Attracting new investment and growing exports to France was the focus of the South Australian Government’s recent trade, investment and defence delegation to the European nation.

Last month, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and Martin Hamilton-Smith, the Minister for Investment and Minister for Defence Industries, led a 64-strong business delegation to Europe which included companies from the defence, food and agribusiness sectors.

The business mission presented South Australia as a rich investment opportunity with a highly skilled workforce, cutting edge research and development, competitive labour costs and a superior lifestyle.

Premier Weatherill said Europe is South Australia’s most established trading partner and a source of significant foreign direct investment into South Australia.

“We encouraged companies and investors looking to expand into the burgeoning Asia Pacific and Australian markets to look no further than South Australia,” Mr Weatherill said.

“More than 100 European companies have already invested in our state including BAE Systems, Sundrop Farms, Siemens and Liebherr among them.”

The business mission included a series of key meetings and functions to connect the participating South Australian companies with European buyers and distributors and help understand their individual trade and investment requirements.
In Paris, Premier Jay Weatherill hosted 170 guest function celebrating France and South Australia’s strengthening relationship at the Cercle National des Armées in Paris, with the theme of Friends and Partners in Prosperity.

South Australia had a stand at SIAL Paris, the world’s largest food innovation expo, which gave the food, beverage and wine companies an opportunity to showcase their products and meet new business partners and potential buyers, distributors and agents.

Defence SA led the State’s representation at Euronaval Paris, an international maritime showcase, where the subject of South Australia’s $50 billion Future Submarine contract was a key discussion point.

South Australia is the location for Australia’s next generation Future Submarines, to be delivered by French company DCNS, and builds on the State’s existing innovative defence ecosystem, encouraging even more companies to invest.

South Australia will also host the nation’s $230 million Centre for Defence Industry Capability, making it the heart of Australia’s defence innovation – with the State now benefiting from the largest share of the total Australian defence industry spending.

Also during the French visit, Investment Attraction South Australia held a meeting of its global Advisory Board, made up of executives from international companies who provide important advice to help guide South Australia’s investment attraction efforts.