Hunter Industry on show for Japan's investment leaders
The Hunter region’s future for global investment attraction and industrial growth received a boost yesterday, with Investment NSW bringing Japan’s Ambassador to Australia and the Japanese Consul General in Sydney to Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.
The visit has signalled to Hunter businesses that there is a growing view internationally that the region is establishing itself as a global gateway to new industries and resources.
Investment NSW Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to Japan, Mike Newman, reached out to Business Hunter and Hunternet to plan a visit by the Ambassador, His Excellency Shingo Yamagami, the Japanese Consul General in Sydney, Kiya Masahiko, and key Japanese government and business delegates including from the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC).
“We met with Hunter business and industry leaders as well as research leaders in hydrogen energy last year, and it was clear to our team then that the Hunter was a region ready to leverage its global freight and transport infrastructure to capitalise on growing international interests in trade, energy, and the visitor economy.
“Significant interest exists in how the Hunter region is making its move to scaled renewables and clean energy like hydrogen as a baseload alternative to coal. Japan is very interested in the journey the Hunter is on to support a transition to a clean energy economy,” Mr Newman said.
Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes said that businesses in the Hunter were proving themselves as adaptable and strategic, recognising that a balanced transition to new energies over the next thirty years posed more opportunities for investment and jobs growth.
“The Hunter is aligning itself as a key strategic energy investment centre for markets like Japan to take up our Hydrogen and other clean energy products. Given they currently take up forty percent of the Hunter’s global coal exports, this is a significant relationship to bring along on an energy transition,” Mr Hawes said.
“We’ve also had the opportunity to show the global trade, investment and tourism market our strong pipeline of international gateway infrastructure expansions that will support a considerable uptick in freight and export capacity – particularly from our growing airport and Port.”
“The Japanese Ambassador’s visit is a clear signal that our on-shore government understands our region’s strong potential in off-shore markets, and that’s a positive signal for businesses looking to identify their own industrial growth into new energy or other international trade opportunities,” Mr Hawes said.
Hunternet CEO, Ivan Waterfield said that the Hunter’s infrastructure, technology and sovereign manufacturing abilities –were clear advantages for showcasing our capability.
“We have a strong Hunter hydrogen technology cluster, NewH2, driving collaborative and comprehensive regional investment and advancement in hydrogen technology and industries that will support it,” Mr Waterfield said.
“This puts us several steps ahead in terms of securing investment and building a viable energy ecosystem that will support ongoing industrial growth in this area. Our manufactures are already showing their diversity capabilities in this area while they also continue to support their current requirements
“Today has been a fantastic showcase of how comprehensive we are as a region for industry investment, and how easy we are to do business with,” Mr Waterfield said.
ABOUT THE VISIT
The Japanese delegation visited several Hunter businesses and received briefings from the Port of Newcastle, Hunter Hydrogen Taskforce, Hunter Hydrogen Technology Cluster NewH2, Orica, Newcastle Airport and Ampcontrol, and joined a Hunter Energy Investment roundtable hosted by Business Hunter and Hunternet showcasing energy technologies from Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources, AGL Ltd, Energy Renaissance, and Port Waratah Coal.
Destination NSW presented the Hunter as an international gateway destination to the delegation at a dinner hosted by Investment NSW in the Hunter Valley.