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Lord Green gets down to business ahead of Commonwealth Business Forum

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Wrapping up his first day in Australia Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, put British expertise on show in Perth.

L-R in the photo:- HE Paul Madden, British High Commissioner, the Hon Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, and Minister of State for Trade and Investment and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint.

Drawing attention to UK know-how in major projects, Lord Green toured the Fiona Stanley Hospital, under construction in Murdoch, Perth. British companies BT and SERCO demonstrated their expertise in construction, technology and facilities management with this very impressive facility.

Hosted by Western Australian Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Tourism, Dr. Kim Hames, Lord Green was accompanied on the tour by David Such, Managing Director, SERCO Asia Pacific, the prime operational contractor for the hospital and Kevin Taylor, President, BT Asia Pacific, who are supplying the digital backbone and technical staffing. When the facility opens in 2014, Fiona Stanley Hospital will be Western Australia’s flagship health care facility and the hospital is the largest building infrastructure project ever undertaken by the State. The Fiona Stanley Hospital will also be the world’s first totally digital hospital. See photos from the visit here.

His programme included an appointment with the Hon. Colin Barnett, Premier of Western Australia, where Lord Green was keen to highlight the UK’s continuing commitment to doing business with Western Australia. At the meeting the Minister emphasised the strategic partnership between the UK and Western Australia, including the special priority UK Trade & Investment is giving to major infrastructure projects under its new strategy, such as the 100 billion plus Australian dollar investments in oil & gas in Western Australia and Queensland. This was also an opportunity to follow up Lord Green’s previous meeting with the Premier in London back in May 2011.

Speaking on this relationship, Lord Green emphasized working towards a closer, more dynamic and forward-looking relationship with Australia that places increased trade and investment at its heart.

Lord Green said:

“Day one of my visit has been a great success. I’ve met with innovative British companies making an important contribution to the Western Australian economy and emphasise the strengths of the UK economy against a challenging global economic backdrop to the Australian and Commonwealth business communities. We are sending out the message loud and clear that Britain is open for business.”

Turning his attention to the ‘big end of town’ Lord Green attended a lunch with approximately 50 CEOs of prominent UK and Australia companies and politicians. The lunch was hosted by Keith Jones, Managing Partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Western Australia and HE Paul Madden, British High Commissioner to Australia. The guests included the Hon. Norman Moore, WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum; Fisheries and Electoral Affairs, the Hon. Simon O’Brien, WA Minister for Finance, Commerce and Small Business, the Hon. Eric Ripper, the Leader of the Opposition, WA, Perth’s recently re-elected Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and State Opposition leader Eric Ripper .

In the evening Lord Green attended the ‘In the Zone’ Gala Dinner hosted by The University of Western Australia. ‘In the Zone’ refers to a separate WA initiative, where Western Australia is trying to do more with economies in their time zone; specifically India, Singapore and Malaysia.

Lord Green is in Australia ahead of his attendance at the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF) in Perth. The Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth focuses on the theme, “Partnering for Global Growth: The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and the Pacific Rim”.

The CBF will highlight new global economic partnerships for trade and investment in key sectors across the Commonwealth. The Forum is organised by the Commonwealth Business Council in collaboration with the private sector, Australian Government and Government of Western Australia.