State’s south proves popular with business

WA is well served by 123 business migration agents, with more than one quarter of Australia’s business migration coming to the State.

And the State’s southern half seems the most popular destination, with both the South West Development Commission and the Peel Development Commission reporting keen interest from business migrants.

The commissions broker advice and assistance on referrals from migration agents, banks and the Small Business Development Corporation.

Peel Development Commission business development manager Peter Reading said interest in the Peel region came from a combination of factors.

One main drawcard is the region’s close proximity to the metropolitan area, although its regional classification attracts extra points for migrants.

Peel – which includes Mandurah, Pinjarra, Boddington, Waroona, and Serpentine-Jarrahdale – also offers good educational facilities, both private and government.

The commission has found that the business migrant families are convincing their relatives and friends of the attractions of the area, and hence initiating further migration.

Mr Reading said most of the migrants were from the UK, South Africa and Zimbabwe, but some were also coming from Asian countries.

The migrants must invest in a business, to at least a 20 per cent level, within two years of arriving in Australia, and this business must also employ two Australians.

To assist business migrants find the right opportunity for them, the commissions promote a network of brokers, enterprise centres, financial and legal services.

Mr Reading said the Peel Development Commission aimed to be customer friendly but also frank.

He advises migrants not to buy the first business they see.

“Some have been burnt,” he said.

“However, I also tell them to be proactive – if they like the look of a business, I tell them to walk in and ask if it’s for sale.”

Mr Reading said opportunities had been created by Peel’s business migrants in tourism, horticulture, light and medium engineering, service stations, fencing contracting and retail.

South West Development Commission CEO Don Punch said the commission had processed 38 visa applications and taken 120 inquiries in relation to skilled and business migration.

The number of inquiries from Malaysia, China, India and Zimbabwe was increasing, the main attractions being the relatively low cost of living and general business expenses, and the chance of a safe, family friendly way of life.

The region was predominantly attracting tradespeople, medical staff, hospitality workers and agricultural personnel.

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