DAVID RIDGWAY: It's Federal's pleasure today to host the Trade Ministers’ Meeting here in South Australia, 84 days since we were sworn in. It's a pleasure and honour to have the Federal Minister and our state colleagues from around the nation here. So it’s been a good meeting with some perspective on the international issues as well as what the other states are doing as well to grow their economies. It's been a great pleasure.
STEVEN CIOBO: Great. Well, David, thank you very much for the chance to be here in Adelaide, in South Australia, this is part of the meetings that we have between all Trade, Tourism, and Investment Ministers. This morning we had the Trade Investment component. This afternoon, Tourism Ministers will meet. It's a chance for us to discuss the way in which we can work constructively together as a Federation to make sure we put Australia's best foot forward. Obviously, our economy is heavily reliant on getting great access into global markets. The Federal Coalition Government has worked very hard on making sure we open up as many opportunities as possible for Australian exporters. We've been able to capitalize on that success, and we've seen very strong growth in a whole range of areas. Here in South Australia, of course, one of the biggest wine producing regions for our country, we've seen extraordinary growth in wine exports. Just in China alone, we've seen wine exports grow from $211 million a year to now more than $1 billion of wine exports. And, of course, South Australia has been a big beneficiary of that better market access and we've got to major markets, like China. All of us though are working and committed to making sure that Australia continues to have even more advantages into the future. David, to you and your team, I know that the premier, Premier Marshall is very focused on opening up more opportunities for South Australia globally. The Australian Government looks forward to working closely with the South Australian Government on boosting your points of presence globally, being able to drive those exports from South Australia, the high quality, clean and green produce, especially in relation to wine but also in other areas, traditionally for agricultural products would be great for SA and then there's going to be a whole range of new industries. You've told me about some of the initiatives you've taken with entrepreneurial builders and others in the high-tech space. So great news for South Australia, great to have you on board as the new minister. I look forward to working closely with you. But more importantly, great news for Australia to keep building on the great success that we've had.
JOURNALIST: So, you said that Tourism was coming out with something today. So what was going out to that there national brand?
STEVEN CIOBO: Yeah, sure. We discussed that this morning.
JOURNALIST: Oh, okay, great. So, what will we be thinking our national brand is, how far along is that process?
STEVEN CIOBO: So we just started the process to evolve a nation brand for Australia. We see other countries that have had great success with nation brands. Of course, we've only to look across the ditch at our Kiwi cousins to see their ‘100% Pure’ campaign, which has now been in existence for more than a decade. I want to make sure that Australia has a strong brand too. We have some of the very best and brightest that Australia has to offer, who we've put around a table to come up and develop a brand. It shouldn't be developed by politicians. It's got to be developed by those with skin in the game, those who've got global experience of developing brands, building brands, reinforcing brands. So Andrew Forrest is driving this initiative. By the end of this year, I hope that they will have worked together with our creative industry to develop a great brand for Australia, something that government can get behind, private sector can get behind, something we can market Australia to the world with. And as a consequence, make sure that we can sell more of what we know and love to customers all around the world.
JOURNALIST: David, what would you like to see with the national brand?
DAVID RIDGWAY: With the national brand, I think we do need a national brand. I've been overseas at export expos and trade expos where other countries do it much better than us. So I do believe we need a national brand. We've discussed this morning about the states still having their identity underneath that national umbrella. So I look forward to the work that the team Minister Ciobo has put together. I look forward to the work they're doing so we can have a vision of what their proposals are and how we can feed into that national brand.
JOURNALIST: Just on another topic, I know it probably isn't one for discussion today, but I wanted to ask about the space agency. Do you think South Australia can win that if it's competing against Victoria and W.A.?
DAVID RIDGWAY: Look, we're in a competitive space for the space agency. We're going to put our best foot forward on a whole range of things. We've got the space agency, we've got the Qantas are looking for their national pilot training centre. We're going to put our best foot forward and we're going to fight as hard as we possibly can to win those sort of opportunities for South Australia.
JOURNALIST: What sort of difference would those kind of opportunities make for the state?
DAVID RIDGWAY: We've just got the space age, it brings the whole focus on the technology around space and some of the smaller satellites, and the lower orbiting satellites, and the ones that go around to the north and the south of the state. [Inaudible] The new State Government Premier is very keen on us really rolling up our sleeves and getting stuff in for the state.
JOURNALIST: Where would we put it then? The Qantas training centre?
DAVID RIDGWAY: That's an evaluation that's still yet to be done. There's a number of regions, towns, cities in South Australia that've said they'd like to be considered, likewise there is all around the nation about 40 or 50 cities, country cities, regional cities around the nation that've put their hand up, so it will be a bit of a process to go through. We are small and manoeuvrable we can case-manage the Qantas project and if we put our best foot forward and hope we're successful.
JOURNALIST: Just briefly a bit back onto trade and tourism. I think that before you talked about collaborating in markets overseas. So have you had a chance to speak to your counterparts this morning about how maybe we work that over with particular states or territories overseas?
DAVID RIDGWAY: Oh, I think that's really working with all of our, if you like, our neighbours and the Federal Government as well, in collaboration. Some of the trade shows I've been to where we've had a disparate representation, different states do different things. Brand Australia is highly recognizable around the world. I think we've got to collaborate around that national brand, and that's why I'm very supportive of the Federal Minister, the initiative to develop a national brand. It makes a lot of sense. And then we can plan to fit in where we fit. Naturally, we'll be competitive with our colleagues. We have intense rivalry around football and cricket and things with the Victorians and we're always going to be competitive, but we do complement each other in that competitive nature.
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