Meetings with more than 50 organisations in five countries have laid the groundwork to attract more international investment in the Sunshine Coast, boosting the local economy and creating more jobs for locals.
Mayor Mark Jamieson is reaching the end of his International Investment Mission which has included presentations in England, Scotland, The Netherlands, Israel and South Korea.
Mayor Jamieson said the mission showed there was a healthy appetite for corporate investment on the Sunshine Coast and strong interest in our region thanks to our game-changing projects, such as the new Maroochydore CBD and the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion.
“The standout feature of our discussions was the enthusiasm for what the Sunshine Coast has, and is, undertaking and surprise at the size, variety and innovation of our projects,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our region is attractive to investors, especially to those in the fields of infrastructure and green energy including waste-to-energy, and there was overwhelming feedback that we have a well thought out, strategic plan to grow and strengthen our economy, increase household incomes, attract investment and improve the liveability of our region.”
Mayor Jamieson said a number of follow-up meetings had already been locked in as a direct result of the mission.
“There is no doubt it has been highly productive and we will continue our dialogue with investment firms and leaders in the start-up industry,” he said.
“Invitations have been extended to a number of international organisations to include Sunshine Coast on their itinerary during their next visit to Australia and we expect to see many of them here over the next six months.
“Our Healthy, Smart, Creative vision was widely praised throughout the mission. Many of the people we spoke with agreed it would help attract the younger demographic who are recognised as having start-up potential.
“It also reinforced for me that collaboration is fundamental to a healthy, smart and creative community and that socially conscious entrepreneurs are a valuable resource to assist start-ups which tend to be established by the younger demographic. So we are exploring opportunities in that area as well.
“Big data is the new oil and we will also investigate how we can undertake a more integrated and intensive approach to data analytics to solve society’s problems.”
Mayor Jamieson highlighted to investors Sunshine Coast Council’s success in transforming the local economy by making game-changing projects happen, not just talking about them.
“The return on our investment in missions such as this one occurs over time and there are some great case studies which illustrate where the face-to-face contacts have achieved great outcomes for our community,” he said.
“A prime example is the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project.
“After travelling around the world presenting our major projects to financiers and the opportunities an international airport offered, council received 17 expressions of interest, many of which were from international corporations.
“The end result was a very good outcome for our ratepayers.”
Mayor Jamieson’s final duty was attending the 2017 Asia Pacific Cities Summit and Mayor’s Forum as part of a delegation from the Council of Mayors – South East Queensland (COMSEQ).
The event is recognised as the Asia Pacific region's premier business and civic forum, providing a platform for governments and businesses to form partnerships, improve city governance and promote trade and investment opportunities.
The mayor participated in a presentation: Regional Economic Cooperation – A Case Study from COMSEQ, highlighting Sunshine Coast’s major projects and collaboration with his SEQ colleagues.
Mayor Jamieson returns to the Sunshine Coast on Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s Ordinary Meeting of council at Caloundra.