Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings are leading a business mission June 5-12 to Sydney and Brisbane, Australia, to promote trade and tourism, air travel and business opportunities.

The mission delegates will meet with government officials, business and tourism executives and local leaders to outline the benefits of operating in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and to showcase the growing marketplace and commercial ties between Australia and the Texas cities.

Two dozen Australian parent companies operate in North Texas, and recent Australian expansions here include ADVAM, a leading payment service provider; MIC Global Services, a shared services organization; and Alpha Seven Energy, an international independent oil and gas company. Established Australian companies in DFW include WorleyParsons, BHP Billiton, Atlantic Aviation Corp., Otis Energy Inc., PIRTEK USA, Ascension Coffee, LDU, Icon Global and Amcor Rigid Plastics.

Australian investment continues to increase in the U.S., especially in manufacturing, software and IT services, and modern support services.

About 250 Australian entities employ 18,000 people in Texas.

In 2018, Australia was DFW's 22nd largest trading partner with $593 million in total trade. In 2017, Australia ranked in the top five in DFW's imports, with its largest imports being merchandising. It ranked second for exports in aviation, communications, and electrical equipment.

Australia is a top 10 international leisure tourism market for visitors to Dallas and Fort Worth, with a non-stop from Sydney six days a week and connections through American Airlines. International tourism to the United States is one of the nation's leading exports, based on foreign spending on goods and services here.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a focal point for Australian businesses in engineering design and engineering consulting services, and oil and gas.

"As we learn and collaborate with our neighbors in Australia, we look forward to discussing mutual benefits about partnering and visiting Fort Worth," Price said. "The DFW region is a great place to do business or visit and this trip is another step in cultivating those long-term relationships."

"We greatly anticipate the opportunity to forge new ties with our partners in Australia on this upcoming DFW trip to Sydney," Rawlings said. "Not only do these trips play a vital role in building our business markets and exploring new ones, but also provide an opportunity to showcase DFW's pro-business climate, talented workforce, strong economy and great location."

The mission also will be emphasizing the role that international flights through DFW Airport play in bridging North Texas and Australia. Qantas Airways began serving the airport in 2011, providing new business, trade and opportunities connections between Australia and North Texas.

"Business continues to grow in North Texas, with more headquarters citing DFW Airport as one of the top reasons for relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth region," said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport and a member of the delegation. "We're anticipating a record 73 million customers over the next 12 months, and we continue to work with our airline partners to provide more opportunities to enable commerce and connect people and cargo."

Delegates include DFW International Airport, the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, Visit Dallas and Visit Fort Worth.

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