Doing business in Mooloolaba, China
THE popular beachside spot of Mooloolaba is to have a namesake 8300km away.
Proving there is not much that cannot be made in China, a new Mooloolaba is to be built about 170km south of Beijing.
The name has been given to part of a $1.1bln marina development, the Sino Australia Royal Yacht City Project, at the fishing port of Tianjin Binhai New Area.
The project is being driven by Les Glover, a businessman who divides his time between Mooloolaba and China.
Mr Glover, a former international relations manager with Maroochy Shire Council, is keen for there to be more than just the Mooloolaba name linking the Sunshine Coast and China.
He said there were growing opportunities for Sunshine Coast businesses in China.
"I think the opportunities are endless but probably a bit different to what we were thinking about," he said.
Mr Glover said China's increased wealth had been accompanied by a growing interest in the value of the environment.
He foresaw opportunities in environmental management and environmental products.
He said hospitality was another boom industry and opportunities existed for Australian companies to train Chinese hospitality workers.
"I speak to a lot of hotel managers who are crying out to get good, trained staff," he said.
"A lot of people have come to China and have set up English language schools," he said.
"With hospitality training, you've got the opportunity to make a big impact in a short period."
Mr Glover said opportunities also existed for the Sunshine Coast tourism industry to target the high-end Chinese tourist who wanted to get away in a natural environment.
"We don't have to build houses. We've got it all here and we don't have to build a thing," he said.
Mr Glover said the Sino Australia Royal Yacht City, which included a yacht club, apartment and villa developments, was another opportunity for Sunshine Coast businesses to build links in China.
"We could showcase them," he said.
Mr Glover said interested parties were welcome to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.