The Australian states of Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW) are seeking to boost investment and trade with overseas countries by establishing new trade offices and overseas envoys, while the office London in South Australia will remain the state’s gateway to Europe after the former government’s plan to set up a new office in France was scrapped.
Frankfurt, Germany has become the latest location in Western Australia’s network of international trade and investment offices.
Deputy Prime Minister Roger Cook made the announcement on Friday during a visit to Frankfurt as part of a WA Invest and Trade mission to Germany, which aims to showcase WA’s industry capabilities and promote trade and investment opportunities.
With offices already in London, Singapore, Jakarta, Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai, Tokyo and Seoul, the Frankfurt office will be the first of WA’s international offices in mainland Europe.
Cook said on Friday that as a financial and technology hub, Frankfurt is a gateway to attractive investment and trade opportunities for Western Australian businesses.
“The Government of Western Australia is committed to developing the strong relationship between our State and Germany, which is built on shared values, strong people-to-people ties and substantial trade and investment ties,” said he declared.
Germany is Western Australia’s 13th largest trading partner, with $3.1 billion ($2.15 billion) in goods traded in 2021, accounting for 17% of Australia’s total goods trade with Germany.
Growing opportunities for WA in the German market include clean energy, particularly renewable hydrogen, critical minerals and batteries, while Frankfurt should also be a prime location to seize opportunities in sectors such as industries creative, telecommunications; information technology, biotechnology and life sciences.
It comes after Western Australia was ranked the world’s top mining investment jurisdiction based on investment attractiveness, according to the Fraser Institute’s 2021 annual survey of mining companies.
The low percentage of negative responses from state mining executives, relatively good political performance and geological attractiveness are the main reasons cited as to why WA has performed so well on the overall investment attractiveness index. .
WA’s Frankfurt office is expected to be open from January 1, 2023.
New international trade envoys for New South Wales, a controversial
Western Australia’s announcement comes after the state of New South Wales (NSW) recently announced new additions to its network of international trade and investment commissioners.
On June 17, Investment and Trade Minister Stuart Ayres revealed that former Deputy Prime Minister and Trade and Industry Minister John Barilaro had been appointed Trade Commissioner for the Americas, while that the former national CEO of the Australia China Business Council, Helen Sawczak, will take over. role of the commissioner in China.
Ayres said Barilaro and Sawczak would help NSW businesses enter new international markets, find new customers and boost investment in the state.
The appointments are the latest of six commissioners chosen to represent NSW overseas and are believed to have followed a rigorous global talent search by recruiting firm NGS Global.
However, the NSW government has received backlash for choosing Barilaro as its US envoy, with Opposition Leader Chris Minns questioning whether Barilaro, whom he described as a close friend of the Prime Minister, is really the best person for him. representing NSW out of a population of eight million. .
“Jobs for the boys, that’s it,” he said on social media.
Penny Sharpe, shadow labor minister for planning and a member of the Legislative Council, said on Wednesday there had previously been a shortlist of candidates but they were shortlisted and the post was re-advertised.
“And now, six months after leaving parliament, John Barilaro has been appointed,” she said.
“This is not a reasonable appointment and the taxpayers of NSW have serious questions they want to ask, and we will ask them through the establishment of an inquiry into this appointment.”
Barilaro’s appointment as trade commissioner for the Americas has since been put on hold pending the outcome of the investigation.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said on Thursday he had asked the Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office to conduct a review of Barilaro’s posting.
“He will provide me with this report. I will review it and make it public,” he said.
South Australia abandons European trade office
Meanwhile, South Australia’s centre-left (SA) Labor government will push its trade opportunities from the state’s London office, reversing the previous Liberal government’s plan to fund an additional trade office in France.
South Africa’s Trade and Investment Minister Nick Champion said on Thursday that since the former Marshall government had not yet hired staff, signed leases or brought forward the opening of the office in France , the $500,000 allocated would be better spent nationally.
“While Brexit may have changed the UK’s status as a European nation, it has not changed its location,” he said.
“We already have a fully established presence in Europe through our UK-based sales office.”
SA’s London-based trade office will carry out all of the state’s European operations and work across multiple regions similar to its counterparts operating out of Dubai, Houston, New York and Singapore.
Champion said that with South Australia’s strong international reputation for creating and manufacturing world-class products across multiple sectors, such as high tech, energy, space, biotech and wine, and given the impact the former federal government had on the Australia-France relationship after it fired on an estimated $66 billion nuclear submarine contract with France, the UK office provides the South Australia an effective point of contact in a key market.
“South Australia has a great story to tell with fantastic produce and products to export – and as we recover from the impact of the pandemic, we will do all we can to share that story with the world” , said Champion.