Patrick Hafenstein at Smart Cities ExpoTownsville, Toowoomba and Charters Towers have all signed up for a global smart cities network after local council members attended an international smart cities summit in Taiwan recently.

Councillors from the three regions were part of a Queensland delegation that travelled to the Taipei Smart City Summit & Expo in Taiwan in late March.

They joined representatives from Ipswich City Council, two chambers of commerce and two other business delegates at the gathering, which brought together local governments and service providers from around the world to discuss smarter solutions to urban challenges.

The Queensland delegation participated in a busy program organised by TIQ Taiwan, which included opportunities to connect with potential investors.

Acting Queensland Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan Patrick Hafenstein said that the summit was a unique opportunity for the Queensland delegates to learn about cutting-edge smart cities initiatives and share their own projects with potential investors.

‘They were able to participate in roundtables with mayors from around the world, meet with all levels of Taiwanese government, and tour smart-cities solutions in action,’ he said.

‘These included smart health care at the National Taiwan University Hospital, and smart building initiatives at Nanshan Plaza, which is one of Taipei’s greenest buildings.

‘We also set up meetings with major banks and renewables and technology investors, where our delegates talked them through local business opportunities right across Queensland.’

Mr Hafenstein said that the mission was the first joint project between TIQ and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) since the signing of a recent MOU committing them to closer collaboration on regional trade and investment initiatives.

‘We worked closely with LGAQ to recruit council members to attend the summit, and the diversity of our delegation proved to be a real drawcard for potential investors when we started setting up meetings,’ he said.

‘I’m particularly pleased that three Queensland councils joined more than 100 other local governments from around the world in signing the joint statement on the Global Organisation of Smart Cities (GO SMART).

‘GO SMART is a new network to encourage cities worldwide to share ideas and collaborate on smart cities solutions, and I believe it will deliver real value to Queensland communities in the future.’

Mr Hafenstein said that the feedback on the Taiwanese visit from the Queensland delegates had been extremely positive.

The signing of the MOU between the Queensland Government and the LGAQ was an initiative under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.