Boosting trade and investment resources critical to WA’s future 

Chris Rodwell

CCIWA CEO

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCIWA) welcomes the WA Liberal Opposition’s plan to boost the State’s trade and investment resources, announced today. It adopts another central CCIWA proposal to help diversify our markets and strengthen WA businesses, a key challenge for WA’s economic future. 

Establishing a physical WA trade and investment office in the United States and increasing the depth of resources in other key locations will support stronger trade and investment flows. The US is critical not only as a potential market for our exports but because it’s our State’s principal source of investment. This is especially important for boosting WA’s advanced manufacturing, high tech, critical minerals, aviation and life sciences sectors in addition to those sectors where strong flows already exist. The most obvious place to locate our Americas headquarters is in Texas, where we have strong existing relationships, especially thanks to the long-term relationships held in the oil & gas sector. Its capital, Austin, would be especially prospective given the influx of major tech companies – like Tesla, Amazon and Google – into the city, that have traditionally called Silicon Valley home.  

WA can take a first mover advantage ahead of the other Australian states, supporting the global ambitions of our start-up and tech community as well as more established WA companies in traditional sectors. 

Our state cannot be complacent about risks to our growth associated with global markets. With ongoing uncertainty about COVID-19 and our relationship with China, it is critical for the medium and long term that WA develop stronger links with the markets both on our doorstep and around the world.  

Although WA is Australia’s trade heavyweight, mining now accounts for a record 43% of our economy, and non-mining investment has declined for seven of the past eight years. We need to expand our efforts in traditional markets like the US and UK, and with newer partners like India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Vietnam and South America. 

An International Market Advisory Council and measures like co-contribution grants would help to fuel diversification and the pursuit of new markets for local WA businesses. WA’s economy is founded on trade and international investment, and every opportunity must be taken to stoke business investment and diversification across our economy. With today’s announcement, the Opposition has listened to the business community on a core challenge.

Share This Post

You may also be interested in

Founders Factory arrival a coup for driving WA innovation
Founders Factory arrival a coup for driving WA innovation
CCIWA welcomes the State Government’s commitment to offer additional support to the start-up sector in Western Australia. The announcement of $7.2 million over three years...
Read more »
Savings dwindle as cost-of-living crisis continues to bite
Savings dwindle as cost-of-living crisis continues to bite
The cost-of-living crisis is forcing more West Australians to eat into their savings, with more than half indicating they’ve drawn down on savings or offset...
Read more »
CCIWA alarmed at reported efforts to block North West Shelf project
CCIWA alarmed at reported efforts to block North West Shelf project
Comments attributable to CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey: CCIWA is alarmed at reports today of efforts to block the extension of the North West Shelf...
Read more »