Washington state representatives from business, education, and government, including Gov. Jay Inslee, will participate in a trade mission to Australia from Nov. 1 to Nov. 11.
The governor’s policy agenda for the mission focuses on government diplomacy and business partnerships to support clean energy development and the phaseout of fossil fuels. Other policy areas on the governor’s agenda include workforce development, the maritime industry and the defense industry. It is the state's first governor-led trade mission to Australia since 2006.
"Our state has economic ties to Australia already, and we hope to grow and accelerate those partnerships with this visit," Inslee said. "Importantly, Australia as a nation and in its states have made incredible advances in climate policy and clean energy adoption in recent years, just like Washington."
Representatives of the state Department of Commerce, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and business representatives from the tech, maritime and defense sectors will also join the trip. Representatives from the University of Washington and Washington State University will attend, as well as representatives of the State Labor Council, the Washington Arts Commission, and the state Women's Commission will attend, among others. There will be more than 50 individuals in the delegation total.
“We look forward to continuing to build on our strong relationships with Australia, especially opportunities to collaborate in key sectors of life science, maritime and clean energy. We’re thrilled to have a great group of innovative small businesses on this trade mission looking to learn and develop new partnerships,” said Chris Green, director of the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness at Commerce.
Washington state exported $772 million worth of goods to Australia in 2022, including products for aviation and aerospace, medical and electric machinery, recreation equipment, wood products and other goods. Australia is the state's 19th largest export partner.
The mission is financed by a combination of outside sponsorship and delegate fees paid to the state Department of Commerce.