City poised to cap­i­talise on grow­ing Sin­ga­pore re­la­tions We’re hav­ing a go

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DANNI SHAFIK danielle. shafik@ news. com. au

TOWNSVILLE is “fo­cused, am­bi­tious, pos­i­tive, get­ting out there and hav­ing a go”, says Aus­tralian High Com­mis­sioner to Sin­ga­pore Bruce Gosper.

Mr Gosper at­tended a road­show in Townsville yes­ter­day with del­e­gates and city lead­ers ahead of the Townsville En­ter­prise Sin­ga­pore In­sights Del­e­ga­tion in Septem­ber.

He spoke about how lo­cal busi­nesses could cap­i­talise on the grow­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Aus­tralia and the gate­way to South- East Asia.

“I’m here with col­leagues from the Aus­tralian Trade Com­mis­sion and from the Aus­tralian Cham­ber of Com­merce, so we are here to help busi­ness and the best thing for a city to have is a com­mu­nity that’s re­ally fo­cused on putting its best foot for­ward and look­ing for op­por­tu­nity and that’s ex­actly what Townsville’s do­ing,” he said.

The Aus­tralian Road­show se­ries was ini­ti­ated by the Aus­tralian Cham­ber of Com­merce Sin­ga­pore ( AustCham) in part­ner­ship with Austrade Sin­ga­pore. About 80 peo­ple at­tended its first Queens­land visit.

Mayor Jenny Hill said a fo­cus of the event was how to es­tab­lish good re­la­tion­ships with Sin­ga­pore.

The Asian na­tion has signed a $ 2.25 bil­lion mil­i­tary train­ing agree­ment with Aus­tralia, with plans to train about 14,000 Sin­ga­pore troops in cen­tral and North Queens­land. “We know as part of the de­fence agree­ment there will be op­por­tu­ni­ties here for busi­nesses as part of their de­ploy­ment of forces here over the next 30 years,” she said.

“What we re­ally need to do as a com­mu­nity is build a re­la­tion­ship be­cause that’s how busi­ness works in South- East Asia.”

Cr Hill said it was im­por­tant the city strength­ened ties with Sin­ga­pore.

“The pres­ence of Mr Gosper here in Townsville over the week­end is about help­ing us de­ter­mine how we put a pack­age to­gether, how we sell Townsville not just to Sin­ga­pore, but to South- East Asia,” she said.

“We want to un­der­stand the ca­pac­ity of our city, and go to the Sin­ga­porean Govern­ment and say this is what we have. We are ca­pa­ble of do­ing this and we are ca­pa­ble to grow and build our ca­pac­ity as you build your in­fra­struc­ture here in our com­mu­nity.”

Next month, Townsville En­ter­prise will lead a del­e­ga­tion to Sin­ga­pore to meet with de­ci­sion mak­ers and in­dus­try lead­ers.

Townsville En­ter­prise CEO Pa­tri­cia O’Cal­laghan said the del­e­ga­tion was meet­ing ex­pec­ta­tions with good in­di­ca­tions it would be a suc­cess.

“We have around 30 peo­ple at­tend­ing in Sin­ga­pore which is a very strong del­e­ga­tion from the re­gion,” she said. “As much as the pop­u­la­tion of Sin­ga­pore is 5- 6 mil­lion peo­ple, it is on the doorstep of 660 mil­lion peo­ple so if we can con­nect with Sin­ga­pore, ( the con­nec­tion) is go­ing to get even greater through­out South- East Asia.”

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