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Business Envoy February 2022

Rural leaders boosting their regions through international trade and foreign investment

In 2021 DFAT, in partnership with the Regional Australia Institute, ran the Horizons Regional Leadership program to mentor regional and rural economic development officers on the benefits of international trade and investment.

32 participants from regional and rural councils around Australia took part in the two programs and enjoyed access to trade experts from DFAT, Austrade, Export Finance Australia, Tourism Australia and Asialink. As part of the program, participants were encouraged to develop their own international engagement schemes.

A proposal for the Murray River to capture the imagination of international visitors was the winner of the Horizon's inaugural program in June, 2021.

“It's amazing to have the opportunity to advocate for an exciting initiative in such an important part of our country. The Horizons program has opened doors so that initiatives like this can really get off the ground.”

Ella Winnall, District Council of Loxton Waikerie, SA, inaugural Horizons program winner

A proposal to explore the Top End's potential for an agribusiness and logistics precinct that would shorten supply chains to Asia won the second Horizons program.

“Regional Australia continues to be competitively placed in benefiting from high international growth markets. The Horizons Program provides regional leaders from across Australia with the knowhow to get us there; encouraging us to think bigger through the development of bold and innovative international investment strategies to showcase our regions to the world.

The connection with expertise throughout Australia in international engagement, trade and export markets and regional place branding was invaluable and the learnings provided participants the opportunity to chase global opportunity by drawing on our region's capabilities.”

Miranda Halliday, Big Rivers Region, NT, winner of the 2nd Horizons program

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