09 Dec 2015
Minister for Asian Engagement and Trade
The Northern Territory Government’s Asian Engagement Trade and Investment Strategic Plan has been finalised in time for re-engagement meetings with key South East Asian neighbours in Malaysia this week.
Minister for Asian Engagement and Trade Peter Styles will depart for the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-The Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) Ministerial meeting this afternoon to discuss opportunities for collaboration with some of the Northern Territory’s closest neighbouring countries.
The Strategic Plan sets out the Northern Territory Government’s strategic goals and enablers to lift exports, increase foreign investment, provide capacity building assistance, and ensure Darwin becomes the pre-eminent supply and service hub for the region by 2020.
“This Strategic Plan forms the backbone of the Country Liberals Government’s commitment to capitalise on the NT’s proximity to Asia to create a flow of trade and investment which will make us a truly leading business partner for Asian countries,” Minister Styles said.
“Important elements of doing business with Asia include; goods and services trade with the region, necessary high quality infrastructure, good political relations throughout the region and excellent personal relationships with those we deal with.”
The draft plan was released for public consultation in September and has now been approved by government with minor amendments.
Minister Styles will take the newly finalised document with him to meetings with Trade Ministers from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines as part of the BIMP-EAGA gathering tomorrow.
Senior official representatives from BIMP-EAGA met in Darwin last month as part of the Northern Territory’s efforts to re-connect with the group.
The move has been welcomed as a positive step towards progressing the region’s collective interests and has been likened to re-kindling a lost love by BIMP-EAGA Business Council Chairman Mr Datuk Roselan Johar.
“Strong relationships are critical to doing business with Asia, that is why I am departing for Malaysia today to take part in these important meetings,” Minister Styles said.
“This is essentially a re-engagement mission after Labor broke ties with the BIMP-EAGA group, distancing us from some of our nearest neighbours.
“Some key areas of discussion will be trade, small and medium enterprises, connectivity, as well as wider topics including social, cultural and educational opportunities.
“I will also be proposing BIMP-EAGA hold a meeting in Darwin during April 2016.
“As laid out in the Trade and Investment Strategic Plan the Country Liberals Government aims to, through strong personal relationships with key partners, ensure Australia’s Northern Territory is uppermost in the minds of decision makers when selecting partners and suppliers.”
The Asian Engagement Trade and Investment Strategic Plan can be found at www.investnt.nt.gov.au.
Media Contact: Rebecca Barr: 0407 284 066