STRENGTHENING economic and trade ties with north Asia is the aim of a visit to the region this week by Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan.

The government is making much of its role in a decision by All Nippon Airways to start a flight route between Tokyo and Perth from September 2019 and Premier McGowan is to meet with the airline’s president and chief executive as part of his tour.

During the mission, Premier McGowan is to meet with government officials including the Australian ambassador to Japan Richard Court (a former WA premier) and Australian ambassador to South Korea James Choi.

According to a statement from the Premier’s office, the mission is the Premier’s first visit to South Korea. The visit to Seoul is expected to include meeting with key trade and investment partners.

According to the Premier’s office, Japan and South Korea have had long relationships with Western Australia, contributing 62% of the total value of WA’s petroleum exports in 2017-18.

Japan is the second largest customer for iron ore exports, contributing to 9% of WA’s total value of iron ore exports in 2017-18.

With 6% of WA’s total value of iron ore exports in 2017-18, South Korea is WA’s third largest customer for both iron ore and petroleum.

“Western Australia has a long and successful relationship with Japan and South Korea and as part of nurturing and strengthening these ties, I am also keen on boosting and attracting further investment in resource and technology projects in our State to create more jobs and elevate our economy,” Mr McGowan said.

Also making the case for Asian investment has been the Asian engagement minister Peter Tinley who recently met with Chinese Business Council members in Western Australia.

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“In order to compete successfully on the world stage, WA must do business in the world’s fastest growing and most competitive economic region,” Mr Tinley said.

“My role as Asian Engagement Minister is to support the State’s business sector to leverage economic opportunities and drive our trade relationship with China to greater levels,” he said.

“To that end, the McGowan Government is focused on boosting growth in three key areas: increasing WA’s exports, attracting Asian investment and diversifying the State’s economy.”

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