Queensland to open new trade offices in Chengdu and Singapore

Published Wednesday, 08 June, 2016 at 11:26 AM


Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Jackie Trad

Queensland’s international trade with Asia is set for a boost, with the Palaszczuk Government today announcing new trade offices in Chengdu in Sichuan, China as well as in Singapore.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the upcoming State Budget would include funding of $1.5 million over three years for the new offices which would expand Queensland’s international footprint to 15 locations in 12 different markets.

Ms Palaszczuk said China’s population of more than 1.3 billion and strong desire for quality Queensland products and services meant the economic opportunities were too big to ignore.

“That’s why I led a trade mission to China in April and made a point of meeting with Sichuan Governor Yin Li,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“During that meeting, we specifically discussed the possibility of opening a Trade Office in Chengdu which I saw as very important given Sichuan is the fourth largest province in China in terms of population.

“Their economy is also worth $600 billion and I wanted Queensland to have better access to such terrific potential markets and trade partners.

“Having a Trade Office in Chengdu will allow us to develop stronger relationship with Sichuan which is a manufacturing and innovation hub.

“Chengdu produces 20 per cent of the world’s computers and is the third-largest destination in China for big global companies after Beijing and Shanghai. More than half of the world’s top 500 enterprises have set up branches in Chengdu.

“With a presence in Chengdu, we can also explore opportunities to partner on our Government’s important Advance Queensland initiatives, to nurture talent and provide Queensland start-ups and innovators with valuable international experiences.

“Having a fourth Trade Office in China means better opportunity for Queensland and will also allow us to continue work on securing direct flights to from Chengdu to Queensland, which will increase the number of Chinese visitors to our state for both business and tourism.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Jackie Trad today addressed a delegation of high-profile Chinese investors to mark the announcement.

The forum, attended by more than 50 Chinese bankers, investors and government representatives was an opportunity to explore investment opportunities arising from China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative and the Palaszczuk Government’s North Queensland development priorities.

After visiting Singapore twice last year, Ms Trad said establishing a new office in Singapore would allow the Palaszczuk Government to continue its unwavering focus on this strategically important Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market.

“Singapore is already a significant investor in Queensland, particularly in our state’s tourism infrastructure,” she said.

“In my visits to Singapore in June and November last year, I saw firsthand the potential for Queensland to secure additional investment and business outcomes if we had representation in this market.

“Singapore is regarded as the Asia Pacific hub for private banking and is expected to surpass Switzerland in private assets under management within the next few years.

“We know there is room for Queensland to capture some of that investment, be it in agribusiness, opportunities arising from the development of northern Australia, the burgeoning biotechnology industry, or in infrastructure as part of our State Infrastructure Plan.

“Singapore is also a key market for food and horticultural exports – a market valued at $155 million in 2014-15 – and with a regular schedule of direct flights from Queensland, this market could serve as a South East Asian hub for the distribution of fresh produce throughout Asia.

“Educational exchange is also an important part of Queensland’s bilateral relationship with Singapore.

“More than 1,400 students from Singapore enrolled to study in Queensland last year, while James Cook University’s Singapore campus continues to offer under-graduate to doctorate programs to around 3,000 students in the Asian market.

“A physical presence in Singapore will allow us to expand these industries even further, and unlock a wealth of opportunities for Queensland’s economy and employment.”

Once the new offices are established, Singapore will be the second country in ASEAN where Trade and Investment Queensland have a presence, with a representative office already operating in Jakarta, Indonesia.

TIQ’s existing offices in mainland China – Queensland’s largest trading partner – are in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou.

Media contact: 0421 387 129