The ACT government could look to develop relationships with Vietnam, the United Kingdom, the European Union and the Pacific region as part of an expanded international engagement strategy.
With international travel set to resume in the coming months, the ACT's commissioner for international engagement Brendan Smyth will ramp up efforts to connect Canberra to more parts of the globe.
The commissioner has only had one trade mission in the last 18 months and that was to New Zealand in May.
If travel restrictions permit, trade missions to Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, the UK and Europe could be on the agenda in 2022.
The commissioner, a role that was controversially set up in 2016, has oversight of the ACT government's international engagement activities.
Mr Smyth works with ACT government directorates, industry and other peak bodies to support international growth in various areas of the ACT's economy, including education and research, renewable energy and tourism.
The international engagement strategy identifies certain countries, regions and cities where the ACT should focus its attention.
But those relationships would need to be renewed and new ones would need to be established, Mr Smyth said.
"We'd been working very hard to develop relationships over the three or four years pre-COVID," he said.
"Literally the whole process is starting again."
Mr Smyth said the Chief Minister's office had asked for the strategy to be expanded. Currently, the strategy identifies 10 countries as primary markets, including Singapore, New Zealand and China.
But this could soon include Vietnam and the United Kingdom. Two regions could also be added, these being the Pacific region and the EU.
The expanded strategy has yet to be ticked off by cabinet and is still being internally circulated among the ACT's public service.
However, Mr Smyth revealed the countries and regions that were under consideration in an estimates hearing on Monday morning.
He said relationships with the United Kingdom and the European Union would be particularly important due to upcoming free trade agreements.
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The Pacific had been identified as a region due to opportunities for two-way trade.
"There is a great deal of opportunities for two-way trade and building relationships in cultural, in innovation, in sport, in economic development and strategy," Mr Smyth said.
Mr Smyth also said a main priority of the commission in the coming months would be for international flights to resume out of Canberra Airport.
"We're very keen to get the Singapore flight back on the runway at Canberra Airport but [also] looking for new flights, connections to New Zealand and from New Zealand and then on to America," he said.
"And then certainly flights back from the Middle East to Europe."
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