Brisbane has once again been showcased internationally, writes Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.
In the largest international gathering since the G20, Brisbane has hosted the three-day Asia Pacific Cities Summit, showcasing our New World City and the entire South East Queensland region.
Being a world city in 2015 means much more than looking after roads, rates and rubbish, and this Summit was an opportunity for international cities to learn and benefit from each other’s experiences. It was also an opportunity to hear from industry experts with advice on emerging technology and information.
Importantly for Brisbane, this Summit was designed to drive economic growth and to provide a springboard for local businesses to enter the rapidly growing markets in the Asia Pacific, as well as invest in Brisbane.
A total of 95 Mayors and Deputy Mayors from Australia, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas attended the Summit, with over 1200 business and government delegates attending.
This is a remarkable feat, considering that the recently held World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in New York had 80 Mayors and Deputy Mayors in attendance. I believe that this outstanding representation is directly attributable to the international acclaim Brisbane received as the host of the G20 Leaders Summit in November.
Council established the Summit in 1996 to support Brisbane’s engagement with Asia by connecting leaders of government with enterprise, maintaining international relations and promoting global best practice for sustaining and governing cities.
Since then, the biennial event has continued to grow and in 2013 there were 102 cities represented which rose to 135 cities this year.
Hosting this year’s Summit was a real opportunity to showcase our strong, productive city and region as well as welcoming some world class professionals to our city.
The Summit is not only a forum for important discussion, but a platform for local businesses to meet with the key decision makers of the Asia Pacific and fast-track their footprint in this rapidly growing market.
More than 130 local and international speakers addressed the opportunities and challenges faced by the region’s cities, but the Summit was not just about sitting back and listening to interesting speakers.
Visiting delegations came to Brisbane to do business, seek new partners, opportunities and technologies and a number of new business relationships were formed during the Summit.
Brisbane can expect to experience the considerable ongoing economic benefits of these relationships for many years to come and no doubt this will continue to grow our international reputation as a driving economic force in the Asia Pacific region.
To learn more about the Asia Pacific Cities Summit, visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au.