Valley hosts Beautiful China

CLARENCE Valley business and cultural leaders are hoping tomorrow's visit by China's most senior Australian-based diplomat will help them forge stronger ties with the world's most populous nation.

Mr Qiu Shaofang, the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China, will arrive in Grafton to attend a number of functions during his brief two-day visit. He will be accompanied by Mr Yin Yali, China's Consul for Cultural Affairs.

Central to Mr Shaofang's visit will be his role in unveiling the Grafton Regional Gallery's latest photographic exhibition, Beautiful China, tomorrow night.

Among visits to the J Notaras and Sons timber mill and a look at the ceramics workshops at the Durahrwa Aboriginal centre at South Grafton, Mr Shaofang will be a special guest at an industry lunch at Grafton's business incubator.

Business Enterprise Centre general manager Henk van der Merwe is looking forward to showing Mr Shaofang what Clarence Valley businesses offer.

"We were keen to have him as our guest because obviously China is a major trading partner of Australia," he said.

"There are several small businesses that are trading very profitably with China and we plan, in the near future, to have a Clarence Valley trade expo in China and we see this as an opportune time to do the preparation work for that."

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