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Despite the extremely warm weather in Frankfurt on Thursday 2nd July 2015, the German Australian Business Council was very pleased to host a reception for the Deputy Premier of Queensland, the Honourable Jackie Trad MP, Deputy Premier of Queensland, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade.
Ms Trad was accompanied by the Queensland Agent General and Trade and Investment Commissioner to London, Mr Ken Smith.
Ms Trad and her colleagues were visiting Frankfurt following their attendance the previous day at a meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in Bonn. The group was buoyed by the Committee’s decision not to declare Australia’s Great Barrier Reef as “in danger”, a decision that both the Queensland and Federal Governments claim is a direct result of the action taken on behalf of both governments aimed at protecting the reef.
Ms Trad also met with the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in Bonn, the Minister for Construction, Housing, Urban Development and Transport in NRW and Siemens in Düsseldorf, as well as key financial institutions in Frankfurt, with a view to attracting investment interest in Queensland’s extensive transport, infrastructure and urban development projects.
Ms Trad pointed out that with a GDP of over USD265 million, Queensland, Australia’s second largest and third most populous state has an economy comparable to that of Finland and larger than those of Ireland, Portugal and Greece.
Ms Trad also acknowledged the historical links between Queensland and Germany, which are continually evident to her given that the Brisbane German Club lies in her electorate of South Brisbane.
The Deputy Premier also noted the opportunities that existed for Queensland business in the German market as well as the economic opportunities for German businesses in Queensland.
In proposing a vote of thanks, German Australian Business Council Deputy Chair, André Haermeyer, pointed out the complementarity of commercial and economic interests between Australia and Germany, in particular how German “Mittelstand” businesses could use Australia as a safe springboard into the Asian market and as a vehicle to accelerate their own innovation, whilst Australia could learn a great deal from German in terms of how a developed country can be a competitive manufacturer of goods.
With the formal part of the evening over, Ms Trad spent more time networking with German Australian Business Council members, many of whom had travelled to Frankfurt specifically to heat her views and strengthen their business contacts in Australia. Later a smaller group ventured out into the balm Frankfurt night to soak up the atmosphere at the Opernplatzfest and try some famous Frankfurt Apfelwein.