Passionate China business consultant and former Duncraig boy James O’Loughlin, who is vice-president of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, told a City of Joondalup business forum on Monday of the “unbelievable opportunities” in China’s “vibrant, dynamic economy”.
Mr O’Loughlin implored businesses to get involved while praising Joondalup, which took an investment attraction prospectus Joondalup Has the Edge to China last year in the 10th anniversary of its sister city relationship with Jinan.
“I would like you to change your slogan that Joondalup has the edge,” he said.
“I’d suggest you have the leading edge.
“The reason why I say that is I have the privilege of sitting in an office in Shanghai and I see Federal, State and local governments come through.
“I see some great organisations like St Stephen’s and the Australian Institute of Management WA. “No organisation in government has come into my office as well organised as the City of Joondalup’s delegation.”
Mayor Troy Pickard said last year’s visit included meetings with his Jinan counterpart, the Jinan foreign affairs office, Jinan tourism bureau, Jinan commerce bureau, Jinan Vocational College and the Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences.
“There was significant interest and enthusiasm from the Jinan People’s Municipal Government to advance opportunities to further trade and business interests in Joondalup and the northern corridor,” Mr Pickard said.
He said since returning to WA, he had met key industry stakeholders in tourism, education, aged care and digital/information technology and had commissioned research into opportunities Jinan industries wanted to pursue in Joondalup.
Joondalup chief executive Garry Hunt said successful cities operated in a global marketplace, not in isolation. He said the City was in the process of recruiting an international economic development adviser to attract international investment and to support local businesses seeking to expand internationally.
“The competition for business, investment and talent is international,” he said.
“The range of specialist knowledge and research expertise available in the City of Joondalup presents a compelling and attractive opportunity for any business seeking to grow and connect globally.”