CEO Column - September

The Australian Government’s developing relationship with Singapore presents an immense opportunity for local businesses. Over $25.4 billion was generated in two-way trading between Australia and Singapore in 2017, growing by 188% over the past twenty years and accounting for 3.3% of Australia’s total imports and exports.

By leveraging North Queensland’s emerging opportunities with Singapore though Defence, agriculture, education and tourism, our region is in the box seat to position itself as the economic gateway to Asia.

Identifying agricultural export potential through a federally funded study, leading business and educational tourism delegations to Singapore, engaging with Singaporean private enterprise, and meeting with Australia’s key Defence decision makers, are some of the initiatives we and our partners have undertaken to capitalise on these opportunities.

Early indications from the agricultural study suggest Singapore as the second greatest agricultural export opportunity for North Queensland. Delegation activities resulted in the first Singaporean student group visit and a reciprocal delegation from renowned organisation, Surbana Jurong, to sign an MOU with Townsville City Council.

Next week we will again host Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Bruce Gosper and the Austcham Roadshow to engage with our local business community and discuss how businesses can capitalise on the growing relationship with Singapore.

Singapore is a prime example of what thinking ‘big picture’ can result in – real jobs, real business and real money into the economy by making the most of opportunities. It is now up to our region to work together to realise our full potential and drive the Singapore agenda as a collaborative, regional entity.

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