Special Economic Zones are key to accelerating WA’s global competitiveness

13 March 2019

Report – Accelerating Global Competitiveness: Special Economic Zones by C. Cain

Caitlin Cain, a certified Economic Developer and Urban Planner, released her report today outlining how WA has the potential to grow as a global player by creating a Special Economic Zone for the Western Trade Coast.

“WA should be a global competitor in niche markets such as energy metals for battery manufacturing and value-add opportunities including agri-business and recycling.” said Ms Cain this morning, “WA’s natural assets set it apart from the global competition. Now is the time to invest in governance and infrastructure needed to catapult Western Australia as a global leader in new market opportunities.”

Ms Cain recently served as CEO of the World Trade Center of New Orleans and worked in the Obama Administration on small business and economic development opportunities. She is in Perth as a Fulbright Industry Fellow with Curtin University.

Industry has acclaimed this initiative. “Many businesses would greatly benefit from a single management entity focused on general enhancements, infrastructure and workforce development opportunities within the Western Trade Coast.” said Jim Fitzgerald, Executive Chairman, Civmec

Phil Thick, General Manager, Tianqi Lithium Australia said, “Our selection of the Kwinana Industrial Area was very much driven by the interconnectdness of businesses among other factors. The ability to locate near symbiotic industries and local suppliers is critical to our industry. Further improvements to the ways in which Kwinana area businesses can better work together to leverage opportunities, such as through an SEZ, is supported by Tianqi.”

The Kwinana Industries Council also congratulated Ms Cain on the report. “Industry in Kwinana welcomes the report and its recommendations in respect to a Special Economic Zone.“ Chris Oughton, Director of KIC, said.

Mr Oughton continued, “It is in the State’s interest to get in behind this, as its fruition will be a big step toward the simplification of doing business in the Western Trade Coast, assisting industry to remain internationally competitive. It will place an international spotlight on the attractiveness of WA as a place to come to set up business and to take its place on the world stage in the lithium battery and other value-adding industries.”

The full report Accelerating Global Competitiveness: Special Economic Zones is available on the Western Harbours Alliance website

Media enquiries:

Kim Dravnieks, Chair, Western Harbours Alliance, 0419 928 618

Professor Peter Newman AO, Curtin University, 0407 935 133

DELOITTE AECOM must look to WA future in port investigation

DELOITTE AECOM must look to WA future in port investigation

The McGowan government’s Westport Taskforce announced on Thursday that Deloitte and AECOM have been awarded a $224,000 contract to investigate transport flows for the Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury ports for both shipping and traffic movements.

Western Harbours Alliance (WHA) is keen to see that this work incorporates and builds on the extensive Trade Flows and the Development of Westport report produced by Kwinana Industries Council and Infranomics earlier this year.

Kim Dravnieks, WHA Chair said “A high level of industry consultation went into the Trade Flows report, with 40 detailed interviews including Fremantle Port Authority, a thorough analysis of resources/agribusiness projects and with initial financial modeling incorporated.”

“The independent report identified previous trade forecasts, undertaken ahead of the proposed sale of Fremantle Port, could have been out by approx 30% including underestimating the transformational potential of Lithium Valley and the developing new energy metals industries.  Now is the time to solidly build on the new data with a keen eye to Western Australia’s future in the global arena.” Ms Dravnieks said.

“It is also important that the investigation has a specific focus on WA’s trading opportunities with its Indian Ocean connections, as against risking being too eastern states focused.” she said. “We hope Deloitte and AECOM take this on board, particularly with the huge potential emerging with Lithium Valley.”

“The 2017 election showed that the community was not going to tolerate any return to the Perth Freight Link debacle to increase freight into Fremantle so working to find sustainable transport solutions is high on our agenda.”

2018-08-24 Media Release – Deloitte, AECOM must look to WA future in port investigation