Executives seek opportunities for Ipswich in Japan, Taiwan

Business talks top the agenda

Two of Ipswich City Council’s most senior executives will look to strengthen economic and cultural ties with businesses in Japan and Taiwan over the coming week.

CEO David Farmer and General Manager of Community, Cultural and Economic Development Ben Pole will represent Ipswich at the request of the Nerima government to celebrate 25 years of international relations between the two cities.

While in Japan, Mr Farmer and Mr Pole will meet with technology, logistics and waste management companies. Mr Farmer will address the World Urban Agriculture Summit.

“We’ll also be briefing the Queensland Government’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan Mr Tak Adachi about the economic priorities and opportunities of Ipswich,” Mr Farmer said.

“Population projections show Ipswich will have 200,000 more residents over the next 30 years, which means we need to attract the right type of investment to meet employment demands.

“We intend to spark some of those conversations while in Japan and Taiwan.”

Mr Pole said a number of corporate meetings in Tokyo would focus on key Ipswich sectors that have export and investment attraction potential.

“We have also accepted an invitation for direct trade and cultural discussions with another of our sister cities, Nantou in Taiwan,” Mr Pole said.

“We’ll be briefing the trade and investment commissioner for Taiwan and meeting with targeted big business to ensure Ipswich is well understood and positioned in that market.

“We feel this is a valuable chance for us to attract a real level of interest in international education, manufacturing, tourism, technology, smart city solutions and waste management.”

Nerima, Japan: Fun facts

  • Ipswich has had a sister city relationship with Nerima, a ward of Tokyo, for 25 years.
  • Nerima has more than three times the population of Ipswich, 721,000.
  • Yet, the area of Nerima is about 48 square kilometres, compared to Ipswich’s 1204 square kilometres.
  • Anime was born in Nerima more than 60 years ago, and there is now an annual anime festival each Autumn.
  • The first feature-length colour anime film was released in 1958, titled Hakujaden, translated as The White Snake Enchantress.
  • Better known to westerners is Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom), a series released in 1963.
  • There are about 80 anime production companies in Nerima.

Nantou, Taiwan: Fun facts

  • Nantou County is Taiwan’s only landlocked county.
  • A delegation from Nantou City visited Ipswich in 2019.
  • Taiwan invented bubble tea, and Nantou has many tea plantations.
  • Still hungry? Bamboo shoots, sweet potato, mushrooms, bananas and prunes are also grown there. And meatballs are popular at the street food markets.
  • Despite being landlocked, the province is known as a popular tourist destination, largely due to its large lakes. Sun Moon Lake is the biggest.
  • There is no airport in Nantou. Most people catch the train from Taichung. The scenery is said to be breathtaking. 
  • Nantou City has just over 100,000 people, confined to 71 square kilometres.
  • A popular tourism attraction in the city itself is Nantou Country Culture Park, which is home to Wude Temple built in 1937.

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