‘‘a leading factor’’ in the economic development of the region and that strategies to help increase opportunities for more growers to be involved in the expo would be considered.
‘‘We want our growers to be front and centre of future exposure to Asia’s biggest trade show for fresh fruit,’’ she said.