Mission aims to build infrastructure opportunities with the US

05 Oct 2017

A 20-member infrastructure delegation will visit four US cities from 9-13 October to showcase Australia’s infrastructure capabilities and expertise in planning and financing.

The infrastructure mission is a joint initiative by Austrade and the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia, in partnership with Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and will visit Chicago, Indianapolis, Washington D.C. and Richmond. Australia’s Ambassador to the United States, the Hon. Joe Hockey will lead the delegation.

Nicola Watkinson, Austrade Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for the United States and Canada, said as developed economies, Australia and the US share many of the same infrastructure challenges. Australia’s use of asset recycling is one example of how Australia has tackled these issues, and it is an approach which has attracted interest from US administrators and industry players.

‘The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates more than US$4.5 trillion in investment is needed to repair, upgrade and boost infrastructure development,’ Watkinson said.

‘The Infrastructure mission aims to establish Australia as a trusted partner, sharing our experiences in innovative financing, asset recycling and project development with key decision makers within the US Government and industry.’

‘The other key objective is to showcase Australian expertise and position Australian firms as qualified potential developers, financers, and joint venture collaborators on future projects’, added Chris Knepler, Austrade Investment Commissioner in Chicago and project lead.

Knepler said the mission program includes closed government-to-government sessions for select officials, as well as public seminars which will offer the unique opportunity for the US business community to engage with and leverage the collective knowledge of the delegation in an open forum.

The five-day, four city mission will visit:

  • Chicago: the third largest city in the US and a global transportation hub with a long history of Australian involvement in privatising roads, bridges and parking systems;
  • Indianapolis: current US Vice President and former Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence has knowledge working with Australia on past infrastructure projects, namely the sale of the Indiana Toll Road;
  • Washington DC: where federal government meetings will be held with the White House, Senate and House infrastructure committees and the Department of Transportation;
  • Richmond: which is proactively working with the private sector to improve highways and traffic congestion.

Visit Austrade’s website to learn more about the business opportunities in the US.