The Trade & Investment Commisioners ​representing us overseas...​ - Future Leadership

The Trade & Investment Commisioners ​representing us overseas…​

What are the attributes needed to take Australia to the world?

Leadership on the international stage is key in today’s hyper-connected world. In recent months, Fisher Leadership has helped successfully appoint two Commissioners to influential postings. We are proud to play a role in Australia’s representation overseas, negotiating business with the kind of global mindset and cultural intelligence that promotes partnership as a path to prosperity.

Earlier this month, at an event hosted by Global Victoria and the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA),we learned about Victoria’s interests in Asia, the importance of Asia capabilities and why we should all be more Asia literate. Adam Cunneen, the Commissioner to North Asia, noted that the role of a Commissioner is to ostensibly create a durable platform that positions the jurisdiction, in his case, Victoria, as a prime place to do business, to study and to visit.

It’s not endless cocktail parties!

While it is common for state and federal jurisdictions to appoint Trade and Investment Commissioners in various locations around the world to advance economic development, not everybody understands what the role is responsible for. When Cunneen was asked, “What makes a great Commissioner?” he responded that passion and enthusiasm for the actual work – which sounds like it could entail attending endless cocktail parties but instead realistically involves ongoing high level and high stakes negotiation with stakeholders – is critical for success.

Cunneen acknowledged that Victoria as an amazing destination to represent and that the economic development agency of the state, Global Victoria, is the ‘Rolls Royce’ of state economic development agencies. Cunneen also notes that really effective trade and investment Commissioners bring a breadth of expertise to the role. They usually have experience in the private sector as well as some experience in public entities across Federal and State government.  

Local passion and global mindset.

Fisher Leadership has recently placed two Trade & Investment Commissioners for Trade & Investment Queensland – one in Greater China (based in Shanghai) and the other in North America (based in San Francisco). In both of these appointments, the candidates brought a huge passion for promoting their home to the world, enthusiasm for creating new economic development opportunities, and a range of experience with other government agencies and private entities that gave them a truly global mindset.

If you are involved in international economic development, what experience, skills and attributes do you believe make a great Trade & Investment Commissioner?

Presented by the IPAA Victoria Asia Capability Community of Practice & Global Victoria.

Written by Deborah Komesaroff, Associate Partner at Fisher Leadership and Former Investment Director for the Victorian Government in the US.

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