Page 3886 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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opportunities for increased economic and cultural engagement, not just with Singapore but throughout the South-East Asian region.

In the past year the ACT government and local businesses have undertaken numerous outreach activities to foster our trade and investment links with Singapore. This has included two targeted trade missions. In April, Canberra entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch before more than 100 Singaporean investors to showcase our city’s capabilities and to encourage investment.

Discussions are also underway with Singapore Airlines and Changi Airport’s airfreight centre to establish a freight hub in Canberra and to use Canberra Airport as a regional freight gateway. This, of course, avoids the congestion, time wastage and expense of Sydney Airport.

There is even potential to develop a rugby partnership that would result in the Brumbies staging an annual match in Singapore. As part of the development of this work, the ACT Brumbies held an exhibition match against Singapore’s Asia Pacific Dragons in June.

Our city’s competitive advantages are many and we want to put them on the radar of international investors. They need to know what we can deliver and we are determined to further promote Canberra’s international credentials.

MS CODY: Chief Minister, how has the success of the Singapore flights encouraged other airlines and businesses to form international connections?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cody for the supplementary. It certainly is an exciting time to be part of Canberra’s international expansion and to see our reputation grow. Our businesses and people can compete with the best in the world, and we certainly now have a chance to show it. The success of the Singapore flights has presented opportunities for international relationships and ventures across business, tourism, the arts, culture, defence, innovation and entrepreneurship.

It is important to note that as part of the capital express, our connections to our new sister city of Wellington have led to a very strong relationship developing. I have welcomed Wellington’s mayor to the city, just as he has hosted me—most memorably, only hours after a major earthquake in Wellington in November 2016. This has led to an MOU between the Canberra Business Chamber and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce to promote the expansion of trade, tourism and business. The Woodlands and Wetlands Trust at Mulligans Flat and the Sanctuary Trust in Wellington have also entered into a partnership and are sharing ideas and initiatives.

The success of the Singapore Airlines flights has encouraged other international airlines to consider Canberra as a destination. In answering that question, “Who else flies to your city?”, it has been important to be able to say, “Singapore Airlines.” And soon we will add Qatar Airways, as it has announced a daily service to Canberra via Sydney, commencing in February 2018. Through Qatar’s network, that will connect Canberra with over 150 destinations in that airline’s global network.

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