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