The state government is to launch its long-awaited Asian engagement strategy today, with a broad conceptual push to align the regional trade with other key policies as well as a starting offer of up to $10,000 for 25 businesses to increase their capacity to win business in the neighbourhood.
THE state government is to launch its long-awaited Asian engagement strategy today, with a broad conceptual push to align the regional trade with other key policies, as well as a starting offer of up to $10,000 for 25 businesses to increase their capacity to win business in the neighbourhood.
Nine months after being appointed the state’s Asian Engagement Minister, Peter Tinley said the state’s first official strategy of its type would integrate with existing policies such as jobs creation and industry diversification across several priority areas.
He believes many Western Australian business have missed the change occurring in big parts of Asia, which have transformed from low-cost manufacturers to middle-class consumer societies.
“There is a degree of misunderstanding in the business community in WA about the changing nature of those markets,” Mr Tinley said.
He said his job was increase trade and investment outcomes in Asia to help the state meet the bigger policy agenda – likening himself to a business development executive.
“I am the BD guy for the company called WA in the Asian markets,” he said.
Mr Tinley also brushed aside some of the contentious issues that were creating noise around Australia’s national engagement with Asia, especially China, saying that WA had strong relationships with all of its trading partners.
He said an important element of the strategy was to unpack each of the various free trade agreements with different countries and develop sector-by-sector market plans for each. The initial focus would be on more developed markets in the region.
Notably, the operations of the state’s trade offices in foreign markets were being realigned with the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s broader agenda, with Jennifer Mathews last month appointed JTSI acting deputy director general strategy and international engagement.
“We need to help business understand how to get into markets,” Mr Tinley said.
Part of that was the Access Asia grants, which would assist companies wanting to market products, attend trade shows and develop employee cultural and language skills, with the state funding up to 80 per cent of the cost, capped at $10,000 per company.
- Business News has joined forces with Perth-based start-up CXWA to promote a new trade mission to engage and learn about the Chinese market – the Beijing Business Discovery Tour. In October Business News will be part of a week-long delegation to visit leading businesses, see key districts and meet important government officials.