WA targets ‘enormous opportunities’ with Asian engagement strategy

By Shannon Jenkins

Wednesday September 11, 2019

Source: Unsplash

The Western Australian government hopes to “diversify” the economy with its first Asian Engagement Strategy. 

The plan centres on tourism, energy, primary industry, mining and technology in regional WA, and encourages local businesses to take export opportunities.

Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley will visit Kununurra and Broome to consult local businesses and industry representatives as part of a regional launch of the strategy, which he says acknowledges the “vital role” regional communities play in WA’s economy.

“Deeper links with Asia are vital for regional businesses and communities,” he said.

“WA is in a unique position to participate — our geographic proximity and longstanding relationships with Asia are unequalled, and our globally competitive and innovative economy is ready to deliver more for the region.”

He said the government will support local businesses in building the skills needed to trade with Asia.

“This new strategy will ensure WA does not miss the enormous opportunities Asia presents to diversify our economy and create jobs, as well as the many cultural and social benefits of establishing deeper relationships with Asian communities.”

WA plans to have, by 2030, increased trade and investment, diversify the economy through the development of priority industry sectors and build an Asian-engaged workforce.

“Through collaboration, the state government will continue to drive export growth and focus on attracting and expanding Asian investment to create jobs and economic diversification. We will move swiftly to establish new business models and mindsets to succeed in the world’s most competitive economic region,” the report states.

“We will develop and support the knowledge and skills to engage with the diversity of Asian cultures and markets, advance understanding of the political, policy and legal settings across the region, and increase cultural exchange and professional programs to empower relationships.”

The strategy targets key sectors, including energy; tourism, events and creative industries; international education; mining; technology and advanced manufacturing; and primary industries. 

The state government will implement the strategy in four areas:

  • Maximise investment and trade opportunities by researching and reporting on the economies and trade of each Asian country,
  • Support Asia literacy and capability by improving WA’s Asian language skills, cultural understanding and connections,
  • Enhance people-to-people links between WA and Asian nations and work closely with WA’s Asian community,
  • Support business and communities with direct advice and access to business and trade networks.

The Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation will develop an implementation plan for the strategy and will provide annual progress reports.

WA currently has relationships with states in Japan, China, Indonesia, and India.

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