MELBOURNE, July 12 -- Over 200 top brands are on display at the 2019 Australia-China Economic Trade and Investment Expo (ACETIE) which officially opened here on Friday.
Food and wine, finance, technology, e-commerce and tourism, among many others, are on show, providing business representatives a broad range of opportunities.
As an extensive exhibition of products, ACETIE involves conferences and networking opportunities to increase mutual understanding and cooperation.
In his opening address, ACETIE committee Chair and former Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb welcomed a record number of attendees.
"We are delighted to see that this significant event is becoming a most representative and influential trade exchange platform," Robb said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described his state as Australia's "gateway to China," reinforced by strong trade, cultural and personal connections.
"This event is a timely opportunity to broaden those trade and economic links between our region, and strengthen our already solid friendship," he said in a congratulatory message to the expo.
In a message to attendees, China's Consul General in Melbourne Long Zhou said that China is a crucial trading partner and an important investor for both the state of Victoria and for Australia.
"Based on mutual respect and mutual benefit, the economic and trade partnership between the two sides has borne fruitful results in recent years," Long said.
Robb told Xinhua that he believed the commercial relationship between Australia and China has never been better, largely based on a strong desire for both countries' products.
"What China does best we want and what we do best China wants," Robb said. "We've got very, very complementary economies, and that has led to an extraordinary two-way trade between our countries."
As the federal minister for trade from 2013 to 2016, Robb was instrumental in the signing of a free trade agreement between Australia and China which came into effect in 2015.
He said that the success of free trade between Australia and China can set a strong example for the rest of the world in a time of emerging protectionism and isolationism.
As of the beginning of 2019, there were zero tariffs in Australia facing imports from China, and similarly 98 percent of imports from Australian to China are tariff free.
"This has been a huge factor accelerating the growth between our two countries," Robb said.
"For instance, clean green agricultural produce trade has increased by 37 percent in the three and a half years since this trade agreement really took effect."
ACTIE will run until Sunday and feature addresses by top dignitaries and business representatives from Australia and China.