International delegation postponed after stakeholder consultation

The Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise, and Food Leaders Australia, led international delegation Access Hong Kong has been postponed.

TSBE executive chairman Shane Charles said the decision was made after consultation with key stakeholders.

“We hosted more than 200 delegates on last year’s Access China trip, and unfortunately this year we did not have as strong an uptake from the business and agribusiness community,” Mr Charles said.

Hong Kong was chosen for the 2017 delegation due to the established connection with Toowoomba thanks to the weekly freight flights through Cathay Pacific. It was also the No. 1 destination chosen by last year’s delegates as the place they wanted to visit next. More than 92% of people who attended last year indicated that they would want to go again.

“A number of potential delegates have informed us that had the trip had been in the next six to twelve months, they would have been able to attend. The reality is that with the Range Bypass and activity in the gas sector, many people who were keen to attend simply could not afford the time out of their business.”

TSBE and FLA will still travel to Hong Kong to explore the market opportunities with Asia Fruit Logistica and we expect some producers and agribusinesses from the region are still likely to join this. We will use a commercial flight through Brisbane Airport to attend. 

Mr Charles said the full opportunity for the Darling Downs and wider region to trade with Hong Kong had not yet been realised.

“We fully believe in the value that delegates and the wider region has by taking industry leaders to explore the opportunity and make their presence felt in Asia,” he said.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio supports TSBE’s approach in delaying the delegation.

“Council supports the ambitious work of TSBE to connect Toowoomba producers, manufacturers and business people with some of the world’s largest markets,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Our region is experiencing huge growth with billion dollar projects driving an infrastructure boom and we look forward to exploring future access initiatives to continue bolstering our agricultural exports on a global scale,” Mayor Antonio concluded.

For more information phone TSBE office on 4639 4600