Japanese delegation visit a success

Geelong mayor Trent Sullivan addresses last week's international event. (Supplied)

Geelong Gallery and Advanced Fibre Cluster Geelong (AFCG) partnered to host an event last week to further relations between Geelong and Japan and drive international investment in the region.

Collaboratively organised by the gallery’s deputy director and chief operating officer Andrew Dean and AFCG chief executive David Buchanan, the May 30 event was held at Geelong Gallery, featuring the Cutting Through Time exhibition, which includes many works using Japanese-style woodblock printing.

Geelong was represented by a broad range of the city’s government, business, manufacturing, education and creative leaders, including member for Geelong Christine Couzens, mayor Trent Sullivan, Geelong chief executive Ali Wastie, Geelong Gallery chief executive Jason Smith, Deakin deputy vice chancellor of partnerships Dr David Halliwell and Carbon Revolution founder and chief technical officer Dr Ashley Denmead.

The Japanese business delegation, headed by Japanese Deputy Consul-General Natsuko Miguchi, included 20 local senior executives from Japanese companies in a range of sectors.

The delegates also had the opportunity to tour local manufacturing sites, including Carbon Nexus, Quickstep and Sykes Rowing.

Mr Buchanan said the delegation’s visit had been “extremely successful”.

“We have one of the largest ports in Geelong Port, which is used to export products for the Japanese market already, but we really wanted the Japanese to come down and see what else is in Geelong,” he said.

“We’ve got amazing institutions here, The Gordon, Deakin, and we’ve also got some incredible startup groups in the industries here in Geelong. These amazing companies in Geelong have grown, really, out of nothing.

“So we wanted to say to the Japanese, come and have a look and see what else could be done here in Geelong with support from Japanese groups.”

Mayor Trent Sullivan said building strong connections with Japan was critical to the success of the City’s new international strategy.

“The City is constantly seeking to maximise collaboration in order to capitalise on opportunities that will grow the region’s economy, benefiting local companies and workers,” Mayor Sullivan said.

“We want to attract and retain world-leading industries and services, to strengthen and further diversify our modern economy.

“Delegations like this emphasise the value and importance of our International Engagement Strategy, which identifies Japan as a key market.”