Taiwan visit presents positive international opportunities

Redlands Coast businesses were on the global smart cities stage as part of a Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) delegation to Taiwan led by Redland City Mayor Karen Williams.

Cr Williams tabled a report into the 2019 Smart Cities Mayoral Summit at today’s General Meeting.

Cr Williams said the summit, which was attended at no cost to ratepayers, had also opened the door for local businesses to pitch as part of a Go Smart initiative.

“This summit was invaluable in putting Redlands Coast on the global stage and showing the world what our businesses are capable of,” she said.

“There was not only a great deal of interest while in Taipei, but equally when we returned home, with several conversations and a Redlands Coast Go Smart pitch following.

“The opportunities explored both during and following the summit have been focussed on exploring smart cities applications to overcoming some of our local challenges in transport, aged care and alternative energy.”

Cr Williams said the Taiwan summit attracted the leading smart cities minds from across the world, putting the spotlight firmly on Queensland and Redlands Coast.

“The Smart Cities Mayoral Summit and Expo attracts business leaders, policy-makers, industry experts, and stakeholders from around the world – this year attracting more than 1700 delegates, 10,000 visitors and 2000 international buyers, as well as a further 337 vendors,” Cr Williams said.

“This year’s LGAQ Smart Cities Delegation was the largest Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) has ever supported from Queensland, with mayors, councillors and businesses from across the state representing their communities and industry sectors.

“This overseas mission was a collaboration between LGAQ, TIQ and Austrade, with the three tiers of government working together and giving delegates the opportunity to network in new markets and make business contacts they wouldn’t normally be able to access.”

During the visit, LGAQ signed a statement of intent for their members to participate in the Taipei Government’s Global Organisation of Smart Cities initiative (Go SMART initiative).

“GO SMART is designed to provide a platform for cities and regions to exchange knowledge and initiate collaborations with other Smart City stakeholders and test new concepts,” Cr Williams said.

“The objective of this initiative is to stimulate smart city solutions and open cross-border markets.”

Cr Williams said the five-day visit sent a strong message of Redlands Coast’s interest in smart city solutions with nine delegates from Redlands Coast, including seven local businesses.

“Meeting key stakeholders in the market has opened the door for further relations and partnerships and will potentially bring enormous flow-on benefits not only for individual businesses, but the wider Redlands Coast economy,” she said.

“It’s early days, but the summit has already started bearing fruit, with some genuine interest in what our businesses are doing, showing that Redlands Coast has the potential to kick goals on the global innovation and smart cities stage.”