The two parties signed the Memorandum of Understanding during a visit to Melbourne and Sydney by a delegation of UK rail representatives. They were members of RIA, the Rail Delivery Group and the Department for International Trade. The new partnership was announced at a reception hosted by the British Consul-General in Sydney.
Danny Broad, Chief Executive Officer of the Australasian Railway Association, said:
“This partnership is of immense value to our industry. We are undergoing a renaissance in rail in Australia, with major new rail projects in our capital cities and regions over the next decade. The opportunity to leverage the skills and expertise of UK rail companies will add breadth and depth to our industry, and give Australian businesses valuable insights and partnerships. Working and collaborating with the RIA on common industry challenges will provide consolidation of ideas for possible suitable outcomes for the rail sectors covered by both the ARA and RIA.”
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said:
“We are delighted to support this partnership between the UK and Australasian rail industries, which will see the exchange of knowledge and expertise across the two countries. In the UK, rail exports £800 million a year and will play a vital role in achieving the UK Government’s aim of increasing exports to 35% of GDP, as we exit the EU. We look forward to working with our colleagues at ARA to maximise the exporting potential of both industries.”
The agreement includes multiple commitments:
The Hon. Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, said:
“Australia and the UK have long been partners in many aspects of our economies and our communities. I know Australia’s regions have many exports – particularly our world-leading food and fibre – which the UK is looking to import and rail is a vital part of the mix to get that premium produce from paddock to port to plate. I look forward to seeing how our two countries can share expertise, ideas and insights to help grow jobs and opportunities in the rail sector in Australia and the UK.”
Baroness Fairhead, UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, said:
“The UK is a world leader in rail and has a particular focus on developing exciting new technologies. Projects including those such as Crossrail and HS2 mean that the UK is well placed to share insights, expertise and knowledge to help build rail industry capability around the world. This capability has been harnessed in the Government’s recently launched Rail Sector Deal which aims to support yet further innovation and the application of more, new technologies in this growing sector.”
Before arriving in Australia the UK delegation also visited New Zealand, which is developing plans for several new light, commuter and freight lines in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The New Zealand Government is keen to engage with the UK rail industry. Its aim is to improve its preparation for the planning, supply and management of these projects.
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