Mayor on US trade mission

Published 2:00pm 31 January 2023

Mayor on US trade mission
Words by Kylie Knight

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery is leading a three-day trade delegation this week through tech start-up hubs in the United States to sell The Mill in Moreton Bay as a strategic investment opportunity.

The trade mission began yesterday.

With a GDP of $23.32 trillion, USA is the world’s largest economy and Moreton Bay Regional Council wants its piece of that pie.

“We will be visiting Colorado (Denver), Texas (Austin), Los Angeles and San Francisco (California) to promote Moreton Bay’s advanced manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities,” Mayor Flannery explains.

“Our economic development team already has half a dozen strong investment leads coming out of the US, which I’m keen to explore.

“With COVID behind us I want investors to know we are open for business and hungry for opportunities, so this is the right time for us to be proactively engaging with a major Australian trading partner.

“Both Denver and Austin are strong cities with immense experience in technology, innovation, and advanced manufacturing. I’m keen for Moreton Bay to find ways to connect into their incubator programs to pioneer new research and development in these key fields.

“In particular, the Mill at Moreton Bay represents a unique opportunity for investors to get their foot in the door in South East Queensland before the Olympics, with opportunities here for large scale development across hectares of mixed-use space.

“And before Brisbane hosts the Olympics and Paralympics in 2032, LA will host the games in 2028 so I’m keen to see what they’re doing right now and what we could emulate to give Moreton Bay a competitive edge.

“This is the perfect platform to show our proximity to Brisbane Airport and the Port of Brisbane and the seamless logistical networks we have locally to trade with international markets, especially a close trading partner like the USA.”

Mayor on US trade mission

Building relationships

Mayor Flannery says it is vital to keep up strong ties with USA, not only to explore new business leads but to encourage international investment in the region.

“Our job is to help bilateral trade and investment grow and flourish. We want to see our businesses grow overseas, and likewise we want to see investors grow their businesses here in Moreton Bay,” he says.

The Mayor’s itinerary includes meetings with Tesla in Texas, Australian Honorary Consul James Waddell, the Denver Sports Commission, University of Colorado Business School, the architects behind Denver’s Broncos Stadium and more.

Extended mission

Mayor Flannery will then join Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and the Council of Mayors SEQ on a tour of California and Canada to visit world-leading waste recycling plants, meet with companies exploring how aircraft can become taxis, understand initiative housing affordability strategies in some of the world’s most complex cities, and learn from the experiences of previous Olympic host cities such as LA and Vancouver.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner says the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games are an opportunity to address the challenges of growth, affordability and connectivity facing South East Queensland.

“Learning how other host cities are using their Games to deliver long-term advantages for their residents is an important step on the runway to Brisbane 2032,” he says.

“We want Brisbane 2032 to be the best Games ever but we also want to ensure the legacy continues for many years after the event. To make sure that happens, we need to better understand the things that have and are working well for other regions, and more importantly, the things they would do differently.

“We’re also keen to understand their legacy focus, and how they’re dealing with challenges at a local level.”

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