Business migration inquiries to the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) topped 1,400 during the 1999-2000 financial year.
Small Business Minister Hendy Cowan said these business enquiries translated into 500 formal expressions of interest from potential business migrants representing 32 countries.
“Of these formal expressions of interest, 65 per cent were from South East Asia, 23 per cent from Africa and six per cent from Europe,” Mr Cowan said.
“Western Australia - which currently attracts 26 per cent of all business migrants relocating to Australia - is the second most popular destination in the country for business migrants.”
Mr Cowan said the State Government, acknowledging the economic benefits of business migration, had in recent years increased its focus on business migrants.
“Each business migrant transfers an average of $914,319 into the Western Australian economy,” he said.
“An average of 4.9 jobs is created by each new business migrant and of business migrants operating in WA, 65 per cent export goods or services.”
Last financial year SBDC developed a Business Migrant Incentive Program as an added inducement for business migrants to come to WA.
“This initiative is the only one of its kind in Australia,” Mr Cowan said.
“It offers qualifying business migrants a financial contribution towards the cost of engaging a consultant to prepare a business proposal to support their visa application and a business plan to develop their business concept to its full potential.”
During 1999-2000 more than 170 business migrants were approved for permanent residency in WA, an increase of 25 per cent more than the number approved for the 1998-1999 financial year.
“Traditionally, South East Asia - and Indonesia in particular - has been WA's prime market for business migrants,"
Mr Cowan said.
“In the coming year, SBDC will aim to increase WA's market share in Africa and Europe.
Media contact: Julie Cole 9481 2044