Canberra-Wellington air route seen as business booster

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Canberra-Wellington air route seen as business booster

The announcement of direct flights by Singapore Airlines (codeshared with Virgin) between Canberra and Wellington has been welcomed by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA).

The NZ city's strengths in knowledge-dense, services-rich industries such as ICT, biotech and the creative sector make Wellington "a no brainer" for Australian investors and businesses looking to expand, according to WREDA chief executive Chris Whelan.

He also suggested it might help tempt some Australians to move to Wellington: "Like Canberra, Wellington has the highest wage rates in the country. We also offer affordable housing comparative to other major Australasian cities and have the highest quality of life satisfaction in New Zealand so Wellington is a smart choice for anyone looking to make a more permanent visit."

Tech entrepreneur Neville Rodda recently moved from Melbourne to Wellington, and told wellingtonnz.com  "I have come to the conclusion that Wellington is an entrepreneurs' paradise... where you can freely create knowing the government is 100 percent behind backing innovative ideas."

Whelan said "Strategically this [new air route] links the two Australasian capitals with the world and will significantly enhance the Wellington business case."

"This connectivity is exactly what we need to top off the Wellington pitch to international business and investors," he added.

Established industries in Wellington include information and communications technology (ICT), biotech and the creative sector.

When Wellington's tech hub - the BizDojo co-working space and the Collider program of support activities - opened last November, Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive said the ICT sector was responsible for 7.3 percent of the region's GDP, while the information, media and communications sector provided 4 percent of Wellington's jobs.

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