WESTERN Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh and CEO Ross Musgrove will join this year's Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE) and Food Leaders Australia business delegation to Hong Kong to chase opportunities in agriculture and food, energy and resources, as well as investment and tourism.
At its Ordinary Meeting this month, Council resolved to attend Access Hong Kong 2017 in September, taking the Western Downs to the heart of the Asian market.
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said that it was important for Council to be a part of the Access Hong Kong delegation to sustain a strong regional economy by proactively pursuing new trade markets in China and Asia, as well as attracting future investment.
Cr McVeigh said the Western Downs wasn't present at last year's AccessChina '16 trip because he "didn't think it was right” to join the trip so soon after being elected mayor, and that there were "other things to deal with” at the time.
Now, Cr McVeigh said Council was ready to promote the region to the wider world.
The cost of the trip will come in at around $14,000.
Cr McVeigh said he saw that expenditure as an investment in the future of the region.
"Council recognises strong economic growth as one of our key strategic priorities, and this is an opportunity to take the message that the Western Downs is 'Open for Business' to the heart of China and Asia's international business, trade, tourism and investment industries,” he said.
"Joining Access Hong Kong means that we'll be tapping into TSBE's established connections and experience to meet with powerhouse companies and build trade networks that we could not have accessed on our own.
"China and Asia are heavily reliant on imports, particularly food, so we need to be there showcasing the Western Downs as one of the strongest food-producing regions in Queensland. It's also an opportunity to build upon our region's connectivity to the Asian market via weekly freight flights from Wellcamp Airport.”
Cr McVeigh said the week-long program will place delegates in the heart of China and Asia's import industry with meetings, workshops and site visits that will give Council a comprehensive understanding of future markets and opportunities.
"Our region is economically strong, and it's important that we ensure that it stays that way for our future generations. We want our school leavers to have business and employment options, and this is just one way we're being proactive about growing and promoting our diverse and prosperous region,” he said.
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