COALAR Strategic Plan 2011-2014
The Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) was created in March 2001 by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade, for an initial period of three years. Following a review in 2004, COALAR's mandate was extended for a further three-year period to 30 June 2007. In 2007 the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade decided that the Council would have on-going status with effect from 7 February 2007 and that the continuation of the Council would no longer be subject to periodic review. All eight of the current COALAR Executive Committee members were appointed on 1 July 2010 by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in consultation with the Minister for Trade.
COALAR is a key advisory element of the Government's engagement with Latin America. Under the supervision of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade – exercised on a day to day basis by the Executive of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – it provides advice on a grants program and other activities related to Latin America to advance Australia's business, cultural and diplomatic objectives. COALAR's Executive Committee brings together representatives from business, government, and academia to ensure that the approach to Latin America benefits from a wide variety of experiences and insights, and to enhance links between business and government.
COALAR seeks to complement other government programs and private sector initiatives, leveraging off them where appropriate, and employing its resources to enhance their strategic effects. COALAR supports innovative activities that have clear outcomes, seeking to ensure the benefits of such activities are spread as widely as possible, with a special focus on assisting the initiation of activities that are likely to prove self sustaining thereafter (or 'seed-funding'). A key objective of COALAR is to build sustainable networks between Australia and Latin America across its areas of interest.
COALAR expects to support industry specific events including contributing to Austrade's activities. COALAR will look to sponsor events which showcase "Australia Unlimited" by promoting Australia's branding across industries. COALAR aims to promote Australia as a centre for global investment in infrastructure, and as a regional financial centre. COALAR expects to support projects which would help Australian companies to compete in the marketplace over time for significant, country specific events, for example, the construction, staging and logistics of major sports events in Latin America, including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
As a rule, COALAR would not support activities that directly benefit the commercial interests of a single enterprise, such as market research or narrow promotional activities, or where other sources of funding (including commercial funding) would be more appropriate and readily available. All activities supported by COALAR must be clearly seen to support COALAR's objectives, and meet appropriate standards of probity, efficiency and value for money.
- to influence corporate Australia and assist in developing government policies so as to enhance Australia's economic, political and social relations with Latin America;
- to support Australia's broader diplomatic and economic objectives in the Latin American region; and
- to foster a greater awareness of Australia in Latin America, and of Latin America in Australia.
To achieve these objectives, the members of COALAR will undertake a range of outreach activities – including personal contact with key decision makers in government and business. The Council will also support collaborative activities in five priority areas:
- cultural promotion; and
In addition, during the 2011-2014 triennium, COALAR will investigate and support activities in new areas including science, energy technology, agribusiness, youth and mid career leadership and sports cooperation.
Outlined below are the goals and strategies that will be engaged by COALAR to meet the Council's objectives across the priority areas outlined above.
Goals and strategies
To enhance and strengthen links between Australia and Latin America, particularly in the areas of business, education, sustainability, tourism and cultural promotion.
- Engage key government, business and education decision makers to further develop relations between Australia and Latin America in priority areas.
- Support two-way visits by high level parliamentarians, officials, business representatives, journalists, young professionals and academics.
- Build sustainable networks between Australia and Latin America in COALAR's priority areas.
To influence corporate Australia to initiate closer engagement with Latin America.
- Support activities which raise corporate Australia's profile in Latin America.
- Facilitate opportunities for Australian business and government collaboration in priority areas.
- Promote activities that facilitate business opportunities in Latin America.
To increase awareness and understanding of Australia in Latin America and of Latin America in Australia.
- Support public diplomacy and other activities in COALAR's priority areas in Latin America that showcase Australia as a diverse and dynamic society.
- Support activities to promote deeper cultural understanding in both Australia and Latin America.
- Participate and promote public events, academic conferences and other activities which focus on strengthening links with Latin America.
The Council will develop an annual business plan of activities.
COALAR's Strategic Plan 2011-2014 activities will include:
- advice and support for Australian government activities in Latin America in collaboration with Government departments and agencies associated or concerned with the broadening of relations between Australia and Latin America;
- continued collaboration with the Australia-Latin America Business Council and bilateral business chambers;
- support for projects showing Australia as a competitive and high quality provider of education, especially in the context of the Australia Americas Awards Scholarship program;
- support for projects that encourage linkages between Australian schools, TAFEs, colleges and universities with Latin American institutions;
- support for projects showcasing Australia's academic and science institutions as a potential source of direct or collaborative research and innovation where capabilities and strengths align with Latin American institutions;
- activities which promote Australia as a competitive and high quality tourist destination;
- support for public diplomacy and cultural activities in Latin America which showcase Australia as a diverse and dynamic society in literature, visual arts, theatre, music, dance and food amongst others;
- support for sports diplomacy and cooperation activities in Latin America that create or extend linkages and exchange from community to elite level;
- support for projects that promote Australia's business capabilities in the construction, project management, and logistics of major sporting and cultural events;
- Build on opportunities to extend interest and linkages between Australia and Latin America on public policy issues and public administration that promote Australia's economic credentials particularly in public sector reform and competition policy.
- promote greater awareness of the opportunities that Latin America countries can offer Australia and Australia to Latin American countries;
- raising the profile of Australia in Latin America and of Latin America in Australia by working with government leaders and all levels of government and by facilitating exchanges by high level government officials, key business representatives, senior journalists, young professionals, academics and other opinion makers;
- liaison with Latin American diplomatic missions, communities and parliamentary friendship groups in Australia with a view to strengthening dialogue and co-operation on shared objectives;
- support for projects that strengthen relations with priority countries such as Brazil; and
- advocate promotion of COALAR's achievements and outreach since its creation in March 2001.