Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce (GBCCC) has signed an agreement with an Australian trade body that will bring increased benefits to its members.

To coincide with the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay arriving in Australia this week, the Chamber has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Trade & Investment Queensland – the Queensland Government's dedicated global business agency that helps exporters do business in international markets.

As part of the deal, Chamber members will be able to access meeting rooms and a small events space free of charge at Trade & Investment Queensland’s new Queensland House building in London.

And Chamber patron Aston University is returning the favour by offering hot desking facilities to any companies linked to Trade & Investment Queensland. Australia is seen as a key trading partner for West Midlands firms.

According to the Department for International Trade (DIT), more than 1,300 businesses from the region exported to Australia in 2020 – with the value of those goods in excess of £350m. Road vehicles accounted for £118m of those exports, while cake brands Mr Kipling and Cadbury are purchased by 20 per cent of Australian households.

Stefanie Bowes, head of the Greater Birmingham Commonwealth Chamber, said: “We are delighted to have put together a great initiative with Trade & Investment Queensland where our members can now benefit from hot-desking facilities both here in Birmingham and central London. Australia is an important trading partner for the West Midlands and through our relationship with Trade & Investment Queensland we look forward to expanding those links.” 

Warren Bartlett, deputy commissioner Europe at Trade & Investment Queensland , said: “Our focus at Trade & Investment Queensland in the UK is to support innovative Queensland businesses to internationalise and to bring productive European investment in our state.

“A key element of our work is facilitating meaningful connections between businesses that lead to beneficial outcomes in the form of export deals, partnerships and collaborations. We are pleased to participate in the MOU with the GBCCC and welcome Chamber members to interact with Queensland businesses and learn more about exciting opportunities in Queensland over the next as we prepare for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics.”

Mark Smith, executive director of business engagement at Aston University, said: “I’m delighted at this great step taken by the state of Queensland. The MoU with the GBCCC formalises a joint approach to trade.

“Extending the use of the Queensland state offices in London to members is superb. I look forward to reciprocating and hosting Queensland business delegates and officials visiting Birmingham at Aston University.”