Clarence welcomes Chinese consul
AS China's Consul General to Australia arrived in the Clarence Valley yesterday, the Chinese lanterns hanging from the rafters of the Grafton Regional Gallery welcomed his party with a message of goodwill.
The translation of the Chinese characters adorning the lanterns proclaimed: 'Although our countries are thousands of miles apart, we stand as neighbours'.
And it was with this sentiment that Grafton's cultural and business leaders welcomed Mr Qiu Shaofang and his Consul for Cultural Affairs, Mr Yin Yali, to the area for the first time.
The whirlwind visit, which will end today with a farewell lunch at the Gallery, was principally organised to launch the Beautiful China exhibition last night.
But local business and government representatives used the opportunity to demonstrate how different tiers of government and small business worked together to sustain regional economies.
Business Enterprise Centre general manager Henk van der Merwe said Mr Qiu and Mr Yin had shown great interest in the local industry and had extended an invitation to those they met to visit China and share their knowledge.