Gov. Mike Parson is headed to Australia to try and find new business for Missouri. Parson, a Republican, leaves tomorrow for the trip to meet with executives there in the business world, especially in infrastructure and agriculture, and discuss investment and workforce development opportunities here.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson held numerous meetings on May 30, 2018 in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of Parson’s office)

According to a press release from the governor’s office, one of the primary goals is to look at the feasibility of using an infrastructure asset recycling program to raise money and strengthen Missouri’s infrastructure.

In 2014, the Australian government launched a model in which state governments are incentivized to leverage public assets in sale and lease transactions. Governments in Australia are incentivized to sell off or lease public infrastructure assets such as ports, wharves, electric grid segments, and housing developments. Revenue raised through those transactions is then reinvested into infrastructure projects.

“Since day one, we’ve been focused on building Missouri’s future by improving infrastructure and workforce development,” Parson says. “One of the ways we can do this is by looking at practices that are being successfully implemented in places like Australia, a leader in the infrastructure asset recycling industry, and bringing those best practices back to Missouri.”

The release says Australia is Missouri’s 9th largest trading partner and spent $308 million on Missouri goods in 2018.

The trip marks Parson’s second trade mission. In June, the governor and first lady visited Europe – scoring a major deal with international pharmaceutical company Bayer. The company plans to move its American Crop Science Division to the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur and bring hundreds of new jobs along with it.

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