Sowing the seeds of US trade

US Consul-General Mary Burce Warlick and Indi MP Cathy McGowan discuss Indi trade opportunities at Wangaratta yesterday. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

US Consul-General Mary Burce Warlick and Indi MP Cathy McGowan discuss Indi trade opportunities at Wangaratta yesterday. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

THERE’S plenty of room for international trade and exports to grow in Indi — and that could be key to securing jobs growth in the region.

That was the summation yesterday as US Consul-General Mary Burce Warlick concluded a two-day tour of Indi, at the invitation of independent MP Cathy McGowan.

On the itinerary were visits to Brown Brothers vineyard in Milawa, Beechworth Honey and the home of one of the biggest US investors in the region, Mars Petcare in Wodonga.

Ms Warlick said the trip left her with “a very positive impression” of the region’s trade potential.

“There’s tremendous opportunity here for doing business, and expanding investment and trade relations,” she said.

“There’s already significant investment here with Mars and a lot of companies here, including wineries and businesses in the agricultural sector are interested in expanding.”

Ms Warlick said US companies were “always looking for great investment opportunities” and new initiatives between the US and Australia could open markets further and expand trade in the region.

Ms Warlick, who was previously the US ambassador to Serbia before being stationed in Australia in 2012, works throughout Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory.

“We cover a really large district and spend a lot of time travelling and getting to know people right across the region,” she said.

“It’s always good to be able to visit places outside the capital cities and see what’s going on in rural areas.”

Her visit to the North East is the beginning of a relationship between Indi and the US, Ms McGowan said.

“To me it’s really obvious that we’ve got to grow manufacturing and jobs here, and that has to be export and that has to be trade,” she said.

“I hope leaders from other countries will take advantage of what we’ve got to offer.”

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