Mayor Bob Manning will highlight the expanding aviation industry, trade links with Papua New Guinea and tropical expertise as major contributors to the Cairns region’s economic viability when he opens the International Economic Development Conference tomorrow, Tuesday 18 September.
The conference, jointly hosted by Economic Development Australia and Economic Development Agencies of New Zealand, will focus on harnessing opportunities across the Asia-Pacific region.
“Economic Development Australia has chosen to bring this conference to Cairns and we offer a warm welcome to delegates who have travelled from throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia to be here,” Cr Manning said.
“Our region is on the doorstep of Asia, so it is fitting that this conference be held here in Cairns. It is also timely, considering the introduction of direct flights between Cairns and China scheduled for next month.
“The announcement of these new flight paths are already boosting local business and investor confidence, with the new flights tipped to deliver some $70 million in to the local economy and create hundreds of direct and indirect jobs,” Cr Manning said.
“These services provide a tremendous opportunity for this region to grow, not just by building confidence and attracting investment, but by diversifying and being innovative in what can be offered to our northern neighbours.”
Cr Manning added that “innovation” was a key driver for economic development success and highlighted the leadership Council had shown through establishment of the Tropical Innovation Awards.
“Entries for the third annual Tropical Innovation Awards closed this afternoon and I am pleased to say we have received in excess of 80 applications – the final number will be known later today,” Cr Manning said.
“This is an increase of more than 50 per cent on the number of applications last year, which is an exciting prospect for the tropical expertise industry.
“The awards are an annual celebration of trail-blazing businesses and individuals from a diverse range of industries.
“It has the potential to bridge the commercialisation gap and to catapult entrants and winners into a multi-billion dollar tropical product market – of which the Asian region provides a tremendous opportunity.
“I look forward to discussing the Tropical Innovation Awards and other economic development programs at tomorrow’s conference.”
Cr Manning will officially open the International Economic Development Conference at 8.15am at the Sebel Cairns.