Page 5326 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009

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Brent Juratowitch, said that, of the five firm deals that arose as a direct consequence of the trade mission, one is in Kuwait, Recruitment System’s first entry into that market; one is in Oman, again a new market; one represents an entree into the lucrative government contract market in Abu Dhabi; and they also struck a deal in both Dubai and London. In addition, the company is chasing down possible business in Bahrain, Dubai and Scotland.

The CIC Group also has good news to report in the immediate wake of the mission. Director Carol Cooke reports that the company has received requests to quote for products in Abu Dhabi. The potential client is Ferrari World, which is keen to showcase CIC’s CQRiT product in the region. CIC is heading back to Abu Dhabi in February to follow up on appointments and contacts forged during the mission.

Another participating company with plenty of good news to report as a result of the mission is Eway. During the mission Eway established a contact centre with Confero to handle UK inquiries, with 30 operators to handle calls 24 hours a day. Eway also used the mission to relaunch its UK website and UK business centre. In addition, it secured new business with the Allied Irish Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Bank of Scotland and Chase Paymentech.

I think that these early successes are clear proof of the value of government-led trade missions for the businesses of our town. And of course over time, the longer-term benefits of stronger relationships and greater awareness of the ACT’s strengths will deliver additional outcomes.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?

MS PORTER: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Can the minister update the Assembly on other opportunities he took during the mission to promote awareness of the ACT in overseas markets, and other investigations he made that might deliver benefits to the people of Canberra?

MR STANHOPE: I am very happy to do that. As members would be aware, the United Arab Emirates is an incredibly rich and growing market. In Dubai, I met municipal government representatives and officers from the Dubai Department of Economic Development. The Dubai municipality indicated it was keen to sign an MOU with NICTA here in Canberra regarding collaboration on e-government, and the negotiation of that MOU with NICTA is ongoing.

In Dubai I also had a fruitful meeting with the Executive Director of Zayed University, which is looking to broaden its links with international campuses, including Australia’s. I met the Abu Dhabi Education Council and visited an educational expo targeting school leavers in the UAE. With education one of the ACT’s biggest export earners, I will encourage Canberra’s universities to participate in future expos. Indeed, I learned while in the Emirates that there are 1,500 Emirati university students in Australia, with almost 1,400 of the 1,500 at universities in Queensland. So I think there is some work for other universities around Australia to do.

A highlight of my time in the UAE was a visit to the new zero-carbon Masdar City. This visit gave me the opportunity to inspect the large-scale solar power plant, the sort

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