NEW South Wales has created a new role to showcase the state to Japan and South Korea and appointed business executive Michael Newman to be the state’s first Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, North Asia.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said it was the first time such a high-level commissioner would represent NSW in the region, with Mr Newman selected for his deep knowledge of Japan and regional business and investment approaches.

“Based in Tokyo, our new senior trade and investment commissioner role will be an upgrade of our presence in the region and bring an expert lens to our work promoting NSW across Japan and [South] Korea,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The NSW government is committed to helping NSW businesses diversify and recover from the disruptions this pandemic has caused and to ensure our global trading system remains strong despite COVID-19.”

Mr Newman has worked in Japan for two decades, including as the Division Director and Country Head of Macquarie Capital Securities Japan, and has spent the past five years working between Sydney and Tokyo as a consultant.

“Japan is one of Australia’s oldest and largest sources of foreign direct investment, the total valued at $116 billion in 2019, while [South] Korea is one of NSW’s most important trading partners,” Mr Newman said.

“Japan is also the state’s largest export market for goods, worth $11.7 billion in 2019-20, and [South] Korea is the third largest with $3.8 billion in the same year. In both markets we are seeing exciting new opportunities to deepen trade, investment and research linkages in hydrogen, technology, infrastructure, services and manufacturing.

“I’m looking forward to drawing on my experience working with Japanese, Korean and Australian companies to revitalise NSW’s business networks in North Asia to attract investment and boost exports to support jobs and growth at home.”