Can Newcastle “Adapt and thrive; innovate or die.”? / by Kian West

“Adapt and thrive; innovate or die.”        That was Julie Bishop's comment to Australian Businesses at Australia’s Asian Future Summit 2017. Addressing an audience of key business leaders at the Summit in Sydney last week, Bishop said the relationship with China, as Australia’s largest merchandise trading partner and a key purchaser of both commodities and services, was just as important from an economic perspective as that of the US.
It was therefore imperative Australia kept its eye on the ball when it comes to ensuring corporate Australia offered complementary goods and services to this market.“We are seeing a transformation in Asia in particular, going away from being a region of low-cost manufacturing, being a source of cheap labour for the rest of the world, to becoming a major source of global consumers.”
Bishop said Australia was “exquisitely placed” to take advantage of the rise of China due to its traditional strength as a commodities exporter in the beef, grains, dairy and wine industries but also because China had begun showing interest in Australia’s health and aged care services.

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These comments have plagued my thoughts these past few days as I think about Newcastle in particular. What are our key strategic advantages as a city, over those of others locally and afar?
We have a working port, a stellar University with a new city hub, an airport that is set for international flights, we are close enough to Sydney to do business (or Melbourne, etc by plane), we are an obvious tourism drawcard with some of the most incredible beaches worldwide, soon we will have a Racecourse that is bound to showcase the city to international viewers and may highlight our capacity as an events venue, with our Stadium and showground with entertainment centre practically joined it could be the perfect location for large international sporting or entertainment opportunities...
That's just what I thought of over a few hours.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the Newcastle of the Future these days. I'm fiercely proud of our city and I am genuinely excited to see how it transforms over the next decade. Businesses are already setting up alternative transport solutions (look up FEIKE and BYKKO) that will pave the way for an economy that forgets all about our "parking problem" and starts to talk about the transport ideas that came out of Newy and solved these issues globally much like Uber has.   

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