A month after the mainland and Australia sealed mega deals and cemented ties with Beijing donating a pair of giant pandas, the Wollongong city council is seeking to entice investors from Wenzhou, Zhejiang into investments worth about A$1 billion (HK$6.91 billion). On Monday in Beijing, the Wollongong city council and a 650-member commerce body, the Illawarra Business Chamber, are expected to sign bilateral trade accords with the Wenzhou Chamber of Commerce representing 39 business groups. The signing will culminate a rare mission on the part of an Australian city to seek investment from the mainland. Wollongong, a New South Wales city south of Sydney with a population of less than 300,000, is seeking mainland funding. The make-over includes a A$140 million expansion of the Port Kembla container port, a A$350 million shopping mall redevelopment, a A$300 million research and business facility at the University of Wollongong and other investments in the railway station, transport interchange, hotels and resorts as well as residential and commercial properties. 'Given the rise in China's economy, it is crazy not to look at it,' said Robert Doyle, manager of economic development at Wollongong city council. 'The memorandum of understanding we are going to sign on Monday will form a conduit for two-way investments between the cities.' Fostering trade ties between Wollongong and Wenzhou will pave the way for the Australian city to transform from an industrial centre into a service gateway and spur Australian investments in coastal Wenzhou. Limited port capacity in Australia often forces vessels to wait outside ports to unload. Port Kembla is expected to benefit from growing trade. Its expansion potentially is a core attraction to mainland investors, given its positioning as a vehicle-importing and logistics hub for New South Wales, said Peter Pedersen, general manager of the Illawarra Regional Development Board. He said tax incentives were offered to foreign investors and other incentives were available on a 'case by case' basis. At the Apec summit last month, President Hu Jintao and Australian Prime Minister John Howard signed six deals: two treaties on extradition and the transfer of sentenced prisoners; a memorandum of understanding on establishing a China-Australia joint CEO roundtable; a liquefied natural gas deal between PetroChina and Australia's Woodside Energy; an iron ore joint development deal between Ansteel and Australia's Gindalbie Metals; and the gift of the two giant pandas.