UK Trade Envoy, visits Southeast Queensland’s $40 billion engine room

Published 19 December 2022

Lord Botham Moreton Bay business

The UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Australia, Lord Ian Botham (OBE), has visited the Moreton Bay region to explore trade opportunities between Queensland and the UK.

As Trade Envoy, Lord Botham builds on the existing strong relationship between the UK and Australian Governments, as he engages with key industry stakeholders and business leaders to promote trade and investment opportunities.

Mayor Peter Flannery said it was a pleasure to welcome Lord Botham to Moreton Bay - Southeast Queensland’s $40 billion engine room.

‘’He got to see first-hand what Moreton Bay has to offer and why it is the best place in Queensland to invest, live, work and play,’’ said Mayor Flannery.

‘’For Council, it is vital to keep up strong relations with the UK, not only to explore new business leads, but to encourage international investment back into Moreton Bay.

‘’Our job is to help bilateral trade and investment grow and flourish.  We want to see our businesses grow overseas, and likewise we want to see investors grow their businesses here in Moreton Bay.  We have talent, we have opportunity and we have the critical growth needed to provide that compelling proposition to businesses looking to invest in Australia.”

Lord Botham met with leading local advanced manufacturing businesses who want to learn from the success of the 2012 London Olympics as they look to link into Brisbane 2032.

Brendale based businesses, Elexon Electronics, Solar Bollard Lighting and EJ were delighted to introduce their world class products and technologies to Lord Bothan and the UK Trade and Investment team.

Solar Bollard Lighting Managing Director Michael Arieni said that the visit shows how easy it is for investors to do business with Moreton Bay.

‘’We’re situated just 25 minutes from Brisbane airport and 40 minutes from the port, so we’ve got a strategic advantage for exporting compared to the rest of SEQ, and we can offer large blocks of land that are ideal for manufacturing,” he said.

Elexon Electronics caters to a high-tech niche market with one of their companies, Titley Scientific already exporting close to 60 per cent of their product to the UK.

Elexon Electronics Managing Director, Pieter Kuiper said Queensland is becoming an important technology hub.

“Being located in Moreton Bay is a huge benefit due to Australia’s newest university campus (UniSC) being close by at Petrie, giving us access to qualified students, start-ups and other innovative technology companies,” he said.

UK Consul General Jo Freeman said Moreton Bay and Southeast Queensland has an amazing story to tell and the appeal for trade and investment is strong.

‘’Queensland is experiencing exponential growth right now and with the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place in Brisbane, Southeast Queensland is a big focus internationally, especially in the UK,” she said.

‘’I was pleased to bring Lord Botham to Moreton Bay to show him around one of Australia’s fastest growing regions.”

Mayor Flannery said the delegation was blown away by the fact that Moreton Bay is the third largest council by population in Australia.

“We have almost 500,000 people living here now and this will grow to 700,000 before 2041. We also have 228,000 employed residents and a range of leading companies and leading industry sectors that power the Queensland economy,” he said.

“But our unique selling point is our polycentric city vision, this will distinguish Moreton Bay from the other centres of southeast Queensland by identifying multiple centres for strategic investments - rather than just one large CBD area, as you see in other cities.

“We want to create more local jobs closer to home for our residents and diversify our local economy so we can reach our bigger, bolder, brighter goals outlined in our Regional Economic Development Strategy.”

Advanced Manufacturing is a $3 billion priority industry in Council’s Regional Economic Development Strategy 2020-2041 (REDS). It is the largest export industry in Moreton Bay valued at more than $1 billion offering up some of Queensland’s most innovative companies with over 78 active trademarks per 1,000 businesses (2020).