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.
(Katy Gallagher Media Release)