Page 2450 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 August 2017

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Importantly, the program continued the advancement of priorities and objectives that I detailed in Canberra’s international engagement strategy that I launched in September last year. The Commissioner for International Engagement supported me on this mission.

With regard to the international engagement strategy, this delegation travelled to three of the five priority markets: Singapore, China and Japan. We went to five of the 15 priority cities detailed in the strategy: Singapore, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tokyo. Activities occurred in eight cities in total during the delegation. We held meetings across the seven key capability areas detailed in the international engagement strategy. We continued the Canberra-Nara sister city agreement by a program in Nara. And we furthered Canberra’s memorandum of understanding with the city of Shenzhen through meetings with various officials and businesses in that city.

Whilst my program was underway in Hong Kong, VisitCanberra continued on to Shanghai and the Commissioner for International Engagement had additional meetings in Guangdong province. The Commissioner for International Engagement travelled to the city of Shenzhen, with which Canberra has an MOU of economic cooperation, and then continued to Guangzhou.

A detailed prospectus of investment opportunities in two different formats was produced for the delegation in two languages, English and Mandarin. Brand Canberra also produced an introductory information pamphlet on our city. Both the prospectus and pamphlet were well received.

As to outcomes of the delegation, a successful series of meetings were held with various banks to promote the sale of future ACT government bonds in the Asian money market. The MOU between the Botanic Gardens of Singapore and the National Arboretum was signed. The ACT government assisted in the delivery of the ACT Brumbies match in Singapore. Planning has started for the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Canberra and Nara. And key relationships, outlined in the international engagement strategy, were significantly enhanced with a number of further opportunities identified.

Follow-up work to convert meetings held into additional outcomes is now underway. The support and active participation of the Canberra business community during this delegation reinforces that our approach is the right one, and I wish to express my sincere thanks to all who contributed to make the program in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan a success.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and AusTrade in adding to the delegation. The help from the staff at our high commissions, embassies and consulates is most appreciated. In particular, the help provided to both the ACT government and our partners by His Excellency Mr Bruce Gosper, the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, His Excellency Mr Richard Court, the Australian Ambassador to Japan and AusTrade in Hong Kong was indeed outstanding.

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