SYDNEY, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Strong ties between Chinese provinces and Australian states form part of the major building blocks for trade and economic relations between the two countries, amid their growing importance as consumer markets for each other, a Chinese official said on Tuesday.
"Nation-to-nation trade and economic cooperation really depends on the good relationships and business collaborations between states and provinces and cities and the various localities," said Wang Hongbo, counselor of commercial affairs of China's Consulate General in Sydney.
"China has been a very important and growing consumer market for Australian products, especially food and other produce and increasingly, healthcare products as well. And equally important, Australia is a significant market for China," said Wang.
Wang, who was speaking at the 2017 Australia-China Food Safety and Traceability Forum in Sydney, added that Chinese and Australian inspection departments and agencies recently inked more than a dozen protocols to further open market access in both directions.
More than 100 public and private sector representatives attended the event, including the independent third-party certification and inspection organization, China Certification & Inspection Group, as well as a delegation from central China's Hunan province.
Imports and exports between Hunan and Australia for the first 10 months of the year reached 1.122 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of more than 43 percent, said Hunan Provincial Department of Commerce Deputy Director General Li Xinqiu.
The province imported Australian products ranging from iron ore and wood pulp to beef, wine and honey, while exporting goods such as electronic and chemical products to Australia.
Hunan's investment in Australia is nearly three times as much as the Australian investments that it receives.
The province, boasting a population of 73 million and total retail sales of consumer goods hitting more than 203.3 billion U.S. dollars last year alone, offered huge potential for further growth and development, said Li.
"We're here this time to explore and promote more opportunities for trade and cooperation."
"We're in the middle of an 'infrastructure revolution' right across not just Sydney but New South Wales as well," said Transport and Infrastructure Parliamentary Secretary for Australia's New South Wales state Mark Coure.
"We're always welcoming delegations, particularly from China. We're also welcoming foreign investment... on many of these infrastructure projects that are currently under way," said Coure.