Combined effort to sell the South West

BUSINESS and government organisations in the State’s South West have stepped up the push to develop the region into an export success story.

The marketing power of the South West has been aided by a number of government grants aimed at improving the export potential of products and services, and the tourism sector.

Last week the South West Development Commission appointed a regional TradeStart export adviser to provide assistance to local businesses target-ting the lucrative international market.

The appointment of Tristram Travers was made possible through the Federal agency Austrade, which is funding the program under a performance-based contract between the South West Development Commission and Austrade.

Mr Travers has 20 years’ experience in horticulture, management and research and development, having worked with a number of companies involved in the export of flowers, fruit and vegetables. He also has qualifications in engineering and management.

Mr Travers said TradeStart was a Federal program designed to help regional businesses tap in to local expertise and the global resources of Austrade, which has representatives in 105 locations in 58 countries.

“Exports generate 20 percent of Australia’s income and one in five jobs nation-ally,” Mr Travers said. “In regional Australia, exports are behind one in four jobs.”

TradeStart intends to assist at least 20 enterprises a year under the New Export Development (NED) program.

Mr Travers expects businesses in the agribusiness, food and beverage, fine timber and craft and tourism sectors to make up the bulk of his client list. But he also sees potential for environmental services, construction, entertainment and information and communi-cations technology exports from the region.

SWDC chief executive Don Punch said TradeStart was an exciting initiative for the commission and extended to the services that had been delivered under the ‘Invest South West’ program.

Earlier this month, Tourism South West, a State Government agency, was successful in obtaining WA Regional and Rural Marketing Assistance Scheme funding.

A grant of $28,382 was provided to the South West to aid in the production of a dedicated WA catalogue for the German market. Seven WA regions are taking part in the project in partnership with the Best of South Pacific Group, a German wholesaler and the WA Tourism Commission.

A $23,400 joint project between Tourism South West and the Great Southern Tourism Association also received State Government funding. The two groups will be working together to internationally brand Australia’s South West as a safe place to visit.

This month, Tourism South West has held two industry forums to discuss the WA Tourism Commission’s proposed ‘New Concept for Regional Tourism’.

Tourism South West has issued a positioning paper highlighting concerns the region has with some State Government proposals, in particular any moves to amalgamate the South West tourism bodies with Esperance and the Great Southern regions to form a southern zone.

On February 18 and 19, Regional Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions development officer, Haley Newton, will attend the Australasia-Pacific Incentives and Meetings Expo in Melbourne.

From February 24 to 28, Tourism South West will be exhibiting at the Japan Australia Mission Trade Show to more than 300 buyers in Tokyo and 80 buyers in Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. In March, the ITB (Internationale Tourismus Borse) – European Trade Show will be targeted, along with the Malaysian International Consumer Show and the Singapore International Consumer Show.

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