Page 753 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 8 April 2014

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This particular trade mission builds on the Chief Minister’s earlier visit to China last year which forged strong links with tertiary institutions and sought to profile investment opportunities to boost the ACT economy. And this is especially important at a time when the commonwealth, under the federal Liberal Party, is contracting its employment and spending within the ACT.

Whilst in China, the Chief Minister’s message is that the ACT is actively seeking investment in a range of strategic opportunities within the ACT. The Chief Minister will hold a series of meetings with leaders and investors in the Chinese business, tourism and education sectors to promote our city as a destination for trade, investment, tourism and education. The trip is an important part of building a strong relationship with China and lifting the profile of Canberra in China.

The Chief Minister’s meetings with key stakeholders in the areas of infrastructure and urban transport will provide an opportunity to showcase to investors transformational projects such as city to the lake. The ACT government’s commitment to invest in initiatives associated with renewable energy and the use of digital technologies will be the focus of meetings with the Zhenfa New Energy group and Huawei Corporation.

I acknowledge the trade mission will be a busy time, with other first ministers having similar messages and desired outcomes. However, the investment opportunities in Canberra, as the seat of federal government and Australia’s leading knowledge-based economy, are unique for Chinese investors wanting to have an investment and build their profile in Australia’s national capital.

The Chief Minister will also reinforce the territory’s position as a knowledge-based economy and a study hub. She will be joined by the vice-chancellors of the University of Canberra, Stephen Parker, and the Australian National University, Ian Young. Together they will promote Canberra’s higher education sector and further promote the studyCanberra program.

I can advise the Assembly that I will be leading a delegation to Singapore in June and have sought expressions of interest from the business community. This mission will help Canberra businesses explore opportunities in Singapore, which is a major export market and a key Asian economy. Singapore has been ranked as the most open economy in the world and is a major source of foreign direct investment outflow, with an attractive investment climate and a stable political environment. It is currently promoting innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship, readying the economy for challenges of the tech-savvy and information-driven economy. Clearly, Singapore’s future needs are a good fit with Canberra’s knowledge-based economy.

The ACT government’s invest Canberra initiative will provide the necessary dedicated investment facilitation service to support both the China and Singapore trade missions by focusing on the needs of foreign-owned companies seeking investment opportunities in Canberra and the region.

In closing, these two trade missions are just two examples of the government’s long-term efforts to encourage jobs growth and investment in our economy.

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