Page 1538 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 April 2013

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I will also be using this opportunity to visit Singapore to progress tourism investment and international flight discussions.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Berry.

MS BERRY: How many businesses will be joining you on this mission?

MR BARR: Fifteen ACT companies have been approved to participate in the mission. This is a record number for an ACT trade mission. In addition, the ACT’s significant international education providers, including the University of Canberra, the ANU, the Australian Catholic University and the CIT, will also be on the trade mission. The participants for the mission are drawn from industry organisations with expertise in education services, knowledge intensive business services, ICT services and capacity building around governance, projects and infrastructure. The mission will provide a unique and facilitated opportunity for ACT businesses and educational institutions to explore opportunities to build long-term economic relations in Indonesia.

Clearly, the trade mission is playing to the ACT’s key strengths. I take this opportunity to commend all of the businesses and education institutions for joining this trade mission. Partnering with Asian firms, investing in Asia or doing business with foreign investors takes a lot of time and effort. There is no doubt that the rewards for these ACT companies and education institutes will be substantial.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, what are the key objectives you are looking for from your visit to Singapore?

MR BARR: After visiting Jakarta, as I have indicated, I will be visiting Singapore. There are already considerable economic ties between Singapore and the ACT. In the lead-up to this trip, I have been delighted with the positive feedback the government has been receiving about the importance of this relationship. We will be building on those linkages in this upcoming trip. In Singapore I will be meeting with the Singapore government, tourism authorities and Singapore airport.

Arising out of the Aviation Taskforce, I will be discussing the potential for direct flights between Canberra and Singapore. With Canberra businesses exporting more and more to Asia, the economic and business linkages between the ACT and the south-east Asian region are growing. And with our educational institutions attracting increasing numbers of students from Asia, direct international flights would be a great addition for the territory, helping to enrich and expand the linkages between this region and south-east Asia.

Also in Singapore, I will be attending an InvestACT event, hosted by the Australian high commissioner, to help further boost ties between our business sectors and to promote the ACT as a great place for international investment.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Coe.

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