Thursday, 17 January 2019 Sydney

SE Asia Trade Mission builds business relationships and opportunities::

Tasmania’s first ever Government led trade mission to SE Asia has resulted in the establishment of important business relationships and generated strong investment interest in Tasmania.

Creating future economic opportunities from the fast growing countries of India, Sri Lanka and Singapore requires relationship building which has been achieved across a range of areas including tourism, advanced manufacturing, education and skills, and agriculture.

Outcomes from the trade mission include:

Genuine interest in Tasmania from high profile hoteliers and discussions on flight code-share connections to Tasmania from SE Asia.

The launch of a private education and training business 'BSchool', a 5 day intensive executive management program designed to bring executives from India to Tasmania, exposing them to possible investment opportunities.

The advancement of Tasmania’s pitch for Indian business Sutherland to base a call centre in our State; I have also extended an invitation to Sutherland to visit Tasmania in the near future.

The identification of future opportunities with the Indian Government, in particular with their policy to have 400 million people upskilled in the coming years, which will require 400,000 trainers. Training in hospitality and ecotourism will be a strength that Tasmania can focus on.

Sun Pharma has confirmed their preference to keep Noscapine production in Tasmania rather than Victoria, supporting our agriculture industry through the poppy market.

An agreement to explore an MOU between Cricket Tasmania and Cricket Sri Lanka which would include exchange programs and opportunities for training matches to occur with our first grade cricketers.

Sit down meetings with the most senior members of Sri Lanka’s parliament, Deputy speaker Thilanga Sumathipala and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, which explored future opportunities for trade, with renewable energy and education being topics of interest.

The similarities between the Sri Lankan and Tasmanian skills and education sector has also resulted in a number of possible future meetings and trips from their education sector to Tasmania.

In Singapore there is continued interest in Tasmania for tourism, hospitality and agricultural investment.

And we have now seen the University of Tasmania sign an agreement with a prestigious research foundation in India in a joint effort to address global food security. UTAS will work with M S Swaminathan Research Foundation on a $2 million project to develop a variety of salt-tolerant rice.

Our Asian neighbours see Tasmania as a distinct place.  They are very interested in our natural food and beverage products, our pristine wilderness and heritage places. Our education systems, which welcome international students to a safe environment, and our clean renewable energy were also key features of the trade mission.

Our first trade mission to SE Asia has set the groundwork for long term successful relationships with the world’s fastest growing economies.

Tasmania's message was clearly heard and promoted with many media features in online and print outlets.  Tasmania is open for business, it is safe, reliable and beautiful, and we welcome foreign investment which will bring more jobs and opportunities for Tasmanians.