13/02/2009 - 14:23

Barnett prepares for Japan visit

13/02/2009 - 14:23

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Western Australia's crucial trade and investment relations with Japan will be the focus of Premier Colin Barnett's four-day visit to Japan, which begins on Monday.

Western Australia's crucial trade and investment relations with Japan will be the focus of Premier Colin Barnett's four-day visit to Japan, which begins on Monday.

During his first overseas visit as Premier, Mr Barnett will participate in 18 meetings and official functions involving key government and industry figures.

"Japanese industry has played a major role in WA's economic development, both as an investor in, and a customer for our resources and agricultural sectors," he said.

"I hope to meet with Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs and other senior government officials where I will be taking a very strong message that we see our relationship as vital for the State's future development.

"Japan is our second largest export destination. Japanese investment is critical for developing our resources and visitors from Japan are an important and very welcome part of our tourism market.

"Meetings with key executives from Japanese steel, energy and engineering companies will provide an opportunity to emphasise our support for Japanese involvement in WA's development.

"I will also be talking to executives and senior staff from some of Japan's major trading and investment companies which have widespread interests not only in minerals and petroleum, but also in agriculture and information technology sectors.

"The State Government's initiatives in attracting LNG processing to the Kimberley, Oakajee Port in the Mid-West and the expansion of irrigation on the Ord River, all present new opportunities for Japanese participation."

The Premier will meet with the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture, WA's sister state; the Mayor and Council of Kobe, its capital; and visit Kobe University, which has strong links with The University of Western Australia.

He will also attend a business luncheon hosted by the Australian Ambassador and address a meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

Mr Barnett will be accompanied by Anne Nolan, Director General of the Department of State Development.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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