Showing posts with label Investment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Investment. Show all posts

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Direct international flights a game changer for Canberra

The announcement by Singapore Airlines last week of direct flights to Canberra Airport is a game changer that will connect Canberra and it’s surrounds to the world, boosting its international profile and economy.

From September, flights will be available from Canberra to Singapore or New Zealand, enabling Canberra to grow into a great ‘world’ city — taking its place on the world stage.

Singapore Airlines will fly direct services from Singapore to Canberra and Canberra to Wellington in a route dubbed the ‘capital express’, with four services a week to both capital cities on a Boeing 777-200.

The start of direct international flights is expected to create significant positive economic and social impacts for the city and the region in terms of trade, investment, higher education and tourism. Independent economic modelling indicates the new flights will be worth tens of millions of dollars to the economy and create hundreds of jobs.

The ACT Government, through VisitCanberra, is partnering with Singapore Airlines and the Canberra Airport Group to deliver cooperative marketing activity in South East Asia, connecting markets and New Zealand. This will support future growth and create positive benefits for the ACT community.

Capital Airport Group’s investment in the award-winning infrastructure at the Canberra Airport has created a more than fitting gateway to the nation’s capital. Over the past three years the ACT Government has worked tirelessly with the airport to develop robust business cases to attract new direct international air services to Canberra.

“I congratulate Mr Goh Choon Phong and Singapore Airlines for recognising the opportunity our region has for their business. I commend their commitment to Australia’s capital – a city that is confident, bold and ready for the world of opportunities that this historic announcement will bring. Stronger linkages between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington will continue to prosper and grow as a result of this partnership” said the Chief Minister, who was integral in making international flights a possibility for Canberra.

“I have led several trade missions to Singapore in recent years and each mission has seen more representatives from our tourism, business and education sectors participate. Aviation has been high on the agenda during these visits, and today sees the fruition of that hard work, perseverance and commitment. All great cities of the world have international connectivity – today our journey begins.”

The first flights, already a complete sell-out, are taking off mid September with tickets available this week.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

CBR backs innovation

A strong and growing economy is essential for us to meet the needs of the Canberra community now and into the future. Our economy will grow, and we will create jobs and wealth, by accelerating our innovation sector and building on our strengths in higher education and service exports.

The ACT Government, through our renewed business development strategy, is continuing to put in place practical policies that create the right business environment and use our competitive strengths to accelerate innovation, creating jobs for Canberra.

One of the three strategic priorities outlined in the business development strategy is accelerating innovation.  As part of this we are providing additional funding to the CBR Innovation Network to support potential high growth businesses including the establishment of the new business incubator program, the KILN incubator.

KILN is a business program that aims to support budding Canberra entrepreneurs through a range of services including coaching, mentoring, business advisory and office space.

Today marks the opening of the 2015 competitive funding round of the CBR Innovation Development Fund.  The Fund has been designed to support a range of initiatives aimed at developing capability and investment across the ACT’s innovation ecosystem.

The Fund will offer $700,000 for initiatives that build the capacity and capability in the innovation ecosystem, demonstrate sustainable economic growth and promote local job development. In the 2016–17 funding round the amount will be increased to $1.45 million.

It is a working example of the Government’s commitment to diversification of Canberra’s economy by creating the right business environment, accelerating innovation to create wealth and jobs and supporting investment in future growth areas.

The higher education and research sector contributes $2.7 billion a year to our economy and creates 16,000 full time equivalent jobs for the Canberra community. This is why the Government has funded a number of innovation programs such as the Innovation Connect grants, which will be delivered in conjunction with ANU and UC’s Discovery Translation Fund.

Canberra’s higher education sector has made a strong commitment to the CBR Innovation Network and recognises that a dynamic innovation ecosystem will assist these institutions to achieve their goal of turning research into commercial outcomes.

We only have to look at successful Canberra companies such as FEI Australia, SmartWard, Enabled Employment and Aspen Medical to see that innovation is vital to strengthening and diversifying the Canberra economy.

My goal is to create more companies like these, which is why the government has decided to back innovation.

This article was originally published by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Economic development the focus as Canberra Region unites

CBR Region logo on stickers Chief Minister Andrew Barr speaking at the launch of Canberra Region Crowd at the launch of Canberra Region

The ACT Government and 12 regional NSW councils have come together to form the new Canberra Region.

The Canberra Region’s economic development opportunities will be enhanced by the new partnership, with the councils and the ACT Government working together to capitalise on the foundations already established in the area.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said "We have a unique bond with the councils that surround our city, a bond that is mutually beneficial and leads to the prosperity of the area."

"I have no doubt this increased collaboration will create even more brilliant possibilities for our region. The development of a single brand for the region will provide a strong platform upon which we can promote our competitive strengths to potential visitors, investors, students, residents and businesses."

Council Mayors voted unanimously to work collaboratively on the development of a common regional brand to leverage off the investment the ACT Government has made on the new Canberra brand.

The Chief Minister said "The diversity of the new Canberra Region continues to amaze me. There are few other places in Australia, or indeed the world, where you can spend the morning skiing in the mountains and dine on oysters by the ocean in the evening."

The 12 regional councils joining the ACT Government as part of the Canberra Region include Young, Boorowa, Yass Valley, Harden, Goulburn-Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan, Palerang, Queanbeyan, Cooma-Monaro, Snowy River, Bombala, and Eurobodalla.

The Canberra Region brand will adopt the use of the CBR logo, which will be integrated into the existing logos already used by local councils.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

ACT Government extends relationship with Canberra airport

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA has joined the Managing Director of the Canberra International Airport, Stephen Byron, to formally sign the revised Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the ACT Government and the Airport.

The Chief Minister said "The ACT Government recognises the significant role Canberra Airport plays as a regional gateway and a generator of investment and employment in our city. The revised MoU reflects the ongoing work being undertaken by the ACT Government and the Canberra Airport to market our city as a destination of choice and as a transport hub to airlines, with a particular focus on increasing visitation from domestic and international markets and increasing opportunities for the export of regional products and services."

"The revised MoU also reinforces the ongoing positive and collaborative relationship the ACT Government has with the Canberra Airport – a partnership that in recent years has seen a $480 million investment by the Canberra Airport that means we now have a world class aviation facility capable of handling international flights."

"Our combined efforts to attract new air services will help grow the ACT and regional economy, and create hundreds of new jobs. Direct flight services will also help achieve the goal of our 2020 Tourism Strategy to grow the value of overnight visitor expenditure into the ACT to $2.5 billion by 2020" said the Chief Minister.

In addition, the MoU revises the role of the Canberra Airport Integration Committee, which now includes:
  • considering progress and agree shared actions;
  • facilitating the implementation of the Canberra Airport Master Plan; and
  • being a forum to discuss issues, policies and other matters in relation to planning and infrastructure, the operation and development of the Airport and the integration of the Airport into the wider community and the ACT planning context.

The Chief Minister said" I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the Capital Airport Group’s significant investment in the future of Canberra and its recent achievements, including the 2013 Australian Airport of the Year Award."

The revised MoU will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly in the first week of the May Sitting Period.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

International flights to NZ on the agenda

In the coming days, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr will be meeting with senior Ministers in New Zealand and tourism and aviation industry representatives in Wellington and Auckland to discuss a range of visitor economy issues, including international flights from Canberra airport.

The Chief Minister said "New Zealand visitors are the highest contributor to Australia’s tourism industry in annual visits, however the country ranks as number five in the ACT’s own tourist numbers due to lack of direct flights."

"Direct flights from New Zealand present a great opportunity to boost our tourism economy. The move would also provide travellers from the Canberra region with a gateway to access New Zealand in a significantly shorter time.'

"The $480 million investment by the Canberra Airport means that we now have a world class aviation facility capable of handling international flights. Attracting new air services will help grow the ACT and regional economy, creating hundreds of new jobs.  In the next few days, I will be discussing the ACT Government’s willingness to pursue direct flight services as part of our 2020 Tourism strategy. This will help achieve our goal to grow the value of overnight visitor expenditure into the ACT to $2.5 billion by 2020."

Also on the agenda this week is a meeting with Wellington City Council, Grow Wellington and Positively Wellington Tourism. Discussions will include:
  • respective tourism strategies;
  • city branding;
  • infrastructure development, specifically transportation systems;
  • innovation ecosystems; and
  • closer economic cooperation between the respective capitals of Wellington and Canberra.

"On Friday, I will be participating in the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum in Auckland, where key representatives from the trans-Tasman nations will discuss the strengthening ties in a variety of industries. I will also be visiting Christchurch to view the implementation of their urban renewal agenda in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that destroyed the city in 2010 and 2011."

Friday, 13 February 2015

Local entrepreneurs and business start ups get helping hand

Chief Minister Andrew Barr, CBRIN CEO Sarah Pearson and Griffin Accelerator CEO Craig Davis

On Friday 13 February 2015 ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA launched the 2015 GRIFFIN Accelerator program; a program conceived and managed by Canberra entrepreneurs who invest in, host, teach and mentor selected start-ups to create successful new businesses.

GRIFFIN has already completed one very successful program last year with all five participating start up companies receiving investment offers from around Australia at the end of the three month immersive commercialisation program. The 2015 GRIFFIN program will be bigger than 2014, with early planning to support up to 10 new innovative business start-ups.

The Chief Minister said "The ACT Government has placed support for business innovation centrally in its economic development agenda. We know that business innovation and entrepreneurship are essential to expanding the city’s economic base, diversifying our economy and creating new jobs for the future. Our policies and programs to in this area have been successfully guided by Growth Diversification and Jobs, A Business Development Strategy for the ACT"

"In my Ministerial Statement to the Legislative Assembly earlier this week, I announced new directions around procurement reform and advocacy for local SMEs and these directions will form an important part of a second phase of Business Development Strategy to be released in the first half of this year. Greater synergy between innovation policy and government procurement is something I know the business community is keen to see."

"I am delighted the ACT Government has been able to play a role in the establishment of the Griffin Accelerator through administrative funding support in 2014, and in 2015 through our support for the CBR Innovation Network" said the Chief Minister.

Innovators and entrepreneurs from Canberra and Australia are encouraged to apply for the GRIFFIN accelerator’s three month program supported by the CBR Innovation Network. For more information visit the GRIFFIN Accelerator website External Link - opens in new window.

Friday, 12 December 2014

AFC Asian Cup Business Programs

The ACT Government’s Invest Canberra program, in partnership with Austrade, will be hosting three International Sports Business Programs as part of the AFC Asian Cup matches being held in Canberra in January 2015.

These programs include a trade, investment and education themes and will provide an opportunity to showcase Canberra’s capabilities and opportunities in key target markets.

AFC matches and key sectors are below:

  • 11 January 2015 – UAE vs Qatar – Infrastructure
  • 13 January 2015 – Kuwait vs Korea Republic – Digital/Telecommunications
  • 18 January 2015 – China PR vs DPR Korea – Tourism Infrastructure.

To find out more or register your interest in attending the events visit the Invest Canberra website External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Canberra opens its doors to Shenzhen City in new economic agreement

Canberra is set to benefit from an economic cooperation agreement signed today by Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and the Mayor of Shenzhen Mr Xu Qin, in China, marking a new era of collaboration between the two cities.

“This memorandum of understanding opens the door to a range of significant new opportunities for Canberra businesses with a city which plays home to some of the largest technology companies in the world,” the Chief Minister said.

Shenzhen has a population in excess of 15 million people and an economy eight times the size of the ACT and 15% of the size of the Australian economy.

“There are many similarities between the cities of Canberra and Shenzhen but in the first instance areas like innovation, high technology, education and environmental protection have been nominated as the priority areas to focus on,” the Chief Minister said.

“We know a number of Canberra based innovative ICT businesses are pioneering digital and other high
tech projects which are grabbing attention internationally and I hope that this economic cooperation deal will help them and others to build and promote their businesses and help them to establish in such a significant overseas market.”

The agreement will diversify Canberra’s economy by prioritising business investment, strengthening the education sector and building Canberra’s vision as a digital city.

The MOU highlights two-way investment and cooperation between the companies and institutions of Canberra and Shenzhen, on areas of shared interest including technology, innovation and industry.

This agreement with the Mayor of Shenzhen builds on the existing relationships Canberra already has with China including most importantly the well established sister-city agreement with Beijing in 2000.

“The MOU will reinforce the importance and growth of the ACT’s exporting community, and I hope that it will have significant benefits for the local economy,” the Chief Minister said.

“This agreement outlines a commitment to look for opportunities to connect Canberra and Shenzhen through Digital Canberra Action Plan initiatives, including the proposed Digital Hub.”

The Chief Minister also participated in a roundtable discussion with key business leaders in Shenzhen where she was able to showcase investment opportunities in Canberra.

“I had the opportunity to promote Canberra to investors by providing information on a number of our biggest and most exciting projects, such as City to the Lake and Capital Metro, which are priority infrastructure projects for Canberra,” the Chief Minister said.

“Other ACT Government initiatives such as Study Canberra, Digital Canberra and Visit Canberra were also highlighted, as well as our significant capabilities in research and development.

“Today’s discussion also focussed on digital industry and innovation and included discussions with some of Shenzhen’s biggest and most innovative companies.

“My message to Shenzhen businesses is that Canberra is open for business and ready for international investment and partnerships,” the Chief Minister concluded.

Today’s signing ceremony signifies as important step forward for Canberra as a global city. Partnering with one of the world’s most rapidly developing, innovative and dynamic economies is a very positive development for Australia’s national capital.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Singapore connections strengthened

In June, Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr led the ACT Government’s biggest ever overseas-bound delegation to Singapore, promoting Canberra’s trade, investment and tourism credentials as well as the education, ICT, creative, food, wine and sport sectors.

Participants on the trade mission included, Link Digital, SchoolPro, Quintessence Labs, E-Way, Contentgroup, Wild Bear Entertainment, OnTheGo Sports and 2014 Telstra ACT Business of the Year, Intelledox.

Other participants included prominent Canberra organisations such as ActewAGL, the National Gallery of Australia, University of Canberra, the Australian National University, Canberra Airport, the Canberra Business Council, NICTA, CollabIT, the National Zoo and Aquarium, the University of Canberra Brumbies, the AIS, ACTSport and the Accor and Rex Hotel groups.

Trade missions are component strategies of the ACT Government’s Global Connect program. The mission to Singapore had multiple objectives, from continuing to advocate for direct international flights to Canberra, to presenting investment opportunities around transformational projects such as City to the Lake and Capital Metro, deepening tourism connections and leveraging the business of sport.

The trade mission also showcased Canberra’s ICT capabilities with a number of participating companies taking part in CommunicAsia, Asia’s largest ICT exhibition. In the context of CommunicAsia, Intelledox announced a new deal that would see the company partner with business giant Fuji Xerox. The deal means that Fuji Xerox will become an authorised reseller of Intelledox’s Infiniti software in the Asia-Pacific market. Read more in Canberra software company Intelledox to partner with Fuji Xerox.

Canberra business OnTheGo Sports also had success on the mission, signing an exclusive deal to supply customised fitness apparel to international fitness chain, Anytime Fitness, for its Asian operations. The deal means OnTheGo will expand on its partnership with Anytime in Australia by supplying more than 30 individual products to gyms across Singapore, China, India, Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines. Read more in Canberra fitness startup signs new Asian deal.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

ACT on show at Australia in China Week

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher signing a MOU with Shanghai Normal University.

Last week ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher took part in the Australian Government led program, Australia in China Week. As part of the ACT Government's participation in the program, the Chief Minister met with a series of leaders and investors in the Chinese business and education sectors to promote Canberra as a preferred destination for trade, investment and education.

"The ACT is already forging strong links with China particularly with tertiary education institutions and this trip provides the ACT with an important opportunity to re-connect with those institutions while also establishing new links with business and other educational organisations," the Chief Minister said.

"Being part of this important relationship building program will lift the profile of Canberra in China as an important destination for two-way trade, investment, student recruitment and of course tourism visitation."

A centrepiece for the trip was promoting the ACT Government's City to the Lake and Capital Metro projects.

"The City to the Lake project will bring the city centre to life with the possibility of a new convention centre and stadium as well as the development of the West Basin Foreshore to recreational and business opportunities” the Chief Minister said.

"While this is a big and exciting project for Canberra, we also need to consider the best model to deliver the project in an economically responsible way and this of course involves investment.”

Deputy Chief Minster Andrew Barr said that response to the project had been positive both from Canberrans and potential interstate and international investors.

"This is one of the largest urban renewal opportunities in Australia and is a unique opportunity for investors" Minister Barr said.

"Any investment that may stem from the government's engagement during the Chief Minister's trip and in other forums will have a benefit to the local economy and help to make the plans of City to the Lake a reality."

Many Canberra businesses have built up close ties with China over the years and the Chief Minister’s trip to China has only strengthened these relationships.

"It's my intention to ensure that existing relationships with China continue to strengthen, and that we grasp every opportunity to foster new ones, particularly in business, education and diplomatic arenas," the Chief Minister concluded.
Images: ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher signing a MOU with Shanghai Normal University.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Invest Canberra Launch

On 4 December Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr launched Invest Canberra, the ACT Government’s investment agency to promote and attract national and international direct investment.

Watch the Invest Canberra launch video:

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Invest Canberra: ready for business

Today Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr launched Invest Canberra, the ACT Government’s investment agency to promote and attract national and international direct investment.

Attracting investment in Canberra was identified as one of the key initiatives of Growth, Diversification and Jobs: A Business Development Strategy for the ACT, which was launched last year. In implementing this initiative, the ACT Government has established Invest Canberra, a dedicated investment facilitation service that will be promote Canberra’s investment credentials, explore and target opportunities.

Invest Canberra will provide investors with a single point of contact to assist with market intelligence, support through and after the investment process, and with business connections. Invest Canberra will also bring together capabilities across key government agencies, and will respond quickly to investment leads.

Invest Canberra is underpinned by a confidence in Canberra’s strong and diverse economy. The Government is committed to promoting a strong investment pipeline to promote economic growth and facilitates opportunities to create more private sector jobs.

The renewed focus on investment comes at an important time for Canberra. The Government, together with key private sector partners, has begun an extensive infrastructure program to transform our city including Capital Metro, the Canberra Airport and the City to the Lake project.

With a focus on meeting the needs of foreign-owned companies seeking investment opportunities in Canberra and the region, in the short term Invest Canberra will:
  • Promote and secure investment into key infrastructure projects that meet the immediate needs of business, government and the community; and
  • Promote retention, reinvestment, collocation and expansion by existing foreign investors in the ACT.

In the longer term, the agency will:
  • Secure investment in innovation and new technologies, in close association with our universities and technology companies; and
  • Attract investment from international institutions that will find Canberra suitable as a government city location for their international headquarters.

In line with the short-term objectives, Invest Canberra will initially focus on the following priority investment projects:
  • Aftercare of existing investors to promote reinvestment; 
  • Capital Metro and City to the Lake, and other investment-ready ACT Government projects; and
  • Renewable energy investment projects.

Canberra plays a leading role in finding solutions to local, national and global challenges. With a strong economy, a vibrant and well-educated community, and a collaborative and innovative business community, Canberra offer investors a pro-business culture.

The launch of Invest Canberra marks the beginning of a new, proactive approach to attracting investment.

Find out more by visiting the Invest Canberra website External Link - opens in new window.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

ACT Budget 2013-2014: Supporting Growth, Diversification and Jobs

On 4 June 2013, ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr handed down the 2013-14 ACT Budget, a budget about building and transforming Canberra for a prosperous and sustainable second century.

Within the budget, he acknowledged Canberra’s connected and collaborative private sector –a hub for a growing regional economy – and outlined support initiatives for local businesses to ensure they continue to thrive.

These initiatives continue through the implementation of Growth, Diversification and Jobs: A Business Development Strategy for the ACT, released by Minister Bar in April 2012. They encourage businesses and our economy to grow and diversify, and assist businesses to create jobs. Placing a high priority on market-based approaches that broaden employment and business growth, the initiatives aim to improve Canberra’s competitiveness and economic sustainability. They focus on small to medium enterprises and broadening the role of the private sector by providing targeted funding and support to local businesses and helping to attract new businesses and investment.

This includes supporting Territory businesses to sell their goods and services to the world, with $1.5 million in funding committed to the Global Connect program over a period of two years. Global Connect consists of a range of programs to raise awareness among ACT businesses about exporting, promote collaboration among local exporters, increase the number of local exporters and help them tap into new markets. This is delivered through a number of programs including the Trade Connect grant program, the ACT Exporter’s Network External Link - opens in new window and the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards External Link - opens in new window. Read more about the Global Connect funding announcement.

In addition to this, over $5 million has been committed to other initiatives within Growth, Diversification and Jobs: A Business Development Strategy for the ACT. Innovation is a major focus of this, with:
  • $3 million for NICTA External Link - opens in new window, Australia's centre of excellence for information and communication technology research;
  • $650,000 for the Innovation Connect grant program, designed to help Canberra based businesses develop innovative products and services; 
  • $300,000 for the Strategic Opportunities Funding Program, which provides seed funding for the establishment of new innovation infrastructure and collaborative projects in the university and research sector; and
  • $100,000 for the My Digital City innovation prize to stimulate the development of digitally based government services.

The ACT Government is facilitating a business friendly environment through payroll tax reform and reducing red tape. A total of $180,000 was committed to support the already ongoing work of the Red Tape Reduction Panel External Link - opens in new window.

Further support is also provided for business investment, with the development of a brand strategy to shape and promote Canberra comparative advantage as well as committing $520,000 to the newly launched InvestACT program.  This will help allow the InvestACT team to support proactive investment facilitation by providing business intelligence on the Canberra market and supporting potential investors to develop opportunities in the Capital region.

The ACT Government’s expectation is that over the medium to long term, the initiatives within the Business Development Strategy, working in concert with other aligned strategies and approaches of the Government, will lead to measurable diversification and growth in the private sector.

View the full ACT Budget 2013-2014 External Link - opens in new window.