Trade and Investment MOU to support local economies
On 7 February 2018, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk MP and LGAQ President Mayor Mark Jamieson signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Trade and Investment Queensland and the Local Government Association of Queensland. This includes funding from TIQ of $200,000.
Over the past two years
The LGAQ has devoted considerable time and resources to supporting member councils in their drive to ensure they are doing all they can to attract international trade and investment into Queensland.
LGAQ President Mayor Mark Jamieson recognises local councils have a deep knowledge of their local economies and how they could benefit from enhanced trade and investment activities.
“They (councils) know which local businesses want to export or have the capacity to expand into overseas markets,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“They understand the importance of being on the front foot in attracting investor interest in their regions which means competing in the global market using all the tools and resources they can muster.”
Trade and Investment Queensland currently has a regional network across Queensland as well as an international office network in 15 locations across 12 overseas markets. It is also home to Business and Skilled Migration Queensland and the Study Queensland brand with its Queensland International Education and Training Partnership Fund Queensland regional study clusters and training providers to attract international students.
Under the MOU, the LGAQ will increase the support provided to councils through training, mentoring and increasing the connectivity between councils and Trade and Investment Queensland.
This followed a KPMG survey of member councils in 2015
That found many councils wanted support from the LGAQ in arranging trade delegations and providing relevant training to councillors. Councils in southeast Queensland reported they wanted LGAQ support in areas such as best practice models in trade and investment attraction.
The LGAQ’s Regional Economic Development Advisory Group (REDAG) subsequently pointed to the lack of integration between state and local government when it came to trade and investment attraction.
Last year’s LGAQ State Budget submission
Proposed funding of $200,000 attached to the Trade and Investment memorandum would be required to provide tailored training and mentoring services, particularly for elected members.
In September last year, the LGAQ demonstrated its commitment to supporting councils by appointing a dedicated trade and investment advisor, Paul Cranch.
“We are also keen to make sure regional councils are well-equipped to identify and promote regional investment opportunities,” the Premier said.
In addition to its $200,000 support for the LGAQ to deliver training and mentoring to councils, Trade and Investment Queensland is complementing this work by delivering training and mentoring to SMEs across Queensland to help sustain them on their export and investment journeys.
The aim of the MOU
Is to improve support and coordination of state and local trade and investment activities, such as trade missions, and to provide assistance to regional councils, including training, cultural understanding, and in-market support when travelling overseas or hosting inbound investment delegations.
While Queensland exports are booming, and investors are showing interest in regional Queensland, international investors require better coordinated and targeted support. The commitment by all parties to the MOU is a major achievement for the sector at a time when global competition to attract quality foreign direct investment is strong (Advancing Trade and Investment: Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022).
Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk MP and LGAQ President Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Memorandum of Understanding would give small and medium businesses greater support to expand into international markets.
At a Queensland Futures Institute function earlier this month, the Queensland Resources Council’s Policy Director of Economics and Infrastructure, Andrew Barger, had this to say:
“Local government is getting smart about leveraging off infrastructure booms. More responsive to opportunities than 20 years ago, state development is now regionalised and local government is feeding that. This passionate voice of local government is going to be really important.”
The Premier has also expressed the need to better integrate the efforts of local councils, and other levels of government:
“Local governments understand the positive impact that export success and investment can have on local economies. By working together, we can further strengthen Queensland’s export performance”.
The MOU and associated funding from Trade and Investment Queensland has seen greater collaboration and rapport developed between the agency, the LGAQ and Queensland councils all working in the interest of developing trade and investment opportunities for communities across the state.
To express your interest in upcoming programs or to find out more about the MOU please contact Paul Cranch, Senior Advisor for Trade and Investment at the LGAQ 1300 542 700.
Local Government Association of Queensland
LG House, 25 Evelyn Street, Newstead Qld 4006
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