News | 6 July 2016

Canberra and Wellington agree to strengthen ties

Wellington will tonight sign a new sister city agreement with Canberra that will bring the two capital cities closer together and strengthen economic ties.

The Australian Capital Territory Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, MLA, is in Wellington to sign the agreement with Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. Mr Barr will also visit the Collider Tech Hub and NEC’s ‘Living Lab’ project, which uses technology to make the city safer and smarter. The Mayor will introduce Mr Barr to Prime Minister John Key at a meeting this afternoon.

Singapore Airlines’ decision to start four flights a week on its ‘Capital Express’ route – Wellington-Canberra-Singapore – enabled a meaningful agreement to go ahead.

The flights, which start on 21 September, provide significant opportunities to grow two-way trade and investment between Wellington, Canberra and Singapore and enable the promotion of cultural, social and education links. Each Singapore Airlines service will provide 20 tonnes of freight capacity, which will provide new opportunities for exporters in the region to enter the Asian market.

While there is a focus on growing the economy, the agreement is much broader. It’s about business partnerships, innovation, nationhood, the environment, promoting tourism and events, education, cultural and sporting exchanges.

On the education front, the ‘Capital Express’ flights will improve mobility and opportunities for academics and students and make it easier for Wellington to attract more international students.

“Our two capital cities will be stronger and have more impact globally as a result of this agreement,” says the Mayor.

“It will deliver real benefits for Wellington.  Singapore Airlines’ new ‘Capital Express’ route is a great example of what this Anzac alliance can deliver. 

“It makes sense that our capital cities have close cultural, economic, political and environmental ties.”