China invests $200m in WA’s dairy industry

China's beverage billionaire, Zong Qinghou, is considering investing $200 million in a milk processing plant in the Western Australia.

Last weekend, Qinghou, talked about possible sites in Busselton and met City of Busselton top brass and Department of Agriculture officials, reports au.news.yahoo.com.

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index released this week put Qinghou worth at $21.6 billion, making him China's wealthiest person.

His Hangzhou Wahaha Group is one of China's main drink companies and produces juice, soft drinks, food, and children's clothes.

Busselton mayor Ian Stubbs said “the discussions with Qinghou were confidential.”

"It was a lovely experience to meet Qinghou and we gave him a briefing on the City of Busselton," Stubbs added.

An agricultural tour included the University of WA future farm and a Pingelly grain farm.

According to a department spokeswoman, one Chinese agro-enterprise was interested in dairy processing and potentially other products and met local contacts in the South West.

Agriculture Minister Terry Redman, who is encouraging foreign investment in WA’s dairy industry, said “certainly in my broad discussion with farmers, they tell me there are more opportunities than issues with foreign investment and they support foreign investment in the supply chain and support us at the State level playing a greater role in that.”

The meeting was organised as a part of a four-day visit from September 1 by 300 delegates from Zhejiang province for the 25th anniversary of its sister-state relationship with WA.