Queensland officials will attend a number of high-profile business meetings and events in Japan and China over the next seven days in an effort to improve international relations.
The trade and investment mission, headed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, aims to strengthen ties across a range of sectors, potentially creating new jobs in Queensland.
Japan and China are the state’s two most important trading partners, with two-way business between Queensland and the two countries totalling $12 billion and $18 billion respectively in 2014-15.
“I have a very clear and simple message – Queensland is open for business and we value doing business with them,” she added.
“I want more collaboration and cooperation with China and Japan to create and incubate the industries of the future.”
Apprenticeships and traineeships in tourism and agriculture could particularly benefit, with Ms Palaszczuk confirming these industries were key areas of improvement for the government.
Queensland builds on trade agreements
The Queensland government is hoping to sign memorandums of understanding with the China Development Bank and the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ. The agreements are designed to open collaborative gateways between the nations.
Ms Palaszczuk also highlighted the importance of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnerships Agreement, which was completed last year, and the upcoming China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). The latter partnership was signed in June and is due to come into force later this year.
Several industries should receive a boost from the ChAFTA, with special emphasis on the manufacturing, agriculture and resources sectors.
“I am optimistic that new trade deals negotiated under the agreement have the potential to add a billion dollars or more each year to our two-way trade figures,” Ms Palaszczuk confirmed.
Future jobs in Queensland
The mayors of Cairns, Mackay, Townsville and Whitsunday will join the premier on the trade mission, and the 14-strong cohort is expected to cover a number of topics while meeting delegates.
People seeking apprenticeships in construction and the trades may be encouraged to hear that infrastructure will be high on the agenda.
Queensland officials are due to identify a range of opportunities for bilateral investment in the state’s roads, ports, tunnels and railways. The health industry and urban renewal projects are also set to feature.
Meanwhile, the Palaszczuk government is keen to promote Queensland’s skills in robotics, medical science and biotechnology roles. The state’s education sector is also a big draw for international students.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator