Page 1645 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2017

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I thank members and staff for their participation in the annual reports process, and I commend the report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Ministerial delegation to Singapore

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.16): I would like to report to the Assembly on the delegation that I led to Singapore between 22 and 27 April 2017. This mission was the ACT government’s most significant visit to Singapore to date in terms of the breadth of activity undertaken and the contribution made by local industry bodies and the business community. It was a focused and highly successful delegation that, importantly, directly addressed the delivery of key objectives articulated in the ACT’s international engagement strategy, which I launched in 2016.

The Singapore mission was designed to reinforce the ACT government’s commitment to foster trade and investment links with Singapore; to raise the profile of the ACT government’s forward agenda for engagement with Singapore and to directly promote investment opportunities in Canberra, including the raising of venture capital for local entrepreneurs.

Before I detail the mission activities, Madam Speaker, allow me to reinforce the significance and importance of the ACT’s relationship with Singapore. Considering that the Republic of Singapore was established in 1965, the progress the city state has made in establishing itself as a global trading hub and business centre is remarkable. Singapore is the major regional hub for multinational businesses operating in Asia. It has been reported that more than 3,500 multinational companies are headquartered in Singapore. The economic relationship Australia has with Singapore is one of our most important globally. Singapore is Australia’s fifth largest export market for services and the third largest foreign supplier of services; and, of course, Canberra and Singapore are linked by direct international flights that provide a platform for our city to generate opportunities throughout Asia.

My visit provided the opportunity to meet again with senior members of the Singapore government and business community to raise awareness of Canberra and its strengths and to talk about the real opportunities in business innovation, investment, aviation, freight, tourism and sport in the Canberra region. If we aspire to be a modern and growing presence in the Asia Pacific, we have to do what we can to become more visible and relevant and to offer an external value proposition to those with whom we seek to engage.

To that end the ACT government, through the Commissioner for International Engagement launched the ACT international engagement strategy in 2016 to be at the table internationally, to be in line of sight of massive investment flows, to tap into the

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