We look at what Townsville has to offer our thriving Asian neighbour
Economic growth. Stability. Increased tourism. These are just some of the positives that could come out of a Townsville to Singapore relationship if we continue to grow a partnership with the trading nation.
A partnership may seem daunting to some but Townsville already has a thriving James Cook University campus there as well as a great military bond. This means familiar ground for businesses to build on and acres of unexplored potential that could drive the city forward – something Mayor Jenny Hill says will be a positive.
“We want to encourage more investment [with Singapore] because with that comes business, tourism dollars and a range of other things that are mutually beneficial.” Jenny Hill says.
Larry from Simon George and Son also thinks it will bring consistency to the marketplace when it comes to food and agriculture, which is something farmers would welcome with open arms.
“Townsville has been inconsistent lately, with so much up and down and the mining industry going one direction and tourism going the other,” Larry says. “It would be really good to have a consistent relationship, not only for export but for when the troops come over
here to train as well.”
If you’re wondering how many troops will be training in our seaside city, prepare yourself, because it could be as many as 14,000 – which potentially means thousands in much-needed revenue for local shops, tourism businesses, hotels and more.
It turns out there are several good reasons for choosing our thriving city as a training area, with Mark Horn, General Manager for military simulation company, Cubic, saying Townsville is “at the forefront” when it comes to training areas.
“I’ve served in the United States and Europe and [out of those] Townsville, Shoal Water Bay and the Northern Territory offer the best training areas in the world,” Mark says. “The opportunities in Townsville – for live fire, field training, instrument training – are in my eyes, the best in the world.”
If you’re sceptical the relationship won’t last, look at building and construction materials manufacturer, Pacific Islands International. They have been successfully trading through Singapore with South Pacific nations for 19 years now.
“I think the biggest thing is getting out there and meeting people. You have to network. They don’t know what you have to offer unless you go out there and spruik it and tell them who you are.” says Managing Director, Ashley Finn.
Nervous that your business isn’t the right fit? Townsville Enterprise CEO, Patricia O’Callaghan says there are “numerous opportunities for business partnerships, investment and trade”. This has been highlighted in the recent delegation to Singapore, which proved a great success.
“Delegates on the Townsville Enterprise Singapore Insights Delegation have been inspired by the can-do attitude of the Singaporeans,” she says. “There is significant opportunity for Townsville North Queensland to conduct business with the nation, built upon friendship, trust and goodwill. We need to not just be looking domestically as a region; we are strategically positioned to be looking globally.”
What do we have to offer?
“Produce and product that is developed in North Queensland can find global audiences by working closely with Singapore and taking it through the port there,”
“They are well versed in the ways of both the western economic systems as well as Asian systems and can really build bridges for us in this region.” he adds.
As a region, it’s a brilliant all-round opportunity for Townsville with our combination of port access, military space, regional food and more giving us a huge advantage over the bigger cities like Brisbane or Sydney.
If we grasp this opportunity with both hands it could be one of the major factors that helps move this city forward. It’s also a chance to say we beat Brisbane and Sydney – and who are we to pass up that golden opportunity?
See how else our city is growing in the viral Townsville 2.0 video.