Saturday, July 13, 2024

Chinese Premier tours lithium plant on visit to WA

Western Australian Premier, Roger Cook, this week welcomed Chinese Premier Li Qiang, to Perth as part of the leader’s high-level delegation to Australia.

Premier Cook and Premier Li held a one-on-one meeting, with securing new direct flights between China and Western Australia an important focus.

Last month, the Cook Government announced it had secured an ongoing direct flight to the city of Guangzhou – the first permanent direct flight route from WA to China since the pandemic.

It builds on the success of a seasonal Perth-Shanghai direct flight, operated by China Eastern Airlines, which ran for four weeks through Chinese New Year this year.

Premier Cook also raised opportunities for increased trade as part of the energy transition, and the importance of re-establishing the lobster trade.

“I want to thank Premier Li for visiting our State, to see firsthand the importance of our trading relationship,” said Premier Cook.

“Our State’s trade with China underpins hundreds of thousands of local jobs and helps to power the WA economy.

“We’ve put direct flights front-and-centre of our plan to boost economic ties with China, because we know that more direct flights means more tourists, more trade opportunities, and more local jobs.”

As part of the visit, Premier Cook accompanied Premier Li on his visit to Tianqi Lithium Energy Australia’s lithium hydroxide facility in Kwinana.

Between 2020-21 and 2022-23, the value of WA’s lithium concentrate exports to China grew from $471 million to $19.8┬ábillion, a 42-fold increase in export value for the critical battery mineral in just two years.

“As the world transitions to a clean energy future, we’re also embracing new opportunities partner with China on job-creating projects like the Tianqi Lithium facility in my home electorate,” said Premier Cook.

“My Government will continue to drive new trade opportunities right across the State, because we’ll always do what’s right for WA.”

Premier Li also attended a business roundtable and community reception.

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