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Chinese soak up South Australia’s expertise at water cooperation forum

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Minister for Trade and Investment, Martin Hamilton-Smith, is today urging Chinese governments and industries to consider South Australia’s internationally regarded water security and management expertise to support more advanced water management outcomes.

Decades of planning for and managing scarce water resources has South Australia well-placed to offer its experience and advice to international partners, particularly in China.

Minister Hamilton-Smith is in Jinan, Shandong Province today, where he is opening a Water Cooperation Forum and Business Matching event involving Shandong government officials and business, and South Australian water experts. The forum is an opportunity to showcase South Australian water expertise and generate discussions with Shandong cities about mutually beneficial partnerships.

A specific water focus is a new area under the Government’s business mission to China in 2017, recognising the increasing demand for water solutions from Chinese cities and regions including Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

For the past two years, the South Australian Government, the City of Onkaparinga and the Australia-China Sponge City Consortium of companies have been working on new opportunities around the sponge city program in Jinan. There is significant potential for other business and government cooperation on water management.

South Australia has developed highly sought-after skills and expertise in stormwater and rainwater harvesting and management, wastewater treatment and re-use, irrigation, water quality monitoring and management, and water security policy, critical to the successful development and implementation of strong water management frameworks in China.


The South Australia-China Engagement Strategy outlines how South Australia, its industries and individual businesses can capitalise on China’s growing demand for industries that contribute to the development of thriving, sustainable industries and communities.

The South Australian Government, the City of Onkaparinga and the Australia-China Sponge City Consortium of companies have been exploring how South Australia’s expertise in stormwater management, water recycling and managed aquifer recharge can support the introduction of the Sponge City initiative in Jinan. There is also significant additional potential for South Australia’s water expertise to address a range of other water challenges across other parts of Shandong.

The South Australia Business Mission includes Ms Sandy Pitcher, Chief Executive of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, the Hon Karlene Maywald, the South Australian Government’s Strategic Adviser on international water opportunities, and senior representatives of major water-related companies.

It aims to connect the companies and institutions with the business, research and education, and government representatives in strategic Chinese cities and regions to generate new business, investment and export partnerships. For more information about South Australia’s strategic relationship with China, visit the Department of State Development’s website.

Quotes attributable to Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

South Australia is in the right place at the right time to help our major trading partner develop the expertise it needs to address its various water challenges. Our long-term South Australia-China Engagement Strategy has enabled us to identify that significant opportunities exist in the water and the environmental services areas where cooperative partnerships can be formed between Shandong and South Australia.

Now, South Australia can help our major trade partner develop the expertise it needs to introduce more effective water management regimes.

South Australia’s international standing in water is founded on its ability to work with different jurisdictions on specific water related matters and deliver targeted solutions from across our industry capability.  In doing so, we are ready and able to offer valuable water resource capabilities and help China manage the water-related impacts of increased industrialisation and climate change.