Australia's FM Carr visits China

Updated: 2013-07-26 21:56

By Huang Zhiling (

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Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr began a 10-day visit to China on Friday to boost bilateral ties and economic links.

Carr will attend a series of high-level meetings in Hong Kong, Sichuan province, Chongqing and Fujian province, according to the Australian embassy in China.

In Hong Kong, he will meet Chief Executive C Y Leung, Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam and Jasper Tsang, President of Legislative Council.

Carr said he will address the Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Asia Society.

Australia has extensive interests in Hong Kong, built on strong links between the two countries and long-standing trade and investment ties, Carr said.

Hong Kong is Australia's leading business base in East Asia with 90,000 Australians living there. It was also Australia's sixth-largest source of total foreign investment in 2012 and an important export market for the country, he said.

In Chengdu, Carr said he will open a new consulate-general, a key initiative in the government's plan for Australia to seize opportunities in China's fast-growing inland provinces.

Chengdu is a major gateway to the vibrant inland regions, which account for a growing share of China's trade, foreign investment and economic growth, he said.

Many Australian companies are already active in western China, along with firms from around the world. Cities like Chengdu and Chongqing will be central to the innovative, high-skill, high-tech, high-income growth, which will drive the next stage of China's remarkable economic transformation, he said.

In Fujian, Carr will raise Australia's profile in the emerging coastal provincial market for Australian products and services.