Hi ho, hi ho … it’s off to China we go

SHOALHAVEN Mayor Joanna Gash and two other council representatives have been invited to travel to China to visit sister city Fuzhou.

The invitation was extended via a Mayoral Minute at last Tuesday’s council meeting, with the Shoalhaven delegation also set to use the trip to meet with the Shaolin Abbot and discuss the progress on the Shoalhaven Temple development.

Fuzhou Municipal People’s Government has invited the mayor or her nominee and two further council officials, who are still to be determined, to attend the Fuzhou mayors’ summit and trade fair.

The Fuzhou Municipal People Government will meet travel and accommodation costs and other expenses for council officials to meet with the Abbot.

The trade fair will be staged for three days in May.

Cr Greg Watson, who has visited China on a number of occasions, including attending the Fuzhou trade fair, said it was a great opportunity for the Shoalhaven.

“Fuzhou is an ancient port, located at the finish of what used to be the Silk Road across Asia,” Cr Watson said.

“Fuzhou sits adjacent to Taiwan, with the Cross Straits Trade Fair, being rebadged as the New Silk Road, due to the shipping and commerce links between Fuzhou and Taiwan.

“The opening of the trade fair alone is attended by between two and three million people.

“It is the opportunity for trade between some industries in the Shoalhaven and Fuzhou, of which there is already some importation occurring.”

The trip will also include a two-day visit to Dengfeng, where the Shaolin Temple is located and the opportunity to meet and discuss with the Shaolin Abbot the progress on the local temple development.

The NSW government is getting closer to issuing its determination on the $350 million proposal that comprises a Buddhist temple sanctuary complex, kung-fu academy, 500-bed four-star hotel, golf course, commercial shopping precinct and community centre and permanent housing residential development.

“The project will be constructed over seven to eight years and provide up to 2000 permanent jobs when completed,” Cr Watson said.

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