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Weatherill returns to Europe on "jobs and investment" mission

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Premier Jay Weatherill will leave for a European trip tonight, pitching it as a mission to attract new investment in the state.

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Weatherill will visit the UK, Italy and France, where he will meet with Foreign Minister Jean-Yvest Le Drian, the Naval Group (formerly DCNS), which is building Australia’s future submarine fleet, and Neoen, the company joining with Elon Musk’s Tesla to build South Australia’s “world’s biggest” lithium-ion battery.

He says he will also pursue new opportunities for European investment in the state, in areas including shipbuilding and defence, renewable energy, mining, tourism, food and wine, IT and advanced manufacturing.

Weatherill said in a statement that South Australia was “entering an exciting new era of trade with Europe”.

“The $89 billion Future Submarines project has opened up a plethora of opportunities to strengthen ties with France and her neighbours,” he said.

“Already, we’re seeing that relationship extend beyond defence and into areas such as renewable energy. This mission is an opportunity to strengthen existing ties and explore new areas of growth.”

The Premier copped widespread criticism early last year for taking his own film crew to Paris for two trips, including the international climate change conference, at a reported cost of $185,000.

A spokesperson said Weatherill would not be accompanied by a film crew on the one-week trip.

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