AUSTIN (KXAN) – The government of Western Australia is investing $10.1 million in a new investment and trade office in Austin. The office, set to open in early 2024, aims to bolster and diversify Western Australia’s economy.

A delegation of Western Australian government officials held a reception at Two Hands on South Congress on Thursday regarding the opening of the new office. Simone Spencer, the deputy director general for strategy and international engagement at the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, said the office will have a great impact on Western Australia’s economy.

“We’re opening America’s hub in Austin, and we are really excited about that because Western Australia has never had a presence in America before,” Spencer said.

Apart from existing relationships between Western Australia and the U.S. within the oil and gas industry, this office would help facilitate two-way trade and investments from businesses. When asked why Austin was picked as the location for this office across the entire U.S., Spencer noted how Austin’s economy compares to Western Australia’s economy.

“We’ve selected Austin because of the similarities between the Texan economy and Western Australian economy,” Spencer said. “The people of Austin’s aspirations are very close to our own in Western Australia.”

Spencer also pointed to booming industries in Austin, including renewable energy, health and medical life sciences and space industries.

“What we noted about Austin is that it is a hub for investment for innovation,” Spencer said. “As we seek to diversify our economy, we look to Austin for some of those partnerships.”

Leading Western Australia’s efforts at Austin’s office will be Natasha Monks, the newly appointed investment and trade commissioner for the Americas. Monks currently serves as the chief executive officer of Great Southern Development. Monks also has experience serving as a trade commissioner for the Australian government within the Americas and ASEAN regions.

The Austin office will be the sixth overall across Western Australia’s Invest and Trade global network. The other offices include ASEAN, Greater China, India-Gulf, North East Asia and United Kingdom/Europe.