2014 economic diplomacy case studies

Abu Dhabi

Case study: Sports diplomacy kicking bilateral goals in Qatar: Match Australia high level luncheon, Doha, 22 October 2014.

Summary:

Ahead of the AFC Asian Australia Cup 2015, H.E. Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to Qatar, and Gerard Seeber, Senior Trade Commissioner – MENA, hosted a high level luncheon in Doha on 22 October 2014. This activity formed part of the Australian Government’s International Sports Business Program, Match Australia.

Partly sponsored by Emirates Airline and Qantas Airways, this event was developed in collaboration with the local National Football Association and included presentations and panel discussions with Executive Committee Member of the Qatar Football Association & CEO of Qatar Stars League (QSL), Mr Hani Taleb Ballan; Managing Director of the Qatar Football Association, Mr Mansour Mohammed Al Ansari; and Socceroo and Midfielder with the QSL Al-Gharafa team, Mark Bresciano.

Impact:

65 key government, industry and sports entities in the Qatar participated in this Match Australia event and discussed opportunities to expand trade, investment, education and tourism links. The presentations also highlighted the synergies between Australia’s sports and major events capabilities and Qatar’s requirements in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Extensive media coverage was secured around this event, with Qatar taking the lead in the World Sports Group’s AFC Asian Cup Selfie competition.

Outcome for Australia:

Qatar confirmed 33 delegates to participate in the Match Australia program in January 2015 and engage with the Australian government and private providers in the lead-up to procurement and delivery of the World Cup 2022. A draft program has been developed for the Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Management and Observers delegation in conjunction with the Asian Cup LOC, Victorian Government and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organisers.

Qantas and Emirates were able to reach a targeted audience to promote routes between Australia and Qatar.

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Abuja

Case study:

Through the High Commission in Abuja’s introductions, an Australian resources company was able to meet a number of key country contacts in West and Central Africa throughout 2014 and 2015. These included ministers, ministerial advisers, regulators and in-country analysts. In addition, the High Commission in Abuja provided tailored country and industry analysis, which enabled this company to successfully navigate a challenging political and commercial environment. The High Commission in Abuja also facilitated a high level meeting between the CEO of an Australian resources company and the head of state of an African nation while visiting Australia.

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Accra

Case study: Increasing student enrolments from Ghana.

Summary:

The number of full fee paying Ghanaian students studying in Australia has been increasing steadily as a result of the ongoing work by DFAT and Austrade.

Impact:

While coming off a low base, West Africa is now one the fastest growing markets for international students in Australia.

This is leading to increased diversity at Australian universities and is contributing to the robust education export revenue.

Ghanaian students who study in Australia often return to their home country to occupy key roles in public and private enterprises, using the skills and knowledge they acquired in Australia.

Outcome for Australia:

West Africa is a potentially large source of international students for Australia.

In 2014, around 243 Ghanaian students chose to study in Australia, up from 167 students the previous year. This still represents a small proportion of a total Ghana market of more than 4000 prospective international students. (The majority of international students from the region currently choose the United Kingdom and the United States for their tertiary studies.)

Case study: Building Markets International – Liberia.

Summary:

This project links local businesses to large companies’ (including the extractives sector) supply chains through matchmaking and training programs.

Impact:

Australian government funding through Building Markets International (BMI) supported 128 businesses to win over 2,000 contracts worth USD17million. Of these, businesses owned by women won 65 contracts worth USD 6.5million. The project has trained 451 participants and created 364 full-time-equivalent jobs.

Outcome for Australia:

This local content project has directly provided economic development opportunities for Liberians and potentially provides a model to emulate in other parts of Liberia where there are currently eight Australian mining companies operating.

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Addis Ababa

Case study: Improving Ethiopian agricultural productivity.

Summary:

Ethiopian farmers are being supported to improve agricultural productivity and adopt conservation agriculture techniques, with the support of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). SIMLESA (Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Cropping Systems for food security in Eastern and South Africa) is a large research-for-development program funded by the Australian Government, now in its second phase.

A sister project in Ethiopia is focusing on incorporating the right trees and management practices into agricultural systems to double crop yields. The Trees for Food Security project, funded by the Australian International Food Security Research Centre (AIFSRC), builds on the Ethiopian Government’s efforts to promote the enhancement of tree cover on agricultural land as a cheap but effective way of improving soils and lifting agricultural productivity.

Impact:

As a participant country, Ethiopia has benefited significantly from capacity-building on modern agricultural techniques – significant for a country where 80% of its export earnings derive from agriculture. A key impact for Ethiopia from the SIMLESA program has also been an uptake in conservation agriculture techniques at research sites. In this program, farmers learn from their peers, particularly ‘early adopters’ and those who lend their farms to highlight the practices. Fatuma (see picture), an Ethiopian widowed mother of 10, is an ‘early adopter’ who has influenced other farmers in her village to practice conservation agriculture - a method of farming where there is minimal or no tillage; inter-cropping is practised with soil-enriching plants, and the soil is left covered with plant residue.

Under the Trees for Food Security project, a policy dialogue was held in Addis Ababa in May 2014 - which included Ethiopia country team members, students and an Australian MSc volunteer based at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). The dialogue identified seven key issues and policy recommendations to facilitate the adoption of trees on farms. Among the findings were that water stress/shortage and free grazing livestock hindered the survival of seedlings. These findings and others will be used to inform Ethiopian Government policies on promoting appropriate tree species and management options.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia’s reputation for agricultural research expertise and targeted capacity-building continues to be strengthened by programs such as SIMLESA and Trees for Food Security in Ethiopia.

Woman in a crop field next to a sign that says MH-138Q
Fatuma Hirpo talking to the SIMLESA research team at the Melkassa Research Station, Ethiopia, Photo credit M Wood, AIFSC/ACIAR.

Case study: Extractives governance assistance to Ethiopia and the AU.

Summary:

The Australian Government is a founding donor of the Addis Ababa-based African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) which is coordinating continent-wide efforts to leverage mineral resources to lead to economic and human development in Africa. The AMDC is already stimulating the minerals reform process in a number of African countries, supporting capacity-building of the potential extractives workforce, and assisting regional and continental level geo-mapping.

Australian support to the nascent Ethiopian extractives sector is also growing; with targeted in-country training on minerals revenue management, contract negotiation and civil society engagement. Australia has also co-funded a landmark Strategic Ethiopian Mining Sector Assessment, provided Australia Awards and study tours in extractives, strategically placed several Australian volunteers within the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines to support policy development and communications.

Impact:

Several countries – including Lesotho, Ghana and Tanzania - are already benefitting from AMDC leadership in reforming their mining regulatory environment, to help achieve the Africa Mining Vision. The AMDC is also partnering with Australia’s International Mining for Development Centre (IM4DC) and the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) to train officials from African countries on a range of mining governance issues.

In Ethiopia, the World Bank-led Australian Government-funded Strategic Minerals Sector Assessment has for the first time the potential of the sector while also identifying critical gaps (from skills and human resources to the policy frameworks which will inform future mining governance activities and interventions by donors). Australia’s training and Awards have increased capacity within the sector to respond to the immediate lack of skills in areas such as contract formation and negotiation. The additional capacity has also enabled Government officials to better identify priorities for policy reform. The Ethiopian Government has informally approached the AMDC for assistance to develop an AMV-compliant mining policy.

Outcome for Australia:

The AMDC is mandated to progress realisation of the AMV across Africa - to enable African countries to maximise the economic growth potential from extractives and to ensure this translates into sustainable development and poverty reduction. The awareness raised by the AMDC, along with work undertaken to map resources, increase skills and reform policies, will improve the enabling environment for foreign investors, including Australian mining companies who are increasingly active in Africa.

In Ethiopia, Australian capacity-building assistance is directly tackling the skills deficit in the potential extractives workforce – which will help enable Ethiopia to leverage its mineral resources wealth. Given Ethiopia’s difficult investment climate, Australia’s assistance will also help drive the reform needed to attract more investors to this sector.

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Amman

No case studies.

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Ankara

Case study: Australia-Turkey Centre for Mining Excellence

Summary

Austrade and the Embassy are creating a forum to position the Australian resources industry to become the lead partner in the development and reform of the Turkish mining industry.

Impact

The Turkish economy seeks to grow its resource industries, invest in new mining technology and lift productivity as cost pressures intensify. Turkey’s ambitions of becoming the world’s 10th largest economy by 2023 are contingent on achieving a significant reduction in dependence on its neighbouring region for energy and resources. The reforms to the industry include a heightened emphasis on sustainability in work practices, safety and the environment to bring Turkey to the levels of world’s best practice.

Australia, as a leading mining economy, has strong capability in all these areas and is viewed as a leading supplier of innovative technology, equipment, services, investment and R&D to support industry development. The Turkish industry recognises and appreciates Australia’s world class technology and skills and has demonstrated a readiness to learn from the Australian experience.

Specific areas where Turkey is looking to Australia for leadership include mining safety, mine planning, project management, coal-bed methane drilling and extraction services, and the acquisition of specialised equipment used in both underground and open-cut mine operations

Outcome for Australia

The proposed Australia-Turkey centre for mining excellence, which will be hosted by the University of Queensland and the Hacettepe University in Ankara, with endorsement from the Australian Government, will provide a critical pathway for Australia to partner with the Turkish Government to reform the industry.

The centre will allow policy makers, regulators, academics and industry from both countries to explore specific opportunities and showcase Australian capability. Importantly, the dialogue fostered by the centre will demonstrate a commitment by Australia to work with Turkey, beyond simply seeking commercial gains. To date preliminary expert visits to Australia have taken place.

Through the direct assistance of the Mission and its representational work with key decision makers in Turkey, an Australian team from the Universities of Queensland and Western Australia have been invited to lead investigations into a number of mine disasters in Turkey, submit their findings to the Turkish Government and prepare a roadmap for the policy and regulatory reform of the industry. Completion of this activity, which is expected to culminate in 2015, will open the market for Australian technology, systems and investment. The process has the potential to create over A$100 million in revenue for Australian firms in the first five years, with significantly more in the long-term.

Exchanges in R&D, mining scholarships to leading Australian institutions, a commencement in Turkish investment in the Australian mining industry will also be driven by the centre of excellence.

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Apia

Case study: Development of the Private Sector in Samoa – Rebuilding Samoa’s Taro Industry.

Summary:

Australia is assisting the Government of Samoa to restore the export industry in taro products after a pest outbreak decimated the sector, including through exploring the viability of a frozen taro export industry.

Impact:

Australia, through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and the Pacific Horticultural Market Access Program (PHAMA), is helping to rebuild Samoa’s once-dominant taro industry. The sector was decimated following a leaf-blight outbreak – which led to import prohibitions in key export markets. Samoa was the leading Pacific taro exporter before this disaster.

The industry is being restored in partnership with the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS). Experts from ACIAR helped to select and cultivate blight-resistant crops to replant. PHAMA provided important market analysis and export enabling assistance, including the trial of blast-freezing equipment to prepare crops to pass international quarantine regulations.

Taro exports once provided half of Samoa’s foreign exchange earnings, and the restoration of the industry is a key driver of restored growth in the Samoan economy. Smallholder and subsistence farmers in rural areas stand to gain the most from the restoration of this industry, which provides important income support to these vulnerable communities.

Outcome for Australia:

The program helps to build Samoa’s economic resilience and restore economic growth, in a time of consolidation after several large macroeconomic shocks. Australia has a strong interest in an economically stable and prosperous Samoa.

By focussing on an industry which directly engages Samoans working in mostly subsistence agricultural production, the program helps to alleviate poverty in Samoa.

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Athens

Case study: Production and dissemination of a short film on the shipping and maritime links between Australia and Greece.

Summary:

A project to produce a short film on the Australia-Greece shipping relationship for screening at the shipping industry’s flagship ‘Posidonia’ Conference in Athens in June 2014, attended by over sixty delegations including Australia. Drawing on post’s public diplomacy funds, and working in collaboration with AMSA, AUSMEPA, Austrade and HABC, the Embassy produced an 8 minute film featuring the then HOM and the HABC President which captured the historical and contemporary links between Australia and Greece formed around the maritime sector. Leveraging the international profile of the Greek shipping sector, the film highlighted Australia’s strengths in mining, energy, tourism and marine related services.

Impact:

Included on the Posidonia official program, the film was screened at a stand-alone event hosted by the Embassy, with an introduction by the Greek Minister for Shipping and the Aegean. The event attracted an audience of c. 100 shipping, business, official and diplomatic representatives. The film was well received and was subsequently distributed via the Embassy website, uploaded to DFAT’s Youtube channel, and a link tweeted from the DFAT Canberra account. The event generated good coverage in local and shipping-related press.

Outcome for Australia:

Despite its domestic economic challenges, Greece's offshore presence is globally competitive and visible in ways that matter to Australia. Greece controls around 20 percent of global shipping and nearly half of European shipping. Transporting up to 50 percent of Australian resource, energy and food by some estimates, Greek shipping provides a key conduit to our top export markets in China, Japan and Korea. There is significant Greek shipping investment in China, Japan and Korea, in part underpinned by Australian financing.

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Australian Mission to ASEAN

Case study: Through the AANZFTA Economic Support Program (AECSP), Australia supported ASEAN in developing and finalising the ASEAN Reference Qualification Framework.

Summary:

The AECSP has supported the development of AQRF through assistance to a task force comprising representatives from ministries of education, labour, trade, and qualification/accreditation agencies. Technical assistance and support to workshops since 2012 has helped the task force develop and agree on the final text of AQRF in March 2014. It was endorsed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers and ASEAN Education Ministers in August and September 2014, respectively and currently under inter-sessional consideration by the ASEAN Labour Ministers

Impact:

The successful development and acceptance of the AQRF is a significant milestone for achieving the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) Blueprint in the free flow of skilled labour. The AQRF, a common reference framework, functions as a device to enable comparisons of qualifications of skilled labour across ASEAN Member States (AMS). The AQRF and the role of the task force has been increasingly recognized and mainstreamed in related initiatives undertaken by UNESCAP, ILO, IOM and EAS TVET QA, among others. More work will be required in the lead up to the actual implementation of the AQRF. The AECSP will continue to support the task force's work, particularly design and pilot-testing for the framework's implementation and bilateral technical exchanges among some of the Parties.

Outcome for Australia:

The AQRF’s existence can play important role in liberalising trade and services in ASEAN as reflected in AEC blueprint. This should also benefit Australia.

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Baghdad

No case studies.

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Bandar Seri Begawan

Case study: The Australian arm of world leading stadium designers, Populous, has been contracted for the pre-design of a new national stadium for Brunei Darussalam.

Summary:

Post (DFAT and Austrade) has worked closely over the past 2 years to support Populous in pursuing a contract for the design of a new national stadium, in time for Brunei’s hosting of the South East Asian Games in 2019. The company has been contracted to complete the pre-design phase.

Impact:

The project will be managed out of the company’s Brisbane office. The stadium will be a regionally significant, state–of-the-art building and Populous is committed to making it the best stadium in South East Asia. On completion of the pre-design phase, Populous will be well positioned to secure further work should the Government of Brunei decide to proceed with a new stadium.

The project will also provide opportunities for the transfer of knowledge and enable the local partner to upskill local professionals in a range of consultancy services. The Government of Brunei places a high priority on the development of the local labour force.

Outcome for Australia:

This outcome is an example of our increasingly diverse trade and investment relationship with Brunei. This high profile social infrastructure project highlights the competitiveness of Australian high skilled services exports and will provide many jobs for Australians.

This success meets one of the medium term goals set out in Post’s economic diplomacy strategy of assisting Australian business to secure contracts in relation to major infrastructure projects in Brunei.

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Bangkok

Case study: Thailand: Enabling Prosperity: Moving Beyond the Middle Income Trap Conference.

Summary:

With Australian Embassy support, the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce held a high-profile conference to consider ways Thailand could build its prosperity and achieve its goal of becoming a higher income country. Over 100 senior officials, government advisers, business leaders, academics and journalists attended. Prominent Australian alumni from Thailand and members of the Australian business community gave speeches which highlighted relevant Australian expertise and experience.

Impact:

The event showcased the contribution Australian-educated Thais are making to developing innovation in the Thai economy and the potential for greater two-way investment. Through this, we were able to advocate for creating a more open and investment-friendly Thai economy as well as demonstrate the potential role Australian investment could play in promoting innovation. It also focused on the contribution Thai investors make to the Australian economy and the benefits they gained in knowledge-sharing from their investment.

Outcome for Australia:

The event’s timing allowed us to provide input to the thinking of leading economic advisers ahead of the new Government’s design of major economic reforms.

Our continued advocacy and the event contributed to efforts to encourage Thai Government to consider reforms to improve the investment climate. We continue to use media articles and speeches from the event to advocate for further such changes in Australia’s interests.

The Thai Government has announced it will look to create further incentives for foreign investment and reduce the costs of doing business in Thailand.

Case study: Khon Kaen Regional Connectivity Initiative.

Summary:

An outreach program to Khon Kaen’s provincial, municipal, business and academic communities to position Australia as a valued partner in the city’s plans to develop its urban transport infrastructure and become a regional connectivity hub. Khon Kean, a provincial city in Thailand’s north-east, lies at the heart of the region’s domestic connectivity plans.

Impact:

The first event in this initiative was the Australia-Thailand Forum: Urban and Public Transport Development for the Future of Khon Kaen on 5 June 2014. Approximately 200 participants including senior local, municipal and provincial government authorities, key business contacts, academics, and representatives from eight local economic associations attended the open forum to discuss Khon Kaen’s growth aspirations and challenges. Presentations by two leading urban transport academics from the University of New South Wales and the University of South Australia gave the Australian infrastructure story and Australian infrastructure companies showcased their experience and capabilities.

Following the forum, Austrade held an alumni networking event for 150 people to further highlight the existing strong ties between Australia and north-eastern Thailand.

Austrade will continue to engage participants from both events.

Outcome for Australia:

Khon Kaen University has engaged forum speaker Professor Michael Taylor (University of South Australia) to conduct a series of training sessions on transport oriented delivery to faculty members.

Plans are underway to form a Thai-Australian Collaborative Research Network between four Thai universities and seven Australian education institutions.

 The Khon Kaen government and business community continue to press ahead with long-term plans to develop urban infrastructure, including the setting up of the Provincial Infrastructure Fund by a group of 20 key local business people. Post maintains a strong relationship with the region to ensure that Australian capabilities stay at the forefront of their minds. We are planning a second infrastructure forum in 2015.

Case study: Tapping into Thailand’s growing energy needs.

Summary:

Austrade’s 2014 Australia-Thailand Energy Seminar in Bangkok in May brought together around 120 leading Australian and Thai energy suppliers, experts and officials. They explored Thailand’s growing energy needs and Australia’s capacity to meet them. Australian presentations underscored our expertise in new energy technologies, including clean coal and thermal power.

Impact:

The seminar helped Australian energy companies identify specific opportunities presented by Thailand’s evolving energy needs, particularly its dwindling natural gas resources, ambitious renewable energy targets and likely increased reliance on coal.

The seminar connected Australian and Thai energy companies, laying the foundation for future business relationships. It highlighted Australian companies’ capacity to meet Thai energy demands, and to do so using cutting-edge techniques.

Outcome for Australia:

We aim to build a significant energy partnership with Thailand as its energy needs increase and own energy resources diminish. This seminar was a meaningful step towards achieving this goal.

Through our public diplomacy program and our advocacy to the Thai government, we will work to reinforce the links the seminar established and the messages it conveyed.

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Beijing

Case study: Australia-China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

On 17 November 2014, Australia and China concluded negotiations on a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, after almost 10 years of negotiations. The FTA includes outcomes on goods, services, investment and other commitments. China posts provided analysis and advocacy in support of the FTA negotiations and Beijing post made logistical arrangements for negotiating rounds.

Impact:

The FTA will secure the competitiveness of Australia’s goods exports to China against competitors with existing FTAs (Chile, New Zealand, ASEANs) and provide a competitive edge against exports without FTAs (US, EU). The FTA also provides improved market access for Australia’s service suppliers in China, including banks, insurance companies, securities firms, suppliers of legal and telecommunications services, and health and aged care companies.

Outcome for Australia:

The FTA sets the framework for the next stage in the evolution of the bilateral trade and investment relationship. It provides the policy context for continued growth in Australian exports to China, particularly in agriculture (beef, dairy, wine, horticulture) and the services sector.

The FTA also raises Foreign Investment Review Board screening thresholds for private Chinese investment other than in the agriculture sector to over $1 billion, providing China with the same treatment for these investments as other major FTA partners such as the United States, New Zealand, Korea and Japan.

Case study: Wanda Group Proposed Investment in Queensland

The Wanda Group has confirmed a $900 million investment into a triple-tower, beachfront resort on the Gold Coast, The Jewel. This will include Wanda Vista, a luxury five star hotel with approximately 160 rooms.

Impact:

The Australia Week in China (AWIC) tourism roundtable, chaired by Mr Robb, was the catalyst for the Wanda Group identifying Australia as a priority market for future investment. Following their proposed investment in the Jewel, Wanda Group is also exploring other investment opportunities in Australia, in close consultation with Austrade.

Outcome for Australia:

Wanda’s proposed $900 million investment will support economic growth and jobs in South-East Queensland, and will provide room for continued growth in Australia’s tourism sector. With around 100 million tourists going offshore each year, we expect continued strong growth in Chinese tourism numbers, and resorts like Wanda’s will cater for this trend.

Case study: Supporting Australian Business in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

China posts have supported Australian business to understand the opportunities on offer in the FTZ and to establish operations in the zone. Our reporting on the FTZ informed Australia’s approach to free trade agreement negotiations with China.

Impact:

Australian financial institutions have set up operations in the FTZ. Mr Robb attended ANZ’s opening of a sub-branch there in April 2014; Westpac opened in December.

DFAT and Austrade are working with the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, on behalf of Australian banks, to advocate with the Shanghai Government for further relaxation of banking regulations in the FTZ.

Australian businesses are utilising streamlined customs facilitation arrangements in the FTZ to supply larger volumes of agricultural products to the Chinese market.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will lock in increased market access for Australian services companies in the FTZ, including legal services, value-added telecommunications services and transport services.

DFAT Canberra and China Posts have worked with China’s Ministry of Commerce to improve China’s capabilities in formulating negative lists for foreign investment, including in the FTZ.

Outcome for Australia:

Securing an early Australian presence in the FTZ has provided an opportunity for us to influence the direction and scope of economic reform in the zone and – given reforms being trialled in the FTZ are to be rolled out nationwide – across China. This will enhance our bilateral trade and investment links and will ensure Australian business is well-placed to take advantage of future economic trends in China.

Our advocacy with Shanghai authorities for relaxation of banking regulations in the FTZ is intended to reduce the cost of setting up and operating banks in the zone, thereby improving market access for Australia’s banks.

Services market access gains in the FTZ under ChAFTA – surpassing those currently available to other countries – will boost levels of Australian investment in China’s growing services sector.

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Beirut

Case study: Live exports to Lebanon.

Australia and Lebanon have agreed health protocols and certification processes for the export of Australian feeder and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats.

Summary:

In 2014, Beirut post supported negotiations between Australian and Lebanese agricultural authorities over health protocols and certification processes for the export of feeder and slaughter cattle, sheep and goats to Lebanon.

Impact:

These arrangements represent the essential first step towards commencement of Australian live animal exports to Lebanon.

The remaining step before exports can commence is for an Australian exporter to commission an audit under the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS). This will confirm that animal welfare requirements can be met once animals arrive in Lebanon.

Outcome for Australia:

Profit / volume estimates are speculative at this stage, but Department of Agriculture counterparts inform us that there is genuine industry interest in commencing live exports to Lebanon.

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Belgrade

Case study: Post hosts major PD event to promote Australian tourism and aviation links, Serbia/Europe.

Summary:

Post hosted a major public diplomacy event on 19 September 2014 to promote key economic diplomacy objectives - Australian tourism and aviation links. Post partnered with Etihad Airways to endorse Australian tourism potential and also promote the recent enhancement of aviation links between Australia and Serbia via Etihad's partners Air Serbia and Virgin Australia.

Impact:

The event attracted over 120 guests including VIPs and executives from the aviation and travel industry and key Australian business people working in Serbia and the region. Post partnered with Etihad Airways to endorse Australian tourism potential and also promote the recent enhancement of aviation links between Australia and Serbia via Etihad's partners Air Serbia and Virgin Australia. The lead-up to the event was a competition run by Etihad Serbia targeted at local travel agents. The two-month long contest culminated in a prize presentation for the top two agents that sold the highest number of Etihad air fares to their four destination cities in Australia. The two successful agents were awarded with complimentary return airfares to any one of Etihad’s Australian destinations (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth). Post considerably enhanced the distinct Australian flavour of the event by sourcing first class product sourced from Australia such as barramundi, kangaroo fillet, King Island cheese, wild West Australian prawns and Australian beer and wine. To underline the Australiana atmosphere of the evening an ‘Aussie’ themed quiz was conducted for guests – with winners receiving Australian-made prizes. Post was well supported by corporate sponsors who greatly assisted with the procurement of Australian-made products.

Even though the gathering was primarily a tourism advocacy get-together, Post leveraged its extensive business network contacts to value-add to the event and facilitate a valuable networking opportunity for a number of highly prominent Australian business people and investors. VIP guests included Australian Dane Kondic (CEO, Air Serbia), Joost den Hartong (VP, Etihad Airways Europe), Richard Storrie (GM, Rio Tinto Serbia), Australian entrepreneur Romy Hawatt (CEO, Airways Aviation Group) and Jon Adgemis (Head of Mergers and Acquisitions, KPMG Australia). The networking opportunity proved highly beneficial for all attendees and we expect that it will encourage the growing Australian business footprint in the region and open up more opportunities for not only increased tourism but also enhanced cultural and education links including increased two-way trade and investment.

Outcome for Australia:

The aptly titled ‘Aussie Party’ event attracted a large number of guests including VIPs and executives from the aviation and travel industry and key Australian business people working in the region. The event served to effectively endorse Australian tourism potential to industry representatives and VIPs and also promote the recent enhancement of aviation links between Australia and Serbia via Etihad's equity partners Air Serbia and Virgin Australia. The event proved to be an outstanding PD affair as it was accorded extensive local media coverage.

At the pre-event press conference HOM Julia Feeney took the opportunity to reinforce her support for the upwardly mobile trajectory of aviation links between Australia and Serbia and highlighted that the knock-on effects of closer aviation ties will have a positive effect on bilateral trade between our two countries. HOM highlighted that Australia is a first class global tourism destination and acknowledged Etihad’s partnership with Air Serbia and Virgin Australia and their multiple destinations in Australia, which effectively brings Australia and Serbia so much closer. These sentiments were bolstered by both speakers representing Etihad and Air Serbia. The event was a positive backdrop to propagate the increasing Australian aviation links in the region. Post continues to work closely with aviation stakeholders in the Balkans, in close consultation with Austrade, to further develop aviation links and promote Australian expertise and technology in the aviation space.

Case study: Launch of Airways Montenegro-Australian aviation investment, Montenegro/Europe.

Summary:

Post representatives attended the official launch of Airways Montenegro (AM), a high profile aviation event held at Podgorica Airport on 22 September. AM is a ground-breaking multimillion euro Australian business initiative in the region that will provide a unique flight training facility.

Impact:

The launch of the aviation flight training centre in Podgorica is a ground-breaking initiative which is headed by Australian entrepreneur Romy Hawatt. Hawatt is the owner and global CEO of the Airways Aviation Group (AAG) which also incorporates AM as an operating subsidiary. AAG currently provides charter services, transfers, aviation theory and practical flight training in Australia, the UK, Malaysia, the UAE, Jordan, Lebanon and now Montenegro. Even though AM is a Montenegro-based operation, the drivers are Australians and there is a significant Australian business element. The official launch was attended by Melinda Rio (First Secretary & Consul). The event had a high turnout with over four hundred attendees, including three Montenegrin ministers and numerous high ranking officials.

Outcome for Australia:

AM is a multi-million dollar ground-breaking initiative in the region that provides a unique flight training facility offering aviation theory and practical flight training for fixed wing and rotary aircraft. Significant direct Australian investment has been utilised for the procurement of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft for use at the training centre. The AAG curriculum is based on both European (EASA) and Australian (CASA) requirements and subject matter incorporates substantive introductions to all of the key disciplines of aviation flight training. Hawatt has also invested venture capital in two complimentary firms in Montenegro - The Anonymous and Discover Montenegro - which delivers travel, lifestyle management, experiences and concierge services in Montenegro via partners at luxury yacht marina Porto Montenegro (whose CEO is also Australian, Oliver Corlette).

Rio addressed the gathering at the opening ceremony and took the opportunity to express her support for the venture. Rio emphasised that AM will facilitate high-quality knowledge transfer to potential pilots and thus contribute to an increase of aviation related links between Australia and the region. A couple of days prior to this event Hawatt attended a major PD event hosted by Post (refer previous case study) were he outlined his business plans for the region and also utilised the opportunity to link up with high-profile aviation executives (most notably from Etihad and Air Serbia). These facilitated linkages will further enable Australian aviation-specific technology and expertise to make its way into the region. Post continues to proactively engage aviation stakeholders in the region to further develop the Australian footprint within this highly prospective industry.

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Berlin

Case study: Advocating an Australia–EU FTA.

Summary:

Due in part to the Embassy’s advocacy, Chancellor Merkel publicly offered her support for an FTA between Australia and the EU when visiting Sydney on 17 November.

Impact:

Germany is Australia’s 10th biggest trading partner, but our exports to Germany are small so our trade relationship is in deficit. This is partly because Australia is one of only six WTO members that doesn’t have additional preferential market access. This means we are disadvantaged against almost every other trade competitor when exporting to Germany (and the rest of the EU). We have held a range of meetings with senior German officials and politicians who influence trade policy, advocating that they support a free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and the EU. On 17 November 2014, Chancellor Merkel gave her public support to the idea, saying it could prove to be a good way to deepen our bilateral economic relationship.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia has not formally requested to begin FTA negotiations with the EU. Yet it is our second largest trading partner, the largest source of investment, and our only top ten trading partner where we have not sought preferential market access. Germany, and the EU, are focussed on their current trade liberalising negotiations with the US, Canada and Japan. But Merkel’s announcement in Sydney indicates Germany may be willing to help secure the consent of other EU countries to support an FTA with Australia, which could strengthen our trading relationship with Germany if pursued and finalised.

Case study: Boosting investment from Germany and Switzerland.

Summary:

Austrade and the Embassy have advocated the merits of investing in Australia, and have helped secure millions of dollars in new investments.

Impact:

Germany is in the midst of what Deutsche Bank describes as a ‘Euro Glut.’ It has a persistent current account surplus bringing money into Germany, but meagre rates of growth throughout the Eurozone. In this environment, German investors are forced to look abroad for promising investment opportunities. The loose monetary policy embraced by the European Central Bank enhances our opportunities. It is also true for Switzerland, which has cheap credit and low growth in traditional investment locations.

Australia can take advantage of this. The Embassy and Austrade have organised several meetings between major investors and the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Trade and Investment Minister in 2014. They have highlighted that the growth of our economy in each of the past 23 years, our reliable governance, our AAA credit ratings, and our solid growth rates makes Australia a secure investment location. Trade Minister Robb also publicly advocated Australia as a host of the Conference of German Business in the Asia Pacific in 2016 or 2018. We have echoed these messages in numerous meetings with investors.

Outcome for Australia:

Maintaining and growing the amount of German and Swiss investment in Australia is important. The German Bundesbank believes that German investment in Australia is responsible for more than 100,000 Australian jobs. Austrade announced this year that its support helped attract new investments by German health manufacturer, Fresenius, worth $50 million. The investment will open a state of the art pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Melbourne, employing 120 highly skilled workers. Chancellor Merkel recognised the opportunities in the Australian economy for German investors when visiting, noting that German companies enjoy good results in Australia, buffeted by more than 20 years of uninterrupted growth and secure investment conditions.

Case study: Improving links in Australian and German education and research.

Summary:

The Embassy and Austrade have worked to create stronger links between Australian and German educators and researchers.

Impact:

Germany is Australia’s third most important research partner (after the US and UK), with an array of research collaborations and joint publications showing the richness of cooperation in this field. The Embassy and Austrade have jointly hosted and supported events which help raise the profile of the research landscape in Australia, and bring researchers from industry and universities together to encourage new research collaborations and build on existing partnerships. Examples include the Embassy’s regular Science Circles (the German Embassy in Canberra hosts similar events), Alumni Functions and the Department of Industry and the European Commissions’ Connecting Australian and European Science and Innovation Excellence (CAESIE) information tours.

One key event to highlight Australia’s research prowess and link it to investment in R&D in Australia, was to involve Australia’s Trade and Investment Minister in the 64th Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany, in June 2014. Australia was a feature country of the event, and a handful of Australian Nobel laureates attended. The Minister addressed 800 eminent persons from science, industry and the media. Austrade’s presence at the event helped provide detailed information on Australia’s R&D capacity and investment opportunities.

Outcome for Australia:

Our efforts to draw researchers from Germany and Australia together over the years have supported a research relationship featuring 300 active international agreements between our research and education institutions (this figure has doubled in the last decade and the actual number of academic links may be larger). The Helmhotz Association of German Research Centres alone has around 70 research activities with Australian institutions. One of which, an MoU between the GFZ German Research centre for Geosciences with CSIRO was extended by another 10 years and expanded by seven research areas in August 2014.

This year, Universities Australia initiated a partnership with the Germany Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The DAAD is the biggest international student funding organisation in the world, having funded 1.9 million students in Germany and abroad in its 90 year history. The purpose of the agreement is to encourage universities in Germany and Australia to match funds for established and up-and-coming scientists and researchers to undertake research in their partner country. This will help world-class researchers work together. Austrade’s work also helped link German corporates Evonik and Bayer with the Woolcock Institute, who are now partnering to develop a low cost vaccination platform.

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Brasilia

Case study: Education links sky-rocketing between Australia and Brazil.

Summary:

Brazil has long been a top source country for English language courses in Australia. However, thanks to the concerted efforts of the Australian Government (Austrade, DFAT, Education, DIPB) and the Australian education sector, students across Brazil are increasingly realising that Australia is home to world-class universities and vocational education and training (VET) institutions. Brazilian state governments are also learning that Australia is a great partner for secondary school exchanges and state scholarship programs. To facilitate this, government officials have been participating in education fairs, speaking to prospective students and institutions across the country, prosecuting social media campaigns, and working with Brazilian federal and state governments to streamline processes and explore new scholarship and transnational VET opportunities.

Impact:

Brazilian students are now looking to Australia as a study destination in droves. This has translated into an over 25 per cent increase in Brazilian enrolments (17% increase in commencements) in the twelve months to October 2014 and seen Brazil become Australia’s 7th largest student source country.

The arrival of over 5,000 tertiary students since 2012 under the Brazilian Government’s Science Without Borders tertiary scholarship program, in particular, has sparked a wave of joint academic and research initiatives, and generated greater business links and public diplomacy benefits.

Australia is considered “one of the best” destinations, according to the Science Without Borders Program Coordinator. This means it will be well-positioned to vie for the 100,000 scholarships to be offered in the second phase of the program.

Pleasingly, there has also been a rise in vocational education and training (VET) enrolments and a wave of new collaborations between Australian and Brazilian VET providers, following a mission to Australia last year.

Outcome for Australia:

Higher commencements equate to increased Australian educational services exports and lead to further growth and prosperity in Australia. In 2013, educational exports were valued at $364 million. That figure should be significantly higher in 2014.

Longer-term, this success means a more highly skilled Brazilian workforce that is better attuned to the investment and business opportunities in Australia and the skills and products that we can share with Brazil. It will also likely result in a range of future Brazilian leaders having a strong and positive connection with Australia.

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Brussels

Case study: Advocacy of an Australia-EU FTA.

Summary:

In advance of a decision by the Government to proceed, the post has advocated the consideration of an Australia-EU FTA to decision makers and other contacts in Brussels, and supported similar efforts by other Australian EU posts.

Impact:

Our advocacy through the year has raised awareness of the opportunities for increased bilateral trade and investment presented by an Australia-EU FTA, and the existing degree of like-mindedness between Australia and the EU on most trade policy issues. It has also helped to address the reservations of some about an FTA’s feasibility. This provides a solid foundation for positive consideration by the incoming European Commission of the inclusion of an Australia-EU FTA in its forward agenda, and for the early initiation and completion of preparatory work prior to the commencement of negotiations.

Outcome for Australia:

An Australia-EU FTA would provide increased opportunities for Australian business to supply high quality goods and services to what is the world’s largest single market. The EU as a whole is also Australia’s largest investment partner.

While direct barriers to Australia’s exports of resources, industrial goods and services to the EU are relatively low, access to the EU market for key agricultural products is severely limited, and regulatory barriers can significantly affect Australian exports in all sectors. Australia is disadvantaged relative to most other competitors in not already enjoying or currently negotiating preferential access to the EU market. In its recently concluded FTA negotiations with Canada, the EU made commitments to open its markets well beyond what is achievable through current multilateral and plurilateral negotiations.

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Buenos Aires

Case study: Australian miners investing in Argentina.

Summary:

Several Australian junior mining companies are successfully investing in Argentina’s mining sector, with assistance from the Australian Embassy. The Embassy is also working to share our experiences in sustainable mining to create further opportunities, given widespread public opposition.

Impact:

Throughout 2014 Australian Embassy officials (DFAT and Austrade) maintained close links with Argentine government (national and provincial) figures and mining companies to promote Australian companies, both existing players and new entrants into the market. We travelled to and presented at a variety of mining conferences throughout Argentina to raise awareness of Australian expertise and capabilities.

Taking a longer-term view, given opposition to mining in some provinces (concerns over the impact on agriculture, as well as environmental and regulatory concerns), we worked with Australian and Argentine universities, companies and mining chambers to promote Australian experiences and expertise in sustainable mining, holding a number of well-attended seminars and events.

Outcome for Australia:

Our advocacy led to outcomes for key companies. Brisbane-based Orocobre opened a new lithium mine in Jujuy province in early December (attended by Post, together with key Argentine politicians) – a USD230 million investment. First Quantum Minerals announced in August a USD3 billion investment in a copper/gold/molybdenum project, located in Salta province, which was welcomed by the Argentine Mining Secretary.

There were also key investments made by Troy Resources (gold and silver), ADY Resources (lithium) and Galaxy Resources (lithium) – the latter two in the ‘lithium triangle’ (between Argentina, Bolivia and Chile) that holds 85 per cent of global reserves. These investments, together with greater awareness of sustainable mining issues, will place Australian companies in strong positions ahead of the expected resurgence of economic activity in Argentina in 2016, noting the strong potential in the mining sector (75 per cent of areas with significant mining potential remain unexplored).

Case study: Exporting Australia’s VET model to Argentina.

Summary:

Argentina is interested in learning about Australia’s Vocational Education and Training (VET) system, with San Luis province engaging the Victorian Government (with Post’s support) to develop a Technical University. Other provinces have expressed interest in this approach.

Impact:

Many Argentine provinces lack an equivalent of Australia’s VET system, which restricts the development of technical skills post-secondary school. Post engaged San Luis province officials on Australian capabilities in the sector, including organising several visits to Australia. The Victorian Government was engaged on a consultancy project to assist in the design of a new technical university in San Luis, based on the Australian model, which will focus on skills development for the agricultural and industrial sectors.

There was also high-level interest in a COALAR-sponsored visit to Buenos Aires by TAFE Australia on related issues, with several Provincial Ministers attending a seminar organised by Post. The Victorian Government and TAFE Australia visits have successfully raised awareness of Australian expertise and capabilities in the sector.

Outcome for Australia:

In July the Victorian Government signed a contract with San Luis Province to advise and oversee the development of a Technical University during 2014 and 2015. This involves travel by officials and politicians between the two countries and continued engagement by the Embassy.

The project creates opportunities for academic exchanges and greater numbers of Argentine students studying in Australia. We will continue promoting this example of cooperation to other Argentine provinces and the national government to find further opportunities for Australia’s VET sector in Argentina.

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Cairo

Case study: Recommencement of Live Animal Exports to Egypt.

Summary:

Post worked with the Egyptian authorities and Department of Agriculture to facilitate the recommencement of the live trade in cattle and sheep and the introduction of ESCAS in Egypt.

Impact:

On 20 March 2014, the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, announced the recommencement of the live animal trade with Egypt. The export of cattle from Australia to Egypt had been suspended in mid-2012, the export of sheep had been suspended since 2006.

By instituting the safeguards promoted by the ESCAS regime, the trade in live animals has been able to recommence, allowing for trade between Australia and Egypt to grow further, and for business and investment linkages, which had been lost, to be re-established. The high level of bilateral cooperation also generated positive local media coverage which celebrated the return of Australian produce to the market.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia’s live export trade with Egypt was worth A$27.3 million in 2011-12, consisting entirely of cattle. Between March 2014 (when the trade recommenced) and July 2014 more than A$17.1million worth of cattle and sheep were exported to Egypt. With further shipments planned for 2014, this figure will grow significantly.

Given this, the return of the trade not only benefits Australian farmers, but also further enhances Australia’s exports to Egypt (which in 2013 totalled A$469million).

Case study: Building an alumni network in Egypt.

Summary:

Working with colleagues in DFAT and Austrade, Post built an alumni network for Egyptians who had studied in Australia and hosted an inaugural function.

Impact:

Based on contact information for past Egyptian participants in the Australia Awards programs, Post has established an alumni network. In September 2014, the Head of Mission hosted 30 alumni at an informal gathering at the Residence. This proved to be very successful, with many of the alumni eager to carry on meeting as a group.

Going forward, Post hopes to hold annual alumni events as well as invite existing alumni to future public diplomacy events (one such event has already been successfully held). Post will also work with Austrade to expand the alumni to students who have self-funded their study in Australia.

Outcome for Australia:

As the majority of the alumni work in the Egyptian government, there is significant opportunity for developing ties which may be of assistance in fostering trade relations and managing market access issues in the future.

By further developing the reach of the alumni network to self-funded students, we may also be able to capture those who have entered the private sector and so foster greater investment and business opportunities between Egypt and Australia in the future.

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Colombo

Case study: Australian Community Rehabilitation Program, Sri Lanka.

Summary:

The Australian Community Rehabilitation Program (ACRP) funds local economic development activities in the Northern, Eastern and Central Provinces of Sri Lanka. The program is delivered by international non-government and UN organisations, including the International Labour Organisation, Organisation for International Migration, World Vision, Oxfam and the Asia Foundation.

Impact:

The program has supported economic growth in war-affected and disadvantaged parts of the country. In the last 12 months, the program has provided new technology to 8,600 people engaged in agriculture and fishing, generated an additional US$2.9 million in agricultural production and provided microfinance to 10,400 small entrepreneurs, clean water to 35,000 people and sanitation training and facilities to 9,400 people.

Outcome for Australia:

The program contributes to a more peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka. Higher levels of growth and continued transition to middle-income create opportunities for Australian exporters to find new customers and reduce push factors for illegal migration overseas.

Case study: How Australia is helping to build the dairy industry in Sri Lanka.

Summary:

A milk import bill of USD 300 million per year prompted the Sri Lankan government to seek ways to create its own sustainable dairy industry and make fresh milk more available. To assist this goal, Sri Lanka chose a path to import cows with superior genetics from Australia that will raise the average daily yield of three litres per cow to closer to Australia’s 26 litres per day. Wellard Rural Exports Pty Ltd was contracted with the task of supplying dairy cattle, building farm infrastructure and providing management services.

Impact:

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) initiated the five-year project, estimated at US$30 million. The development project links Australia’s agricultural resources and expertise with the Sri Lankan government’s desire to increase the nation’s fresh milk supply, reduce reliance on powdered milk imports and, ultimately, become a self-sufficient dairy producer.

Sri Lanka’s National Livestock Development Board (NLDB), which oversees the project, engaged Wellard to supply dairy cattle, infrastructure, equipment and management with a view to increasing the size of the national dairy herd and raising the daily average yield from three litres of milk per cow to a number nearer Australia’s 26 litres.

In phase one of the development project, Wellard supplied 2,000 dairy cows to three farms in central Sri Lanka’s Bopathalawa region. Under phase two, Wellard will supply a further 2,500 dairy cattle in an agreement worth US$21 million. Wellard will supply the cattle and infrastructure to a farm in Ridiyagama in southern Sri Lanka.

The Australian Government’s Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) has supported the project, arranging a long-term sovereign loan for the Sri Lankan government to fund the respective dairy projects.

Outcome for Australia:

The success of Phase 1 of the project has established Australia as the preferred country of origin for the importation of dairy cattle. Recently the Sri Lankan government signed a supply contract agreement with Wellard Rural Exports Pty Ltd for 20,000 more dairy cattle from Australia. This project is worth USD 73.9 million. This also opens up many other opportunities for Australian exporters and service providers in veterinary services, seeds/fodder and other dairy farming technologies. Moreover, Australia has gained significant profile with government and across the community as a strong partner in the Sri Lankan government’s aim to revive the dairy industry of Sri Lanka.

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Copenhagen

Case study: Agribusiness Seminar – opportunities for Danish investment and engagement in Australia.

Summary:

On 26 November, in partnership with Austrade, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Confederation of Danish Industries (DI), post hosted a well-attended seminar on the Australian agribusiness sector and opportunities for collaboration with Danish companies.

Impact:

The aim of the Agribusiness Seminar was to showcase Australia’s expertise in agriculture and food production and highlight the opportunities for Danish companies. The seminar was attended by over 50 company and industry group representatives. Major Danish companies Chr. Hansen and Foss gave presentations about their business activities in Australia. Business case studies were also provided by SLM Partners, which alongside Danish pension fund PKA, has invested in Australian farmland. Australian industry groups, the Gardiner Foundation and Meat and Livestock gave presentations on the strengths of Australian agribusiness.

The seminar was followed by an evening reception with a Masterchef style grazing menu created by an Australian chef using Australian produce. We maximised this opportunity by including messaging and materials from Tourism Australia’s ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign to showcase both Australian produce and Australia as an award-winning culinary destination.

Outcome for Australia:

The Agribusiness Seminar had a positive outcome for Australia. Denmark and Australia have complementary expertise in agriculture production. Despite its size, Denmark is often described as an agricultural superpower. The agriculture and food sector is Denmark’s largest industry and innovation grouping, accounting for exports of about AUD29 billion annually. The Danish sector is focussed on high-tech innovative solutions, which is a driving rationale behind the creation of the Danish Food Cluster which has representatives from major Danish food brands including Arla (dairy), Danish Crown (pork) among others.

A number of Danish agribusiness companies are looking to enter the Australian market or scale-up their presence. Many see Australia as a promising market in itself, others are keen to use Australia as a base for expanding their market share in Asia. Post will continue to work with Austrade to help connect Danish agribusiness companies with potential Australian trade, investment and research partners.

There is scope for Danish investment in the Australian agribusiness sector. Denmark is a world-leader in technologies relating to food testing, production and packaging. Some of these technologies are already being used in Australia. There is potential for further expansion. Post will also work to forge links between the key Danish agribusiness players (DI, the Danish Food and Agriculture Council and the Danish Food Cluster) with the proposed new Australian Growth Centre focused on food and agribusiness.

We used the evening reception to promote Australian meat and wine which are two of our biggest exports to Denmark (accounting for AUD14 million and AUD28 million of trade, respectively, in 2013). Denmark accounts for a significant share of Australia’s grass-fed meat quota in Europe.

The Agribusiness Seminar highlighted the competencies of the Australian sector to Danish companies and opportunities for collaboration. DI will lead an Agribusiness delegation to Australia in 2015 which will provide further opportunities for promoting investment and collaboration in this sector.

See caption below
Clockwise from top left, Ambassador Miller presenting on opportunities for Danish companies in the Australian agribusiness sector; Chef Gary Farrell presenting modern Australian cuisine; the presenters and organisers behind the event; Søren Herskind from Chr. Hansen presenting a business case for engagement in the Australian dairy industry. Photo: DFAT.

Case study: Eurovision – Two indigenous voices debut in Denmark.

Summary:

Post helped facilitate Jessica Mauboy’s performance at the Eurovision semi-finals through fostering links between SBS and the Danish national broadcaster, Danish Radio (DR). HOM hosted a Eurovision Reception for Danish film and music industry contacts to highlight the strength of Australian creative industries. Post leveraged the opportunity to launch HOM’s twitter handle during the lead up to the Eurovision event.

Impact:

In 2014 the audience for Eurovision was estimated to reach 195 million people. Jessica Mauboy’s performance at the semi-finals was the first time that a non-European national had been invited to perform at the contest.

Outcome for Australia:

The Embassy used the soft power appeal of Eurovision and Jessica Mauboy's involvement to boost its public diplomacy and outreach activities. We took the opportunity to launch the Ambassador's Twitter handle during the build up to the Eurovision event and promoted the event extensively on our Facebook page, with key messaging about Indigenous Australia and highlighting examples of Australian creativity and innovation.

The day after Jessica's performance at the Eurovision semi-finals, the Ambassador hosted a reception for more than 100 people involved in the Danish film and music industry to promote Australia’s creative industry and provide an opportunity to network with SBS CEO Michael Ebeid. We incorporated messaging and banners from Tourism Australia to leverage the event.

The Eurovision Event was our main activity in 2014 to promote Australia’s creative industries. Well ahead of the concert, post had been working to develop ties between SBS and DR. DR and SBS links are growing, with both continuing to explore opportunities for future collaboration.

Jessica Mauboy’s performance was an opportunity to promote a positive image of modern Australia with world class creative industries, our indigenous heritage and cultural diversity to a large audience.

See caption below
CEO of Danish Radio (DR), Ms Maria Rørbye Ronn and SBS CEO Mr Michael Ebeid join Ambassador Miller and Jessica Mauboy. Photo credit: Hasse Ferrold.
See caption below
Jessica Mauboy. Photo credit: Hasse Ferrold.

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Dhaka

Case study: Fostering demand for Australia’s high-quality education.

Summary:

Using portfolio-wide initiatives, we have further built Australia’s reputation in Bangladesh for high-quality education, and promoted Australia as the education destination of choice.

Impacts and Outcomes

Based on student visas awarded, Bangladesh sent over 6500 students to Australia in 2011-12 and almost 6300 in 2012-13.

Through participation in regular Australian university roadshows in Dhaka and Chittagong, through the public recognition of successful Australian university alumni, and through the promotion of Australian university alumni networks, Dhaka’s DFAT and Austrade team continued to foster demand in Bangladesh for an Australian education. Bangladesh’s Australia Award Alumni Association, which the Australian High Commission launched in November 2012, has x members including in senior corporate and government ranks. The alumni association’s participation in our regular farewell and welcome back events for Australia Awards scholars strengthens Australia’s reputation in Bangladesh for excellence in education.

We continue to use Australian aid in Bangladesh to provide Bangladesh’s current and future leaders with Australian education and training, building Australia’s long-term recognition and influence in Bangladesh. Australian aid has supported, for example:

  • 130 Australia Awards scholarships and fellowships for Bangladeshis in 2012, making Bangladesh one of the major beneficiaries of the Australia Awards program;
  • training during 2013 for Bangladesh diplomats at the Australian National University, and for Bangladesh public servants at Macquarie and Monash universities;
  • training, planned for 2014, for Bangladesh energy and power officials delivered by RMIT and Monash University in collaboration with Australian energy company Santos.

These initiatives are capable of producing commercial returns for Australia. Building on successful Australia Awards programs, the Bangladesh Government is now putting its own funds into training its public servants in Australia, having recently negotiated a multi-year training arrangement with Monash University. The RMIT/ Monash/ Santos energy and power initiative places Australian expertise alongside the Bangladesh Government’s ambitions to develop Bangladesh’s gas and coal resources, and build much-needed power infrastructure for the country’s growing economy.

High Commissioner Greg Wilcock with Bangladesh Finance Minister AMA Muhith (left) and Prime Ministerial Adviser Gowher Rizvi (right) launching the Australia Awards Alumni Association in Dhaka

Case study: Contributing to Bangladesh’s food security.

Summary:

Food security is crucial to Bangladesh. We worked with Australian exporters to meet Bangladesh’s demand for food and boost its food productivity with Australian science.

Impacts and Outcomes:

Although Bangladesh has achieved self-sufficiency in rice production and has boosted domestic wheat production, it relies heavily on imports of essential food commodities like lentils, peas, oil-seed and wheat. Australia is a major supplier of food commodities to Bangladesh: we are, for example, the largest source of chickpeas for Bangladesh, helping meet its annual demand of more than 200,000 metric tons. Lentils, wheat and canola from Australia are also preferred by importers. Australian export of food commodities accounted for 44% of Australia’s exports to Bangladesh in 2013 and was valued at $252 million, growing from $208 million in 2012.

Post has worked with Australian exporters like Pulses Australia, and with Bangladesh’s central bank and commercial banks, to agree upon an expedited payment arrangement for bulk food commodities exports to Bangladesh from Australia, further opening the Bangladesh market for Australian suppliers and cementing Australia’s reputation as a reliable source of food. Bangladesh is able to maintain a sustainable reserve of essential food stock – and manage prices for its low-to-middle income group – due to the effective supply chain from Australia, particularly during the peak Ramadan season.

In addition to our export promotion efforts, we have worked with ACIAR to advocate its efforts to boost food security in Bangladesh through improving the productivity of food grain crops. ACIAR’s past emphasis on winter season crops such as pulses, wheat and maize is shifting towards a farming systems approach supporting broader food security. This approach includes research on conservation agriculture, farm mechanisation, saline land management and adaptation to climate change, particularly in rice/wheat and rice/maize systems.

Post also continues to promote Australian fine foods to Bangladesh’s growing consumer class through public events, for example collaboration with a reality television cooking show featuring Australian milk, and with a Bangladeshi-Australian hotel and hospitality enterprise.

High Commissioner Greg Wilcock with dessert competition contestants, promoting Australian milk

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Dili

Case study: Australia’s Market Development Facility supports a new rice milling plant in Timor-Leste.

Summary:

A Timorese entrepreneur launched a rice milling business, after having purchased a milling machine with Australian Government support. The machine will enable him to supply high-quality rice using locally-sourced paddy.

Impact:

Although it is a popular staple food, most rice for sale in Timor-Leste is imported, with very little sourced from local producers. One reason has been the absence of any business with the capacity to source local paddy, process and package it, and sell it in cities as high-quality rice. Yet in discussions with the Australian aid program’s Market Development Facility (MDF), Mr. Higino da Costa Freitas, an entrepreneur living near the city of Baucau, said he wanted to do just that. As a result, on 22 September 2014, Timor-Leste President Taur Matan Ruak inaugurated a rice milling machine that Mr Higino purchased and installed with MDF’s support.

This initiative demonstrates MDF’s approach to unlocking economic opportunities. In key industries, such as agribusiness and tourism, MDF works to understand why markets are not operating efficiently. Having identified blockages, it then supports local businesses to find solutions. Mr Higino’s new business should provide a steady source of income for about 300 local farmers and help reduce Timor-Leste’s reliance on rice imports. It should also provide an example for other Timorese entrepreneurs to follow.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia has a strong interest in a prosperous and stable Timor-Leste. Recognising that it is heavily reliant on oil revenue, the Timor-Leste government is working to diversity its economy by developing other trade-oriented industries, such as agriculture and tourism. Australia is supporting these efforts through initiatives like MDF. The rice milling project should provide a steady source of income for about 300 farmers, support the development of a new industry and help reduce Timor-Leste’s reliance on rice imports.

Case study: Australia supports an initiative that makes it much easier to register a business in Timor-Leste.

Summary:

With funding from the Australian aid program, the International Finance Corporation has supported an initiative that has made it much easier to register a business in Timor-Leste. The creation of a one-stop shop has in two years reduced the time it takes to register a business from 103 to 10 days.

Impact:

For the private sector to thrive, it is important that it is easy for entrepreneurs to set up businesses. But until recently, this was not the case in Timor-Leste. In its 2012 Doing Business report, the World Bank discovered that to register as a company, a business was expected to undertake 17 separate trips to three different ministries. The whole process took 103 days, ranking Timor-Leste 157 out of 183 countries on this measure in the Doing Business Survey.

In response, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – using funding from Australian aid – worked with Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Tourism to streamline business registration processes. The result was the creation of a ‘one-stop shop’ for business registration, known as SERVE – Service for Registration and Verification of Entrepreneurs. SERVE has already delivered remarkable improvements. It now takes just 10 days on average to register a business. The effect on the business sector has been immediate. In the nine months to September 2014, 3,389 businesses were registered in Timor-Leste, compared with 1,686 for the whole of 2012.

Outcome for Australia:

As a close neighbour, Australia has a strong interest in a prosperous and stable Timor-Leste. Recognising that it is heavily reliant on oil revenue, the government of Timor-Leste is working to diversity its economy by developing other trade-oriented industries, such as agriculture and tourism. Australia is supporting these efforts through initiatives like the IFC’s work on SERVE. By drastically reducing the amount of time it takes to register a company, SERVE has already supported the creation of thousands of new businesses in Timor-Leste.

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Dublin

Case study: Leveraging Trade and Investment Opportunities for Australia.

Summary:

A trade delegation, led by the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Richard Bruton) and 32 Irish businesses (specialising in software and trade in services) visited Australia from 1 to 5 September 2014. Post worked with Austrade (London) and Enterprise Ireland (a government trade promotion agency that supports Irish business export development in manufacturing and services) to identify trade and investment promotion opportunities for Australia.

Impact:

In conjunction with Austrade (London), post leveraged the visit to promote Australian business in Ireland and Irish investment in Australia, with a sectoral focus on ICT and services.

Minister Bruton met with Pepper Australia Pty Ltd (Pepper), a non-bank lender and financial services provider based in Sydney. Pepper entered the Irish market in 2012 with a range of financial and asset management services, including mortgage restructuring services. The company is growing and recently secured new loan and commercial property mandates by financial services firms and investors such as Danske Bank and Carval Investors.

In September 2014, Solgari - an Irish telecommunications business - which participated in the trade delegation to Australia, established an office in Sydney to develop telecommunications software services in the Asia-Pacific region.

Outcome for Australia:

Post collaboration with Austrade (London) and Enterprise Ireland strengthened Australia’s bilateral economic and investment relationship with Ireland and promoted foreign direct investment opportunities in Australia.

Case study: Economic Diplomacy – Regional Outreach Activities – Woodside Energy (Ireland) Pty Ltd wholly owned subsidiary of Woodside Energy Ltd, Australia (‘Woodside’).

Summary:

The embassy conducted economic diplomacy regional outreach activities in Limerick and Galway to identify opportunities for Australian trade and to promote Australian investment. Post facilitated stakeholder engagement between Woodside and Irish government officials, business groups and infrastructure authorities in Limerick and Galway, in support of Woodside’s commercial interests in Ireland.

Impact:

Stakeholder engagement provided an opportunity for Woodside to promote the company as a global, Australian based leader in hydrocarbon exploration and production. It also provided an opportunity for Woodside to brief stakeholders on its research partnerships in Ireland and Australia in marine ecosystems (environmental protection), and to demonstrate its strong track record in community engagement.

Outcome for Australia:

The post’s regional outreach activities contributed to the advancement of Australian business in Ireland. Stakeholder engagement between Woodside and the Irish Government enhanced Australia’s reputation as a world leader in sustainable development in the energy and resources sector.

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Geneva UN

Case study: International Development Fund – Promotion of Business and Human Rights, and corporate social responsibility.

Summary:

Geneva UN, through its International Development Fund, has supported two projects aimed at strengthening good governance and corporate social responsibility in Africa, thereby assisting to level the playing field for Australian companies with operations, or wishing to operate, in this context.

Impact:

Participants, including representatives from civil society, businesses and government, gained new knowledge on techniques to improve corporate accountability and protect and promote the human rights of communities impacted by business operations.

Outcome for Australia:

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights seek to enhance standards and practices with regard to business and human rights so as to achieve tangible results for affected individuals and communities, and thereby also contributing to a socially sustainable globalisation. The promotion of the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles by States and business assists to level the playing field, particularly for Australian companies investing overseas.

IDF funds supported over 60 civil society and affected community representatives from 19 ODA-eligible African States to participate in the first-ever UN African Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in September 2014. Participants, including representatives from civil society and affected communities were represented as speakers at the Regional Forum on topics such as ‘Opportunities for Preventing and Addressing Human Rights Impacts in the Continent’s Extractive Industries’, ‘An African Strategy for the Business and Human Rights Agenda’ and ‘Strengthening Implementation of the State Duty to Protect’.

IDF also funded the Second Meeting of the African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA), the only pan-African civil society coalition on business and human rights. During this meeting, sponsored civil society participants developed a vision, mission and strategy for the organisation, supporting the emerging regional coalition to protect and promote of human rights in relation to business activity.

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Geneva WTO

Case study: Australian beef access, lifting of a Trenbolone related ban – Kazakhstan.

Summary:

In the margins of negotiations on the Accession of Kazakhstan to the WTO, we negotiated the lifting of a ban on Australian beef imports by Kazakhstan.

Impact:

In May 2014, the Kazakh Agency for Consumer Rights Protection announced a ban on imports of all Australian beef after the alleged discovery of the growth stimulator Trenbolone. Australia strongly disputed these findings, but the ban remained in place.

As negotiations Accession of Kazakhstan into the WTO entered their final phase, Australian negotiators worked closely with their Kazakh counterparts. Through this close cooperation, they were able to secure a review of the ban which led to it being officially lifted in November 2014.

Outcome for Australia:

The ban shut Australia out of what was in 2013 an $8 million export market for our beef exporters. More critically, it precluded the entrenchment of Australian beef as a brand of choice in a country growing at over 5 per cent GDP per year. Kazakhstan has tremendous untapped mineral wealth, which is likely to spur the growth of a middle class hungry for the kind of top quality beef in which Australian producers excel. The lifting of this ban restores Australia’s place in the Kazakh beef market and paves the way for greater opportunities in the future.

This breakthrough was achieved because of the unique nature of the multilateral trade system and Australia’s active and engaged role within it. The accession process requires each applicant joining the WTO to individually negotiate with all other Members, including Australia. This brought Kazakhstan to the table, where Australia’s reputation as a prominent and well respected actor (and founder of the Cairns Group) made securing our support a special priority for Kazakhstan.

Case study: Launch of Environmental Goods Agreement negotiations, Geneva, July 2014.

Summary:

Following the announcement by Minister Robb in January 2014 that Australia would join 13 other WTO members in negotiations to remove tariffs on a range of environmental goods, the EGA negotiations were formally launched in Geneva on 8 July 2014.

Impact:

The EGA negotiations will build on the APEC list of 54 environmental goods agreed by APEC leaders in 2012. The EGA brings together more than 40 countries accounting for 85-90 percent of global trade in environmental goods. They will be seeking to cover a broad range of additional products and to respond to changing technologies in one of the most dynamic sectors of the international market. The EGA will also reinforce the rules-based multilateral trading system by being open to all WTO members and extending tariff elimination to all WTO members.

The aim to achieve global free trade in environmental goods would also make a valuable contribution to improving quality of life globally, by providing a cleaner environment and better access to safe water, sanitation and clean energy.

Outcome for Australia:

Removing tariffs on a wide range of environmental goods is in the interests of the Australian economy. This is an innovative sector, and a growing number of Australian firms are finding niche markets in several overseas markets, using cutting-edge technology and unique Australian innovation. Removing tariffs would help reduce costs for Australian industries and exporters, and give them better access to this significant and fast growing global sector.

With Australia having been at the centre of efforts to launch the EGA, Australia is now chairing the negotiations, providing greater scope to shape and influence the outcome of the negotiations. This also bolsters Australia’s reputation as an engaged and active supporter of trade liberalisation across the board. In addition to Australia, participants in the EGA negotiations are Canada, China, Costa Rica, the European Union, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and the United States. A number of others are expected to join.

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Hanoi

Case study: Restructuring for a more Competitive Vietnam (RCV) Project.

Summary:

The RCV Project ($3.1 million, 2014–16) was launched in June 2014. It comprises four key components:

  • Enhanced business competiveness and transparency
  • Restructuring competition institutions in line with international commitments:
  • Restructuring the rural economy to increase value added
  • A Flexible Fund, to be used to respond quickly to priority emerging issues.

The Project will help relieve key constraints to healthy growth of the private sector (domestic and international), increase Vietnam’s competitiveness and promote regional and global trade. It will help strengthen the evidence-base to support economic restructuring in line with Vietnam’s emerging commitments under regional and international economic cooperation agreements.

Impact:

RCV provided support to the Government of Vietnam for independent technical advice and to undertake public workshops in revising Vietnam’s Enterprise and Investment Laws. These laws have now passed the National Assembly and will reduce red-tape for business and increase competition. For example, the numbers of banned sectors have been reduced significantly, there are now less procedures relating to starting up a business and firms must no longer state the business type in their license application, giving them greater flexibility. As a result Vietnam’s ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business Indicators has improved from 109th to 60th position.

Outcome for Australia:

By improving the overall economic and business environment in Vietnam, the RCV project supports Vietnamese and regional economic growth and activity, as well as Australian industry wishing to do business here.

Case study: Australian Education Exhibition Vietnam: Re-positioning with Vietnamese Stakeholders (November 2014).

Summary:

Austrade has organised the Australian Education Exhibition in Vietnam for 11 years. It's the principal event to build the brand platform for Australian educational institutions and this year was held in Danang for the first time, as well as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Past marketing has targeted students with messaging focussed on the brand attributes of an Australian education, Future Unlimited. This year, public diplomacy by senior officials put this in the context of the substantial investment Australia makes, as a whole, to the development of Vietnam's human capital. This includes through the aid program for which human resource development is a focus, through scholarships (both from the Australian Government and from institutions), and investment by the Australian private sector in sectors which develop management talent.

Impact:

This additional element to the marketing strategy seeks to re-position the Australian commercial activity in the education sector with stakeholders in Vietnam, media, government and business by putting it in the context of Australia's greater investment in Vietnam's human capital. While it is too early to claim significant impact, the objectives are to counter some of the criticism of the sector for being too commercial, but also to remind Vietnamese stakeholders that while some students pay for their education, the Australian Government, education institutions and the private sector are also significant investors in the development of Vietnam's human capital.

While Austrade leads on this initiative, it works with and highlights the contributions to the sector made by other agencies including DFAT, the Department of Education and DIBP.

Two days after the exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City, the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AusCham) co-organised an event with a local education agent "From Education to Employment" further highlighting Australian education and Australian firms as employers of choice.

Outcome for Australia:

A better appreciation by stakeholders, not only of the quality of Australian education, but of Australia’s significant contribution to Vietnam’s human resources development. This style of messaging to stakeholders in Vietnam will continue.

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Harare

Case study: Implementation of the WA- COMESA Memorandum of Understanding.

Summary:

During a visit to Zambia in January 2014, West Australia Premier Colin Barnett signed a MoU with Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), headquartered in Lusaka. The MoU aims to promote investment in mining and agriculture and develop COMESA member-state skills capacity.

Impact:

The MoU is the first of its kind between an Australian State Government and COMESA. It enables COMESA member-states to capitalise on Australia’s world-class expertise in extractives and agriculture.

The skills development made possible under the MoU will help promote growth in COMESA member-states by enhancing their human and institutional capacity. It is complemented by DFAT’s new extractives for growth initiative.

It will also highlight across southern Africa the benefits of Australia’s open investment and trading regime, promoting closer investment ties with the region.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia has growing economic ties to Southern Africa. In particular, Australian miners have made significant development and investment contributions to the economies of the region.

The MoU is another step in deepening these ties, providing a strong framework for engagement. This was highlighted at Africa Downunder in Perth in September 2014, where the Premier of WA hosted a breakfast meeting with COMESA Mines Ministers and the COMESA Secretary-General, to follow up MoU action.

With our targeted aid program, the MoU will promote skills development in COMESA states. It will further high level engagement with the region and support the expansion of two-way investment in this fast-growing African region.

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Holy See

No case studies.

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Hong Kong

Case study 1:

In September 2014 we successfully negotiated resumption of dairy imports from an Australian exporter suspended for not meeting Hong Kong regulatory requirements.

Summary:

On 29 August 2014, the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) suspended the import of an Australian manufactured milk product due to sample testing indicating fat levels lower than the Hong Kong legal standard of 3.25 percent. While test results generated in Australia using a different testing technique did indicate compliance with Hong Kong’s legal fat level standards, these results were not accepted by FEHD. Post intervention persuaded FEHD to engage directly with the company and come to an agreed resolution, whereby the company increased fat levels and aligned its testing methodology with that of Hong Kong, resulting in FEHD lifting the suspension of milk imports with effect 24 September 2014.

Impact:

DFAT and Austrade at post worked closely with Department of Agriculture (DA) in Australia to provide support to an Australian business engaged in trade with Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, we spoke with FEHD on an almost daily basis to negotiate possible solutions to enable FEHD to review its decision to suspend imports from the Australian producer, including detailed discussion of Hong Kong fat level testing methods compared to Australian techniques. We persuaded FEHD to discuss the technical issues directly with the company through meetings supported by Post and DA participating via telephone.

FEHD took the position that Hong Kong used a Government Laboratory and would not alter its testing methods. DFAT and Austrade, together with DA in Canberra, persuaded the company to increase fat levels and adopt Hong Kong’s laboratory testing method (AOAC 989.05). The Australian company adopted this advice and, with the support of a DA investigative report, FEHD lifted the suspension of milk imports with effect 24 September 2014. In addition, DFAT and Austrade liaised with FEHD and the Australian company to facilitate special arrangements for the milk products that had arrived in Hong Kong prior to the ban.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia is the number three supplier of dairy products to Hong Kong. In this instance, the agreement brokered by Post to release products imported prior to the ban has saved the company from having to destroy the product or return it to country of origin. As at 25 November 2014, 85 percent of the milk products on hold have been released to market (30,600 of 35,991 cartons).

DA and Austrade are now working with Dairy Australia to bring this issue to the attention of the Australian dairy industry to decrease the risk of a similar incident occurring.

Case study 2:

In October 2014 Tourism Australia, Austrade and the DFAT PD Team delivered a week-long program of investor outreach around the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) - the region’s largest gathering of hotel owners and operators.

Summary:

Led by Tourism Australia (TA) Managing Director John O’Sullivan, HICAP highlights included a 60-person Australian tourism investment lunch, a standing-room-only investment panel discussion at HICAP and the international launch of the Expression of Interest for Sydney Sandstones. Direct investor engagement was complemented by an investor-focussed media strategy, led by post’s PD team.

Impact:

Working closely with the global investment network, the HICAP program featured 17 one-on-one meetings with investors from Hong Kong, Asia and other markets.

Local investor highlights included Shangri-La, Aquis Great Barrier Reef resort, ASF Broadwater Marine resort, Far East Consortium (Ritz Carlton Elizabeth Quays, Upper West Side Melbourne, bidder for Queens Wharf Brisbane), Chow Tai Fook/New World Development (world’s largest jewellery chain and bidder for Queens Wharf Brisbane), Lanson Place and Ovolo Group.

International investors included HOST Hotels and Resorts (US), Frasers Hospitality (Singapore), Fosun (China), Prima (Indonesia), Outrigger (US/ Thailand) and Yoo Hotels (UK). State representatives joined for specific activities.

Public diplomacy focussed on influential local and regional media in both English and Chinese, including South China Morning Post, Radio Television Hong Kong investor program “Money for Nothing”, Hong Kong Economic Journal and Bloomberg TV.

Outcome for Australia:

In contrast to previous years, Australia was a strong focus at HICAP 2014. TA, as a conference sponsor, was able to shape the conference program and create speaking opportunities for Australian industry experts. An overall theme was the growing investment interest from Asian investors seeking hotel opportunities in Australia.

Media coverage focussed on tourism investment opportunities as an area of comparative advantage. John O’Sullivan highlighted Australia’s growing position as a tourism destination, particularly for financially independent travellers across Asia.

As the joint strategy between Austrade, TA and post moves into its third year in 2015, the promotion of tourism opportunities is raising Australia's profile with investors. Competition for tourism assets is leading to interest in new development and pushing more experienced investors to consider projects in regional and outer urban locales. This growing international interest supports attainment of the Tourism 2020 goals.

Case study 3:

The “Tasting Australia” campaign 3 September – 5 October 2014 - a joint venture between Tourism Australia and Hong Kong’s Sino Group.

Summary:

Tourism Australia (TA) and Sino Group (a property and hotel conglomerate), with support from Austrade, hosted the “Tasting Australia” campaign in Hong Kong 3 September – 5 October 2014. A part of TA’s global “Restaurant Australia” campaign, Tasting Australia leveraged some of Australia’s top chefs and tourism identities to showcase the nation’s best food and wines to a broad Hong Kong audience. The PD Team provided promotional support, ensuring the Restaurant Australia message reached broad audiences across Hong Kong through traditional and social media.

Impact:

This campaign supported economic diplomacy objectives by raising awareness of Australian products, and growing Australian tourism. It included a range of events, including a luncheon catering to over 120 guests, hosted by renowned Australian chefs Ben O’Donoghue and Eddie Cofie, and Tasmanian environmental-tourism operator Robert Pennicott. Guests included 28 media, 27 trade partners, travel representatives, suppliers and local celebrities.

Media activity included an announcement of Hong Kong identities’ involvement in TA’s “Inviting the World to Dinner” promotion, including a visit to Australia by seven Hong Kong celebrity chefs to each of Australia’s states and the Northern Territory. It was also announced that a new online platform dedicated to the Restaurant Australia campaign would be launched in collaboration with OpenRice, the largest local online and mobile app crowd-sourced restaurant and dining guide. 38 media representatives attended, with exposure across Hong Kong and China in 30 news articles.

Outcome for Australia:

Across the month long campaign, 75 news reports were identified across newspaper, magazine and online media, including television and radio coverage of the long lunch and the visit to “remote” Hong Kong fishing village Tai O by chefs O’Donoghue and Cofie. This highlighted Australia’s recognition of local cultures and diversity and adaptability in cuisine. Robert Pennicott was also successful in highlighting Australia’s environmental credentials in sustainable tourism through local media engagement. The total earned PR value is estimated to exceed AUD1.55m.

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Honiara

Case study: Financial inclusion gains through mobile banking

Australia’s support for branchless banking in Solomon Islands is allowing thousands of people to have a bank account for the first time.

Improving access to financial services is a key focus of Australia’s economic diplomacy outreach in Solomon Islands. DFAT is supporting the work of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) and the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce (NFIT) to increase access, usage, quality and impact of financial services. DFAT is supporting the goals of the NFIT with $7.4m funding over 5 years, delivered in partnership with the International Finance Corporation and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP).

Through our funding, DFAT has supported the private sector to increase access to financial services across the country. Three commercial banks, Westpac, BSP and ANZ, have received funding to extend their mobile phone and branchless banking services into rural areas. Using advances in technology (tablets for signing up customers, mobile phones and enhanced EFTPOS terminals for transacting e-money) has allowed the banks to deliver affordable financial services for more customers beyond the reach of traditional brick and mortar bank branches.

The NFIT has been effective in bringing together the public, private and community sectors to progress financial inclusion in Solomon Islands. This collaboration has helped the NFIT to achieve its target of enabling an additional 70,000 Solomon Islanders to access appropriate and affordable financial services almost two years ahead of schedule. The revised NFIT target aims to reach 160,000 people by 2017, including 50 per cent women.

Since 2010 an additional 129,000 people have been able to access banking services, including at least 30,000 women. The number of financial access points has also dramatically increased. At the end of 2010 there were only 193 financial service access points across the country (banks branches, bank agents, ATMs, EFTPOS terminals and mobile money merchants). By September 2014 this had increased to 493 access points across the country.

These advances mean that rural people now have a safe place to save their money; public servants in the provinces can access their fortnightly salaries without having to undertake such long trips to provincial capitals; and rural businesses can pay electronically for goods from their suppliers in Honiara. The focus is now on driving usage, improving quality of services, financial literacy, and customer protection.

Case study: Success in State Owned Enterprise reform

Solomon Islands’ portfolio of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) is now the most profitable in the Pacific, thanks in part to Australia’s support.

SOEs are amongst some of Solomon Islands largest businesses, providing critical inputs and services to the private sector and the community. Australian funded advisers working in the Economic Reform Unit (ERU) and the Debt Management Unit (DMU) in the Ministry of Finance have played a strong role in assisting to improve the governance, debt/borrowing and oversight of SOEs. A recent ADB report (Finding Balance 2014) highlighted the substantial turnaround in the performance of the Solomon Islands’ SOE portfolio since 2008.

Australia has provided bilateral assistance to the Solomon Islands Water Authority (Solomon Water) since 2011 to reform the organisation and upgrade key infrastructure (with funding of $13 million through to 2015). By 2010 Solomon Water was close to financial and operational collapse but, from August 2010, a new Board and management began the task of turning the organisation around. Achievements to date include:

  • Solomon Water achieving over 95 per cent compliance with World Health Organisation bacteria standards by September 2014, compared to less than 50 per cent compliance in April 2011. This is a direct result of disinfection equipment funded by Australia.
  • By September 2014, 27 out of 31 areas of Honiara had 24-hour water supply, compared to only 12 areas in June 2013 and 5 in April 2011.
  • Solomon Water restored water supply to 80 per cent of its customer base within 10 days of the April 2014 floods, despite major damage to its infrastructure.
  • Solomon Water recorded operating surpluses totalling SBD10.4 million ($1.6 million) in 2012 and 2013, compared to a loss of SBD23 million ($3.5 million) in 2011.
  • Solomon Water's financial statements received an unqualified audit for the first time in 2013.

Australia has also supported improvements to the reliability of electricity supplies in Solomon Islands. Australian funding of $1 million for the Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA), through a larger World Bank project, built a new electricity transmission line and distribution equipment in Honiara that were completed during 2014. SIEA has substantially improved in service delivery and financial position and can now borrow to make further investments in new generators and transmission lines.

Case study: Improving the business climate in Solomon Islands

Companies are spending less time on bureaucracy and more time on their core business thanks in part to Australia’s support to the Asian Development Bank’s activities in Solomon Islands.

Australian ($41.7 million) and New Zealand ($4.5 million) support to the Asian Development Bank’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) has helped simplify and modernize business laws, reducing barriers to starting a business in Solomon Islands.

PSDI introduced reforms to the Solomon Islands Companies Act that reduced the time required to start a new company, and increased opportunities for people to access credit to operate a business. Out-dated laws and regulations that hindered business were amended. The need for lawyers when incorporating a new company has been eliminated and lengthy identification requirements removed. The Solomon Islands government abolished the fee to reserve a company name and the obligation to create a company seal. This significantly reduced the cost of incorporation.

Solomon Islands’ company registry, Company Haus is now fully online, with fast company name searches, simple forms, and automated checking of completed documents. An improved registry has reduced the time it takes to approve business loans in Solomon Islands from 28 days to 1 day.

Since the company law reforms took effect in 2010, the number of business owners in Solomon Islands has grown significantly. In the 5 years before the reforms, from 2005 to 2009, there were on average 124 new companies formed per year. Since 2010, the average has more than doubled.

Before the reforms, it cost $336 to incorporate a business. It now costs $175.

Business incorporation time has been reduced to less than 2 days from 45 days before the system was streamlined.

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Islamabad

Case study: Baloch date farmers seal their first export deals with support from the Australia-Balochistan Agribusiness Program in Pakistan.

Summary:

By way of a cost sharing arrangement, Community Organisations made up of date farmers from Panjgoor districts in Western Balochistan recently signed export deals for the first time with Al-Khair – a Karachi-based export company dealing in food items such as dates and honey. Market exposure and negotiation skills training delivered under the Australia-Balochistan Agribusiness Program built the farmers’ capacity to prepare, approach and negotiate with potential buyers leading to a successful deal.

Impact:

The initial deal was worth approximately $40,000 for Jahan Sor and Muzwati variety dates which has led to increased incomes and business development opportunities for the farmers and is contributing to increased trade for Pakistan. For the coming year an order for 200 tonnes of dates has already been placed.

Outcome for Australia:

The Australia-Balochistan Agribusiness Program leverages Australian agriculture expertise to improve rural productivity and increase trade in order to assist Pakistan to accelerate economic growth. This relatively small contribution to Pakistan’s economic growth contributes to greater resilience in vulnerable communities and a stronger Pakistan and region.

Case study: Giving Pakistani farmers access to milk collection centres and extension services for higher milk yields and prices through the Australian Government-funded Market Development Facility (MDF).

Summary:

Through a partnership with small milk processor, Shakargani, small hold milk farmers in southern Punjab now have access to a reliable cold chain and more organised veterinary and extension services. Under the partnership between MDF and Shakargani, 30 cooling tanks are being established in three phases to collect milk from approximately 60 villages. Around 30 milk collection agents and seven vets will be employed to improve husbandry practices, vet care, and business planning for dairy farmers.

Impact:

Approximately 1,950 farmers will supply Shakargani’s 30 cooling tanks. They will benefit from premium prices (approximately 20% higher), higher sales volume and the ability to access vets leading to better incomes for farmers and a contribution to Pakistan’s fast growing demand for milk.

Outcome for Australia:

The MDF supports businesses with innovative ideas, investment and regulatory reform to increase business performance, stimulate economic growth and provide benefits to the poor – as workers, producers, and consumers. Greater competition in the milk industry contributes to Pakistan’s economic growth leading to more stable and resilient communities in Pakistan and our region.

Case study: Hospitality students of Faisalabad-based tourism and hotel management vocational and training institute (ITHM) students benefit from collaboration with Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT).

Summary:

NMIT and ITHM signed a MoU following an expression of interest from ITHM through Austrade for international partners to establish new training programs; gain accreditation for existing diploma programs/courses matched to international standards; create pathways towards undergraduate degree programs; and develop training programs to build capacity.

Impact:

The MoU provides the opportunity to expand NMIT collaboration beyond ITHM Faisalabad to five similar institutions in different locations of Pakistan. The internationally recognised training will provide skills training to meet local industry demand and help meet the employment aspirations of graduates seeking jobs outside Pakistan, particularly in the Middle East.

Outcome for Australia:

The outcome strengthens links between Australian and Pakistani education providers and showcases the quality of Australian education. It also highlights the opportunities in Pakistan for Australian VET institutions in a number of areas: assisting local institutes as they reform; developing examination and testing centres; train the trainer programs; and curriculum development.

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Jakarta

Case study: Development cooperation programs support Indonesia’s growth and prosperity.

Summary:

The proud history of partnership between Indonesia and Australia on economic issues provides a strong platform to support the new Indonesian government’s economic growth priorities. Many of Indonesia’s newly appointed economic Ministers (e.g. Economic Affairs, Finance and Transport), have hands-on experience and people-to-people links with Australia’s long-standing economic cooperation programs. We are well-placed to support them in their new portfolios.

Impact:

Australia has provided Indonesia with world-class technical expertise on economic issues for around 15 years. Since 2006 we have also been deploying Australian Government officials to Indonesian economic ministries to share lessons and experience. Through this work we have helped key institutions like the Ministry of Finance, the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, the Indonesian Central Bank and the Financial Services Authority to introduce specific reforms to promote economic growth.

Following the appointment of the new cabinet of President Joko Widodo in October 2015, the value of these many years of productive collaboration was demonstrated by the number of newly appointed Ministers with personal experience of our activities and strong existing relationships with our programs. In introductory meetings, Ministers in Finance and Economic Affairs recalled the positive collaboration between our two countries and looked forward to continuing and expanding our collaboration into the future.

We are seeking to build on this track-record and are currently preparing new initiatives in economic governance and infrastructure to support the new Government’s economic growth priorities.

Outcome for Australia:

As one of our closest neighbours and trading partners, a strong, stable and rapidly growing Indonesian economy is key to Australia’s prosperity. Our history of economic cooperation positions us to support the economic reforms that will help boost growth and improve the climate for investment and trade in Indonesia.

Case study: Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector.

Summary:

The Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector (the Partnership), launched in April 2014, will strengthen bilateral business, investment and trade ties between Australia and Indonesia across the red meat and cattle sector. In 2015, the Partnership will continue to develop initiatives to improve the ways that Indonesia and Australia work together in the agriculture sector.

Impact:

The Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector was launched in April 2014. It is a high level industry-government body, providing strategically focused advice and recommendations on areas of priority investment and agricultural cooperation. The Partnership brings together well‑recognised and established industry figures and government officials from Indonesia and Australia associated with the red meat and cattle sector and business and investment community.

Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and former Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board Mahendra Siregar signed a Joint Declaration on terms of reference for the Partnership in August 2014. The Declaration defines collaborative goals for Partnership members as they work to strengthen bilateral business, investment and trade ties across the red meat and cattle sector.

The Australian government has funded a 10-year, $60 million assistance package to kick start priority investment and cooperation activities identified by the Partnership.

Indonesia and Australia have already agreed to a number of early harvest programs to be funded through the Partnership, including:

  • the Northern Territory Cattleman’s Association Skills Development Program; and
  • a skills development program proposed by the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture to build knowledge, skills and technology transfer in Indonesia’s red meat and cattle production sector.

Further early harvest projects will be developed in the agreed priority areas of breeding, processing and logistics.

Outcome for Australia:

The Partnership will:

  • underpin Indonesia’s food security by improving the long-term sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of Indonesia's cattle sector;
  • strengthen Indonesia - Australia bilateral business, investment and trade ties, and support closer engagement with the red meat and cattle sector;
  • support the bilateral exchange of expertise, capacity building and technical assistance related to the red meat and cattle sector; and
  • build and improve understanding and the effectiveness and efficiency of cooperation between parties by establishing regular meetings between governments and the red meat and cattle sector from both Indonesia and Australia.

Case study: Vocational Education Leaders Training (VELT) program.

Summary:

Run by TAFE Directors Australia in cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Education’s Learning and Student Affairs, the program saw 20 leaders from polytechnics in Indonesia spend 2 weeks with 4 TAFEs in Sydney participating in an intensive mentoring and leadership training program in September 2014.

Impact:

The program provided a valuable professional development opportunity for Indonesian education leaders and will help to improve the governance and management of higher education in Indonesia.

Outcome for Australia:

Closer bilateral engagement on skilling Indonesia workforce to improve provider mobility, increase regional competitiveness and improve access to skilled Indonesian labour for Australian business.

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Kabul

Case study: Public Financial Management (PFM) Program in Afghanistan.

Summary:

Australia’s PFM Program ($12.6 million over 2012–15) is strengthening economic governance in Afghanistan, by supporting key Afghan ministries to improve their budget planning and execution, procurement and project management.

Impact:

Weak institutional capacity is an acknowledged barrier to the ability of the Afghan Government to pursue broad-based economic growth and to enable its transition away from international support. The PFM program addresses this by providing targeted training, coaching and technical assistance to civil servants to improve their budget planning and execution, procurement and project management. In strengthening the Afghan Government’s existing processes and personnel, the program has a strong focus on achieving sustainable outcomes.

The PFM program has trained and mentored 722 civil servants across the Ministries of Education, Public Health, Agriculture and Public Works. This support has improved the Government’s capacity to deliver essential services. The program has delivered increases in the level of skills and knowledge for civil servants targeted through this program, including budget planning, project design, procurement and financial administration. It has also contributed to improved budget execution rates in all four line ministries, with an increase from 51 per cent to 57 per cent in the year from 2012 to 2013.

Outcome for Australia:

The PFM Program is a stand-out investment under the Kabul Post Economic Diplomacy Strategy. It helps to address Afghanistan’s significant and fundamental economic governance challenges, which is critical to increasing Afghanistan’s economic growth and stability; reducing its dependence on international assistance; and for the country to develop stronger economic links in the future.

The PFM Program is well-received by its target ministries and has helped to increase the Embassy’s access to the Afghan Government, particularly the Ministry of Finance.

In addition, Australia has committed to deliver at least 50 per cent of its funding in Afghanistan through on-budget mechanisms. The PFM program helps to safeguard these contributions in key service delivery ministries and provides greater confidence that Australian on-budget support will be used appropriately and efficiently.

President Ghani has also singled out Australia (among the US, UK and Japan) to further support to PFM and provide additional support to Treasury. This would further strengthen existing systems, macroeconomic policy and Australia’s relationship with Afghanistan.

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Kathmandu

No case studies.

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Kuala Lumpur

Case study: Malaysia-Australia student mobility forum (the forum).

Summary:

On 19 May 2014, over 100 university representatives from Malaysia and Australia attended the Forum in Kuala Lumpur. The Forum and the associated networking reception was organised by Post (Education) with HOM, DFAT and Austrade participation, in cooperation with the Malaysian Ministry of Education. The Forum aimed to bring together Malaysian and Australian universities to meet and make connections that would lead to development of innovative study programs, and greater student mobility. It also provided an excellent forum to build awareness of the New Colombo Plan.

Impact:

The Forum gave participants an opportunity to build networks in both public and private Malaysian institutions, and experience potential student mobility destinations first hand. Malaysia’s strong internationalisation agenda for its higher education sector provides Australian universities with significant opportunities to build relations through mobility programs that can ultimately lead to collaborations utilising our expertise in the education sector. The strengthening of the bilateral education relationship through activities such as the Forum makes a valuable contribution to Malaysia’s development towards advanced economy status.

Outcome for Australia:

New study programs, and greater student mobility, provide a firm basis for deepening Australia’s relationship with, and understanding of, Malaysia. The students who participate – whether through the New Colombo Plan, or other opportunities – build valuable experience in their field, and forge professional connections in the region that are carried through their careers. Under the NCP 2015 mobility program, a total of 149 students will visit Malaysia from 10 Australian universities, a significant outcome for the first year of implementation.

Case study: The healthy ageing and seniors living solutions mission to Kuala Lumpur (the mission).

Summary:

In November 2014, nine Australian companies participated in the Mission to promote Australian capability. Australia is seen as a global leader in this sector, from the design and construction of aged care facilities, to tailored equipment and e-health technology, to specialist training and services in nursing and dementia care.

Impact:

Australia and Malaysia have similar populations and in the next decade will see between 10-15% of their populations aged over 65 years. The Malaysian government has identified seniors living as a policy priority, particularly in the areas of mobile health services, retirement living and aged care facilities. The sector is currently underserved and local industry is keen to benefit from Australia’s expertise and experience, particularly in facilities design & management, workforce training, medical technology and community services.

Around 150 potential partners and customers from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan attended the seminar, followed by two days of one-on-one business matching through Austrade Kuala Lumpur.  Activities such as the Mission play an important role in positioning Australia at the heart of Malaysia’s response to its ageing population, including through the launch of new Australian Seniors Health Online Directory during the event.

Outcome for Australia:

Business interest following the Mission has been strong. At least ten Australian companies are now active this space, covering services including nursing and caregiver training, construction of facilities, design and advisory services for integration living facilities, and sector policy and framework development.

Case study: Austrade Oil and Gas Event (the Event) in conjunction with the Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2014, Kuala Lumpur (OTC Asia).

Summary:

In March 2014, Austrade held a successful one-day event to draw attention to Australia's expertise in the oil and gas sector and to identify new partners and customers for Australian companies. Activities included the Australia Malaysia Technical Forum, a networking lunch and a market insights presentation to Australian companies attending OTC Asia.

Impact:

Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming the oil and gas hub of South-East Asia and this year became the first Asian city to host the Offshore Technology Conference, which has been held each year in the United States since 1969. OTC Asia 2014 gave oil and gas industry executives the opportunity to meet, share knowledge and discuss cutting-edge technologies, specifically relating to the Asian offshore oil and gas industry. It also provided a significant audience for Austrade’s event.

During the Event five Australian speakers from Roc Oil, UGL, Icon Engineering, Woodgroup and CSIRO presented valuable insights and technology solutions to the Malaysian companies at the Australia Malaysia Technical Forum.

Outcome for Australia:

This sector is of major importance to the Australia-Malaysia relationship, given crude petroleum is each country’s number one export to the other. Malaysia has made major discoveries over the last year and, as of January 2014, the country held proved oil reserves of 4 billion barrels, the fourth-highest reserves in the Asia Pacific. Australia companies such as Santos, Roc Oil, Leighton Offshore, Ranhill Worley Parsons and Icon Engineering are all taking advantage of opportunities in Malaysia’s oil and gas sector, and there are significant opportunities for further Australian business involvement in this field.

Approximately 150 people attended the networking lunch and around 130 potential business matchings were identified. The Event also provided Austrade staff from a number of South-East Asian posts with the opportunity to share insights, compare notes on customers to build our understanding of the oil and gas supply chain, and identify opportunities for joint initiatives for 2014-15.

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Kuwait City

Case study: Kuwait Alumni Event.

Summary:

Post hosted an initial event for Kuwait-based alumni at the HOM Residence on 11 November 2014.

Post worked closely with the former Kuwaiti Cultural Attaché in Canberra, Dr Ammar Al-Husaini, and the National Union of Kuwaiti Students - Australia branch (NUKS). The event attracted more than 50 graduates of Australian institutions.

Impact:

Graduates spoke enthusiastically of their experiences in studying and living in Australia. Several had completed more than one degree, and others discussed their desire to return for further studies. Several now hold key positions in local organisations - e.g., Dr Jasem M. Alrajhi, who has a doctorate in engineering from Monash, is the head of the Department of Automotive & Marine Engineering at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET).

Outcome for Australia:

The alumni networking event provided an opportunity to network with Kuwaiti graduates of Australian universities now holding key positions in both government and the private sector. Utilising these networks will enhance Australia’s linkages with Kuwait and will generate future business opportunities.

Case study: Australian food promotion – November 2014.

Summary:

The first ever Australian food promotion held in Kuwait from 23 November to 3 December, in collaboration with the Sultan Centre supermarket chain, Australian Embassy, Victorian Government and Australian consolidator Lawand Trade. Food Innovation supported the event by providing point of sales materials highlighting Australian brands throughout the five participating outlets.

Impact:

The promotion showcased over 1,000 SKUs of Australian products and major brands including Sanitarium, Bundaberg, Be Natural, Ozganics, Australia’s own. Sultan Centre is one of the major supermarket chains in Kuwait, with fourteen outlets in Kuwait and 15 per cent market share.

Outcome for Australia:

The promotion promoted a greater awareness of Australia’s capabilities in the food sector, beyond meat and wheat. It provided a platform to showcase all that Australia has to offer – including world-class organic, specialty and innovative foods.

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Lima

Case study: Peru: Supporting education links with Australia

Summary:

Post promoted stronger tertiary sector education links, through presentations on VET, support to visiting educational experts and universities, and hosting a high level education roundtable with Foreign Minister Bishop.

Impact:

An increasing number of MOUs are being signed between Australian and Peruvian universities, currently at 8, with another 12 close to conclusion. Foreign Minister Bishop’s education roundtable built on previous engagement (visits by Victoria State, UWA, UQ, IDB-COALAR VET workshop and VET presentation by DHOM) promoting Australia’s experience.

Outcome for Australia:

Eight of Australia’s key universities have MOUs which allow Peru’s PRONABEC scholarship program to send students to Australia. To date, 115 have studied in Australia and we receive the largest number of PRONABEC scholars from any other English-speaking country. As a result of the education roundtable, HOM has been invited to meet with the Minister of Labour to explore more on Australia’s VET system.

Case study: Peru: Mining links are strengthened through successful Latin America Down Under (LADU) engagement

Summary:

Post supported key visitors at LADU 2014, raising the profile of our important mining relationship. The visitors were: an upcoming financial journalist from Peru, a prominent Bolivian geologist, and a Peruvian parliamentary delegation.

Impact:

Peru’s Vice-Minister for Mining (Shinno) made his third visit to LADU and met with Peru’s parliamentarians. Our SPV-funded visitor from Bolivia (Dr Osvaldo Arce) made an impressive presentation which highlighted mining challenges in Bolivia and increased awareness of potential in the sector. The IMV-supported financial journalist met with a range of mining representatives in several locations, including at LADU.

Outcome for Australia:

The number of businesses in Peru continues to grow and there are now over 80 companies here (compared with some 110 in Brazil and Chile), focussed mainly on mining and related industries. The IMV resulted in more than 10 print and online articles highlighting Australian mining interests in Peru. 18 meetings were held in the Australia lounge with Peru – the highest number from across LatAm.

Case study: Peru: Impetus to bilateral relationship through ministerial visits

Summary:

Post supported FM Bishop and TIM Robb visits to Lima for COP20, including some successful bilateral activities. Being the first ministerial visit to Lima in six years, the visits provided an important impetus to the bilateral relationship. Events included: meeting President Humala, FM Gutierrez, TM Silva; a bilateral reception; official embassy opening; an education roundtable; and a breakfast with influential women.

Impact:

The bilateral activities generated at least 25 media articles on: the Humala meeting, the announcement of surfing scholarships and the opening of the embassy. The meeting between our Trade Ministers was a good opportunity to discuss progress on the TPP, our joint wish to progress a DTA and ASA, and Australia’s offer of a diplomatic officer for APEC 2016.

Outcome for Australia:

The ministerial visit lays the ground for deepening Australia’s engagement and will enable us to: advance conversations on the ASA and DTA (currently stalled); discuss the potential for work and holiday visas; strengthen sporting diplomacy; and promote the involvement of Australian companies in Pan American Games bids for 2019.

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Lisbon

Case study: Portugal: ‘Doing Business in Australia’.

Summary:

Post supported a ‘Business in Australia’ Seminar in Lisbon on 23 September, the first in over a decade and the first ever hosted by Portugal’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CIEP).

Impact:

Portugal is actively seeking to diversify its exports and investment beyond its traditional European markets, including to the Asia-Pacific. Until recently, very little attention had been paid to the Australian market. Post’s concerted efforts to initiate a dialogue with Portugal’s Trade and Investment body, AICEP, and CIEP, resulted in the proposal for a ‘Doing Business in Australia’ seminar. Largely as a result of Post’s support, the seminar attracted over 70 representatives of small and medium Portuguese companies, exceeding initial expectations of around 20-30 participants.

Considerable interest in Australia’s potential as a business destination was generated by presentations by CIEP, HOM, Austrade, the Sydney-based Portugal-Australia Chamber of Commerce (Portrade) and practical experiences of companies already doing business in Australia, followed by lively discussion over a lunch hosted by HOM.

Outcome for Australia:

Encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the seminar, CIEP is now working with Post (with support from Austrade Frankfurt) to organise a Business Mission to Australia in early 2015.

Following the seminar, one of Portugal’s leading law firms visited Sydney to explore opportunities to invest in Australia and to partner with Australian firms in Lusophone Africa. The President of the firm addressed the European-Australia Business Council (EABC) and is encouraging the EABC to include Portugal in its next European visit.

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London

Case study: Expansion of the UK’s Registered Traveller Scheme.

Summary:

A constant complaint from Australian visitors to the UK, especially business people, was the long queues at Heathrow Airport - the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic. The High Commission in London worked with the UK Government to address this concern.

During Prime Minister Cameron’s state visit to Australia, the UK announced the expansion of the number of Australians who can access its Registered Traveller scheme.

Impact:

The Australian High Commission in London actively looks to help facilitate Australian business people and professionals living and working in the United Kingdom.

A constant complaint from Australian visitors to the UK, especially business people, was the long queues at Heathrow Airport - the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic.

The High Commission engaged with the UK Government to put in place an initiative for Australians to receive access to the UK’s ePassport gates in the same way that Australia allows British citizens to use Smartgates in Australian airports. High Commission officials (from both the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection) worked on the initiative with the UK Home Office.

Better access for Australians was announced during Mr Cameron’s State visit to Australia on 14 November 2014 ahead of the G20 Summit.

Mr Cameron told a business audience in Sydney at the Australia-UK Infrastructure Symposium that business figures, entrepreneurs and investors who have visited the UK four times within 12 months will be able to apply to use electronic passport-reading gates in future to speed their transit through Heathrow and Gatwick airports or join the queue designated for EU/EEA nationals. [1]

To meet the criteria people will need to have entered the UK at least four times within the last 12 months. Post is distributing the invitation codes for the initial expansion to the Australian Business community in the UK and Qantas.

Outcome for Australia:

The Registered Traveller scheme will make it easier and faster for Australian business people and professionals to travel into the UK – and facilitate Australians working through-out Europe.

The scheme was initially be limited to a maximum of 5,000 highly valued travelers. The full expansion will eventually allow around 75,000 Australians to avoid the long queues faced by non-EU nationals at UK airports. With a minimum of four visits per year, this will accommodate at least 300,000 of the 1 million-plus entries made to the UK each year by Australians.

The UK’s Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire said: “We want to attract business to Britain. The Registered Traveller scheme will make it easier for business people and investors to come to the UK and contribute to the economy, while always maintaining the security of our border.”[2]

The scheme is demonstrated on the following video which features Australian businessman Phil Aiken.

Case study: Tourism Australia’s ‘Restaurant Australia’ Campaign in the UK.

Summary:

In 2014 Australia House in London was used for approximately 130 separate economic diplomacy events. One of the clear highlights was Tourism Australia bringing to life the Global Restaurant Australia campaign in the UK market.

Using a six-night pop-up restaurant at Australia House in September (in which a different renowned Australian chef cooked for 200 guests each night) and a media partnership with the high-circulation Mail on Sunday, the campaign showcased Australia’s unique and extraordinary food and wine, and encouraged British travellers aged 50-plus to view Australia as an even more attractive long-haul destination.

Turing Australia House into Restaurant Australia was a Whole of High Commission effort led by Tourism Australia. Partners included the High Commission team, Wine Australia, Etihad, the State and Territory Tourism Offices, the Agents General Offices, Clean Seas and Thomas Foods.

Photo: Tourism Australia

Impact:

The campaign reached 3.8 million Britons aged 50-plus, who saw the campaign content six times. Consideration of Australia as a holiday destination among Mail on Sunday readers increased 7%.

There were 59,467 unique visits to the Restaurant Australia hub that TA built with the Mail team on the MailOnline site. Some 21,000 people entered to win a ‘Restaurant Australia’ themed holiday to Australia (on our RA hub on the MailOnline).

We sold 774 restaurant tickets sold (£100 per head), and also hosted 200 stakeholders over the course of the week including high-profile celebrities and media, travel industry and business leaders/clients.

The pop-up restaurant received considerable coverage in Australia, including a on Channel 7 news and a live cross to Channel 9’s Today Show from the restaurant.

Products on show over the week included 31 different fine Australian wines, truffles, kingfish, Spencer Gulf Prawns, Blackmore beef, verjuice and barramundi – all boosting the profile of Australian produce in the UK market.

A leading British food journalist and author described TA’s pop up as ‘the best restaurant in London. What a dining room, what a glamorous gathering, what a feast. It was unique, gloriously delivered and heaps of fun’.

Outcome for Australia:

Tourism Australia is supporting an industry target of doubling overnight expenditure by visitors from $70 billion (2011) to $115-$140 billion by 2020. As the UK is Australia’s most valuable international leisure market in terms of total spend, better marketing of the Australian food and wine experience to affluent long-haul travellers from Britain will help achieve this target.

One of the partners was Etihad, and the airline now has the opportunity to take the data captured from the competition to convert warm leads in to flight sales.

Other partners, including Wine Australia, Clean Seas and Thomas Foods, should also get a boost from their partnership with this campaign, having increased their products’ profile in the lucrative UK market.

The ‘Restaurant Australia’ media partnership and associated pop-up restaurant is just part of Tourism Australia’s broader Restaurant Australia campaign in the UK. Other activities include:

  • The repeating of ‘John Torode’s Australia’ – a 10-part TV series telling many of Australia’s wonderful food/wine/tourism stories on UKTV, which Tourism Australia developed with John and the TV network.
  • A new TV series telling the history of Australia through the lens of food, which TA developed with Channel 4 and production company Tin Can.
  • Support for the ‘Invite the World to Dinner’ event Tourism Australia ran in Hobart on 14 November – the UK team sent eight leading food and wine influencers.
  • Further affinity marketing with Wine Australia and retailer Majestic Wine.
  • The use of our global Restaurant Australia brand assets in co-operative advertising campaigns with airlines in the UK.
  • The training of British travel agents to help them better sell Australia to clients using food and wine messaging as a hook.

The campaign will help create a real consumer buzz in the UK around Australia as a tourism destination helping to grow visitor arrivals, increase dispersal and increase spend in the next 12 to 24 months.

You can get a flavour of the pop-up Restaurant Australia experience here: https://vimeo.com/album/3128909/video/111763165 (Password: australia).

Case study: UK Air Passenger Duty reforms a win for Australian Tourism and Airline Industry.

Summary:

Australia worked over several years to address concerns with the UK’s Air Passenger Duty (APD) scheme. This scheme, which adds to the cost of flights to and from Britain, included a discriminatory banding system which disproportionately affected flight costs to and from Australia.

In the March 2014 budget, the UK announced the reduction of the APD and abolished several of the distance bandings in favour of a simplified two-band system, effective April 2015.

This was a win for Australia: the amount of duty payable will be reduced, and passengers to and from Australia will no longer be paying more duty than mid-haul passengers, meaning the tax will no longer be as discriminatory in relation to Australia.

Qantas plane in flight

Impact:

The UK has some of the highest aviation taxes in the world, coming in 138th out of 140 countries in a 2013 assessment of travel and tourism competitiveness by the World Economic Forum.

The APD imposes a tax on passengers flying to and from the UK, based on the distance between London and the capital of the other (destination or origin) country. Tax had been calculated over four bands of distance (0-2000 miles, 2000-4000 miles, 4000-6000 miles, and over 6000 miles), with passengers flying to and from countries over 6000 miles from London (such as Australia) paying the highest rate.

The Australian High Commission in London made representations to UK Secretaries of State and Ministers, including those responsible for Transport, Trade, Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth Affairs and Economic Affairs.

The Post also coordinated business delegations to work with the UK government and collaborated with Qantas to develop economic analyses of the arrangement and press for change. We coordinated closely with other affected countries to add to the strength of the representations.

Once the reforms take effect from April 2015, the number of APD destination bands will be reduced to two: under and over 2000 miles. The APD originally payable on tickets to and from Australia is GBP 94 for economy class fares and GBP 188 for other classes. During a transition period (April 2014-March 2015) rates will rise to GBP 97 and GBP 194 GBP, respectively. But from April 2015 rates will be GBP 71 and GBO 142, respectively – a cut of about 25% from the original level. The change is forecast to cost the UK around GBP 920,000 over the forward estimates.

Airlines which service the UK-Australia route warmly welcomed the change.

Outcome for Australia:

This outcome is a win for Australia and especially our tourism and airline industries.

Not only will the amount of UK duty payable be reduced, but also passengers to and from Australia will no longer be paying more duty than mid-haul passengers (2000-6000 miles), meaning the tax will no longer be as discriminatory in relation to Australia.

The changes means duties on flights to Australia will be reduced by £26 (A$48) per passenger or £104 (A$191) for a family of four.

The UK continues to be one of the most valuable markets for Australia, contributing $2.4 billion in tourism expenditure in 2013.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data recorded 669,000 visitors from the UK to Australia in the year to end-September 2014, a 6% increase from the same period the previous year.

Case study: UK funding of $184 million (£100m, €120m) for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project.

Summary:

A personal approach by an Australian diplomat during a conference in the UK in 2013 initiated a visit to Australia by then UK Science Minister David Willetts to Australia to see the SKA site in Western Australia in March 2014.

The SKA is a billion-dollar global initiative to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope in WA and southern Africa.

Mr Willetts used the visit to the SKA site with Foreign Minister Bishop to announce UK funding of £100m for the project.

People walking in desert near satellite dish
Photo: Australian Government Department of Industry.

Impact:

The SKA is a global science project aimed at building the world's largest radio telescope.

Comprising hundreds of thousands of radio antennas in Australia and South Africa, the SKA will enable astronomers to monitor the sky in unprecedented detail, thousands of times faster than any system currently in existence. Australia was chosen, along with South Africa, to host the multibillion-dollar global observatory.

The Australian High Commission in London successfully worked with the UK, another major SKA partner, to help achieve this outcome.[1]

With image resolution exceeding that of the Hubble Space Telescope by a factor of 50 times, the SKA is expected to solve some fundamental questions about the universe, such as how it began. The UK is a leading consortium member and plays host to the SKA headquarters in Manchester. Mr Willetts said Australia and the UK have a rich history of collaboration on major science projects and we value the relationship between our countries on this important project.

Outcome for Australia:

Foreign Minister Bishop said the work of Australian industry to design, build and operate the SKA telescope will generate jobs and business opportunities across the country, and especially in Western Australia where it is based.

WA Premier and Science Minister Colin Barnett said the SKA site decision was great news for WA and its scientists.

The WA economy and scientific community would now extract further benefit from the $96.4million investment WA had already made in radio astronomy. Another $5.6 million in Federal funding was already flowing to WA-based high-tech companies and scientists involved in the design of the SKA telescope and data processing systems.

The SKA project was a major opportunity to diversify the State’s economy, and local industry stood to benefit from winning SKA construction contracts, and from developing new capabilities and technologies that could be applied elsewhere.

The new ideas, creative methods and powerful algorithms required to deal with this project’s ‘big data’ are also likely to have applications in other areas ranging from minerals exploration and medicine.

As co-host of the SKA and home to the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and the Pawsey high-performance super-computing centre, WA is positioned to secure a place in the emerging big data sector.

About the SKA

The SKA project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, with a square kilometre (1 million sq m) of collecting area.

The scale of the SKA represents a huge leap forward in both engineering and research & development towards building and delivering a radio telescope, and will deliver a correspondingly transformational increase in science capability when operational.

Eleven countries are members of the SKA Organisation – Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India (associate member), Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.[2]

Case study: Australia House is Open for Business for UK Investors - Roundtables.

Summary:

In 2014 Australia House in London was used for around 130 separate economic diplomacy events, including Austrade hosted investor roundtables.

The roundtables bring UK investors together with Australian Ministers, officials and business representatives.  They are a key way to promote Australia to potential investors and to maintain and strengthen relationships with existing investors.

Photo: Austrade

Impact:

In 2014 investor roundtables have included: infrastructure investment with Treasurer Joe Hockey; information and communications technology (ICT) investment with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull; and tourism investment with Jann Stuckey MP, Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and Commonwealth Games.

Roundtables have also been conducted with Charles Woodhouse, Head of Funds Management at QSuper, and Brendan Lyon, Chief Executive of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (as a virtual video conference roundtable). A tourism investment roundtable dinner was also hosted by High Commissioner Alexander Downer.

In the case of the Treasurer Hockey roundtable, five investment firms participated with combined funds under management of £500 billion ($920 billion) including senior representatives from both existing and potential investors.  (See photo below)

From Minister Turnbull’s roundtable, three existing and five potential investors were involved. Two of these five have commenced establishing a presence in Australia. (See photo above).

Photo: Austrade

Outcome for Australia:

Not only do potential investors hear directly from Ministers and public and private sector experts, but they also have the opportunity to meet and hear from existing investors about their experience of the Australian market.

Given that the majority of new investment comes from existing investors, the roundtables provide additional value in strengthening those existing relationships.

Case study: Australia House is Open for Business for UK Investors - Windsor Energy Group.

Summary:

In 2014 Australia House in London was used for around 130 separate economic diplomacy events. One of the premier events was a meeting of the Windsor Energy Group, hosted by High Commissioner Alexander Downer, to review Australia’s energy policies.

The Windsor Energy Group (WEG) provides opportunities for senior energy industry figures to review global energy challenges through discussion and analysis. It is chaired by Lord Howell, former UK Secretary of State for Energy.

Photo courtesy of the Windsor Energy Group.

Impact:

The High Commissioner told the WEG that the Australian Government has taken steps to ensure that Australia was “open for business” and attractive to foreign investors. These included abolishing the mining tax and carbon tax, cutting red tape to the tune of $700 million, and streamlining approval processes, including through the creation of a one-stop shop.

These Government initiatives will also help to ensure that Australia continues to be a long-term, reliable and competitively priced supplier of resources and energy commodities.

Australia exported $383 million worth of coal to the UK in 2013, from among total coal exports of $39.8 billion to markets including Japan, China, Republic of Korea, India, and the EU. Australia’s LNG export volumes are expected to more than triple by 2018-19. This could see Australia overtake Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter.

Australia has abundant oil and gas resources for development and export, with advantages for foreign investors including a significant energy resource base, a stable operating and political environment and close proximity to major growth export markets in the Asia-Pacific.

The group also heard that Australia would likely overtake Indonesia as world’s largest coal exporter by volume by 2030. Australia’s energy exports would power developing economies and help eradicated poverty, as they alerady had done in China.

The group acknowledged that Australia had the coal reserves, the highest coal quality and the best positioning to support development in India and South-East Asia. For this to happen, sustainable development of these reserves had to be supported by producers working together with Government and local communities, and export infrastructure was needed to support rising demand.

Photo courtesy of the Windsor Energy Group.

Outcome for Australia:

The WEG event reconfirmed Australia’s reputation in the UK as an energy superpower. The group recognised that Australian energy policies focus on competition, innovation and productivity. This makes Australia an attractive destination for investors and new market entrants seeking sustainable, long-term returns.

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Madrid

Case study: Spanish company Acciona brings innovation in the infrastructure and energy sectors in Australia.

Summary:

It has only taken seven years for the Spanish Group Acciona to become a key player in the Australian transport infrastructure, water treatment and wind power sectors in Australia. Acciona employs 200 permanent staff in Australia and has invested A$650M to date.

Impact:

The Austrade office in Madrid has worked closely with Acciona since their establishment in Australia in 2007 providing support to their investment expansion plans in Australia. During this time the Embassy in Madrid and Austrade have developed a very close relationship with Senior executives of Acciona’s HQ, thus promoting, at a very high level, the attractiveness of Australia as an investment destination and securing their participation in major events held in Australia including this year’s B20 events and the Investment Forum hosted by Minister Andrew Robb, both held in Sydney in July 2014.

In only seven years since their establishment in Australia, Acciona’s profile in the Australian infrastructure landscape has become of major significance. As a sign of their commitment to the Australian market, Acciona has participated in projects including: the A$1.5bn Legacy Way tunnel in Brisbane, the A$1.6bn CBD and South East Light Rail project in Sydney, the A$300M Mundaring Water Treatment plant or the A$1.83 Adelaide Desalination Plant in Port Stanvac. Acciona’s energy division has three wind farms in operation in Australia with a combined capacity of 305MW.

Outcome for Australia:

The participation of Acciona in the infrastructure and energy markets in Australia has been beneficial to Australia’s prosperity through the introduction of competition and innovation in the construction, finance and delivery of infrastructure projects. Acciona has also contributed towards the reduction of Australia’s carbon footprint through the generation of renewable power.

As a result of the innovation in the above-mentioned fields, Acciona’s projects have received multiple awards positioning Australia as a cutting-edge location for infrastructure projects globally. Some of the awards include the Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Award for Business innovation in 2012 and the “Major Tunnelling Project of the Year 2013” award by the International Tunnelling & Underground Space organisation, both for the Legacy Way Project. The Mundaring Water Treatment Plant received the Australian Government Partnership Excellence Award at the Infrastructure Partnerships Australia’s 2012 National Infrastructure Awards and also received the Water Deal of the Year 2012 at the Global Water Intelligence Awards.

Case study: Alucoil, Spanish high-tech aluminium panel producer, to establish a new manufacturing plant in Victoria.

Summary:

Alucoil is in the final stages of setting up a state-of-the-art composite manufacturing plant in Campbellfield, Victoria, to manufacture aluminium panels for the sustainable construction and fast ferry sectors.

Impact:

The Australian Embassy and Austrade in Madrid have provided local support to Alucoil throughout its decision-making process to set up in Australia and continue to assist Alucoil to expand its footprint in Australia.

The Department of State Development, Business and Innovation of Victoria, working in partnership with the Madrid and Melbourne Austrade offices, have engaged with Alucoil since 2012 to facilitate the establishment of their manufacturing plant in Victoria. With this investment, Alucoil brings world class innovation to the manufacture of aluminium composite panels in Australia, replacing imports with local production and opening export channels into neighbouring markets in the Asia Pacific region.

Outcome for Australia:

The Victorian manufacturing plant will be the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region and will create up to 24 new jobs during the first three years of operation, will update local skills and give Australian-manufactured products access into global supply chains.

Alucoil’s parent company, Grupo Alibérico, is a Spanish multinational company with cutting edge technical expertise in the manufacture of aluminum products that includes aluminum composite paneling, powder coatings and honeycomb paneling. The Group currently exports to 45 countries through manufacturing facilities located across five continents, with a global turnover exceeding $250 million.

For details of comments made by Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, see: http://trademinister.gov.au/releases/2014/ar_mr_140319.html

For details of comments made by the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, David Hodgett, see: http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/9427-spanish-manufacturer-to-establish-in-victoria.html

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Malta

Case study: Supporting Australian Business in Malta.

Summary:

The High Commission uses its events to promote networks for Australian business to connect with key decision makers and establish partnerships.

Impact:

Through introduction to the executive Chairman of a Maltese company an Australian businessman was appointed as interim CEO to lead that company through a change management process. The Australian Businessman and the Chairman are now in further business collaboration to build new businesses in the education sector.

Outcome for Australia:

The company concerned is 50 per cent owned by an Australian-Maltese businessperson based in Australia, the Australian CEO helped to guide the company forward, establish new strategies and implement an HR program that has built staff morale and retention rates. The result is that the company is now well positioned to move forward and retain its competitive position in the marketplace. The new business collaboration will promote Australian-Maltese business ties, and showcase Australian business management practices, including to senior Maltese political figures, which will support efforts to encourage the Maltese government to engage with the Australian business community.

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Manila

Case study: Philippines fruit market access.

Summary:

The Philippines granted improved market access for Australian fruit, after much advocacy work by Post. Austrade locked in the benefits with promotions of Australian produce.

Impact:

Manila Post had been advocating for improved market access for Australian fruit since 2009. Austrade worked with exporters and Filipino importers and identified cold disinfestation as a major issue. The Department of Agriculture worked with the Victorian Government to demonstrate operational and export certification processes, resulting in the grant of improved market access.

Austrade then implemented a marketing strategy to boost fruit exports, culminating in an Austrade-hosted function bringing together Filipino officials, importers, wholesalers and retailers with Australian horticulture representatives, resulting in the delivery of various marketing promotions. Between January and August 2014, Australian citrus exports to the Philippines have increased 200 per cent (in value and volume terms) following the promotion.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia’s agriculture sector has long-prided itself on its clean, green and safe image. The promotion reinforced this competitive advantage, with a direct impact on citrus exports, but will also benefit other fresh fruit exports such as cherries, table grapes and stone fruits.

Case study: Philippine Public Private Partnership Centre support.

Summary:

Australian Government support to the Philippine Public Private Partnership Centre (PPP Centre) provides opportunities for Australian companies while delivering concrete outcomes for Filipinos.

Impact:

Australia is supporting the PPP Centre as it prepares projects for bidding. The PPP Centre has successfully bid eight projects worth more than $2 billion (including transport infrastructure and water projects), with another 15 projects in the pipeline. Australian support has been essential in designing projects, giving bidders confidence the transactions they enter into will be well defined, reducing their risks when bidding. This will ultimately lead to greater Australian participation in major Philippine infrastructure projects. Australian support also includes a twinning arrangement between the PPP Centre and Infrastructure NSW, which was set up by Austrade at Post.

Australian support is helping the Philippines fill its infrastructure gap, by building its administrative capacity. There are also benefits for Australian businesses. Australian legal companies are helping to define projects and providing legal services to bidders. Australian companies have successfully partnered with Philippine firms, and are working as sub-contractors on other projects.

Outcome for Australia:

Despite significant capacity constraints, the Philippine Constitution limits the opportunities for professionals to work in the country, and there are also limits on foreign direct investment. PPP Centre activity, with Australian Government support, provides an opportunity for Australian professionals and companies to participate in projects in the Philippines.

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Mexico City

Case study: Mexico: Supporting BHP Billiton’s market entry.

Summary:

Post supported BHP Billiton’s market entry to Mexico through briefings on Mexico's business environment and economic trajectory and up-to-date analysis on key developments in the energy sector reforms, supported program arrangements for high-level delegation, co-hosted events and facilitated access to key decision-makers and joint calls on interlocutors.

Impact:

BHP Billiton has now set up an in-country presence and is looking at making substantial investments in Mexico’s oil and gas sector, particularly in deep water (due to open for bidding in 2015).

Outcome for Australia:

Beyond the direct benefits BHP Billiton’s substantial proposed investment in Mexico could have for Australia in the future, BHP Billiton’s presence has assisted in post’s broader goal of raising Mexico’s profile and promoting the significant opportunities that exist here amongst Australian corporate community and broader community.

The profile and image of Australian companies, particularly in Mexico’s burgeoning energy sector, is also increasing on the heels of BHP Billiton’s presence in Mexico.

Case study: Mexico: Developing collaboration in the water sector.

Summary:

Post supported increased Australian institutional engagement with key institutions in Mexico’s water sector through support for two-way visits.

Impact:

Post’s support for a visit to Australia by the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA) to participate in the Oz-Water Conference and meet with leading Australian institutions (Bureau of Meteorology, CSIRO, universities and water technology company Rubicon) resulted in the Mexican Government, with logistical and financial assistance from Post, hosting the Mexico-Australia Water Seminar in November 2014.

Outcome for Australia:

Mexico’s enthusiasm for collaboration comes at an opportune time, following Mexican President Peña Nieto’s announcement of plans to invest $31.9 billion in water infrastructure for 2014-18. Australia is in pole position to capitalise on this investment.

Five Australian water experts travelled to Mexico City to further develop linkages and build capacity amongst senior Mexican public servants in the water sector.

At Mexico’s request, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology will provide a training program to assist Mexico in the establishment of a new National Hurricane and Severe Storm Centre. There is a strong possibility for future collaboration.

Case study: Mexico in the G20.

Summary:

Post provided high quality analysis of Mexico’s economic reforms and its approach to the G20 and advocated within the Australian system for appropriate recognition of Mexico’s achievements.

Impact:

Beyond assisting our G20 objectives, post’s promotion of Mexico’s economic reform story has assisted in post’s broader goal of raising Mexico’s profile and promoting the substantial opportunities that exist here amongst Australian corporate community and broader community.

Outcome for Australia:

Mexico’s President was asked to speak first at the G20 Summit Leaders’ retreat on the political challenges of economic reform, supporting one of our key G20 objectives.

Case study: Central America: Promoting Australian Education.

Summary:

Post leveraged off the Australia Awards program to highlight Australia’s education system, including initiating a dialogue on technical and vocational education with Costa Rica.

Impact:

Post hosted a high-profile event in Costa Rica for all of Central America’s Australia Awards recipients for 2013 – a record 66. The event, attended by Costa Rica’s then Foreign Minister and key education sector interlocutors, enabled post to highlight Australia’s tertiary and technical and vocational education sector. This has helped initiate a dialogue between Australia and Costa Rica on Australia’s technical and vocational education sector and the opportunities for policy exchange and greater student flows.

Outcome for Australia:

Successful highlighting of Australia’s education system as an option for Central American students.

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Moscow

Case study: Australian Education Promotion in Kazakhstan.

Summary:

Kazakhstan is keen to send its best and brightest abroad to study. The Bolashak Scholarship program, initiated by President Nazarbayev, has sent approximately 70 students to Australia in the past 20 years to study at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Others have also come as international students. As Kazakhstan’s GDP per capita grows, there is an opportunity to attract many more students.

Impact:

Post worked closely with Austrade and the Department of Immigration and Border Policing at Post to identify ways to increase the number of students coming from Kazakhstan. In October, the Ambassador and Austrade hosted an event for some 30 travel agents specialising in education. Kazakhstan media covered the event and screened an interview with the Ambassador on national television. Two Australian education providers also participated in the event. Austrade and Moscow Post highlighted changes to the student visa system which made it easier for students from Kazakhstan to apply for Australian visas. The following day, Australian officials also engaged directly with students at Kazakhstan’s premier education fair.

Separately, Moscow Post tracked down Bolashak alumni who had studied in Australia. In November, Post met 15 in Kazakhstan’s two largest cities. The former students are applying skills learnt in Australia to Kazakhstan’s development – one government employee went to Australia specifically to study how Medicare works and is now implementing a similar system in Kazakhstan. Alumni networks will assist our future education promotion activities – prospective students will get to hear from compatriots who studied in Australia.

Outcome for Australia:

An increase in student numbers from Kazakhstan will be a significant contribution to Moscow Post’s ‘growth’ priority in its economic diplomacy strategy. It will also contribute to further building bilateral ties through academic and other people-to-people links.

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Nairobi

Case study: Women’s economic empowerment in Kenya

Summary

ActionAid Kenya is promoting women’s economic empowerment in Embu and Kitui counties, Kenya by supporting “table banking” through the Australia Africa Community Engagement Scheme. Group members meet once a month, and place savings, loan repayments and other contributions on a table, then lend funds immediately as loans to members.

Impact

The project supports 32 groups (with 70% women members), and is targeting to reach out to not less than 800 households in each county. Women in the groups are able to invest small amounts of money in income-generating activities, which once repaid, allow them to borrow more funds to further diversify their income sources and contribute to the economy.

In response to the prolonged drought in the project locations, some of the community banking groups have become innovative and turned to a safer investment to hold onto their cash. In Kitui, members have moved their investments from farms to a climate-resilient currency to hold their cash: indigenous goats. With this, their funds grow as the goats grow and they have funds (capital plus interest) available even if it takes a long time to rain.

Whilst the fund allows women to improve their incomes through livelihood diversification, benefits run even deeper. Women gain confidence in handling money and it gives them power to make decisions at many levels including the household. The project contributes to the growth objective in our economic diplomacy by working with poor rural households particularly women to increase agricultural productivity and diversify livelihoods. The increased productivity enhances economic participation leading to increased incomes.

Following the success of the women-led concept of table banking initiated by civil society, the Kenyan Government up-scaled it by offering more monetary resources to women and the youth through the Uwezo Fund aimed at enabling women, youth and persons with disability to access finances for businesses and enterprises.

Outcome for Australia

Kenya is a priority partner for Australia in the region, and its stability is vital for East Africa. UNDP estimates that 53% of rural women and 63% of urban women live below the poverty line. It is also estimated that 85% of businesses in the informal sector and 48% of small and micro-enterprises are owned by women who face the twin challenge of lack of business skills and financing.

Kenya’s future prosperity and stability rely on women’s economic empowerment. Higher female participation in the workforce leads to lower unemployment, lower poverty levels and grows the overall economy. Higher female earnings and bargaining power translate into greater investment in children’s education, health and nutrition, which leads to economic growth in the long-term.

There is a strong Australian connection through the involvement of ActionAid Australia, which ensures that Australian expertise is utilised and acknowledged in the implementation of the project.

Women sitting around a table outside.
Musili Kaka and other members of the Kwaituto Self Help Group in Kenya's Kitui County engage in "table banking," a community banking project that now uses goats as its main currency. Isaiah Esipisu, ActionAid

Case study: Supporting Aid for Trade initiatives in Eastern and Southern Africa

Summary

Australia has provided capacity strengthening support to the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA), a specialized institution of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). ACTESA was established to improve competitiveness and integration of food markets as well as expand market facilities and link smallholder farmers to national, regional and international markets. Australian support started in 2010 through a delegated cooperation with USAID and has then extended to 2013-15.

COMESA/ACTESA has 19 member states with a population of over 390 million. COMESA is the largest economic block in Africa established to promote economic and trade integration. Australia’s support contributes to the achievement of COMESA’s mission by strengthening ACTESA’s institutional capacity to implement its Development Strategy and Operational Plan (2012-16) in collaboration with other development partners.

Impact

Outcomes of the Australian support in the areas of trade facilitation, market expansion and policy harmonization include assisting ACTESA to deliver on: the development of COMESA’s seed program and fertilizer market program; a comparative analysis of trade in key staple foods (maize and livestock); a regional policy discussion forum and seminar on import and export bans in collaboration with UNECA and parliamentarians; setting up regional food balance sheet forum; and automation of a cross-border monitoring system. Capacity strengthening of ACTESA Secretariat has focused on developing skills for technical proposal writing, partnership brokering and management and monitoring and evaluation.

Group photo of seminar participants
Seminar on import and export bans with parliamentarians in Lusaka, Zambia.

As a result of strengthening ACTESA’s capacity, other development partners have increased support to ACTESA including UK DFID’s support to the seed program through its FoodTrade initiative. In alignment with COMESA’s aid for trade strategy, policy discussions, tools for trade harmonization and the development of food and input market program will assist to improve harmonisation of regional trade policies that lead to economic growth.

Outcome for Australia

Our support to ACTESA has increased Australia’s visibility with COMESA, and provided a foundation for increased collaboration to advance the aid-for-trade agenda in the region.

Case study: Women’s economic empowerment in Tanzania

Summary

The Nronga Women’s Dairy Cooperative Biogas Pilot Project demonstrates the capacity of Tanzanian women to lead in entrepreneurial markets, through private sector innovation. The project particularly targets women’s economic empowerment, supports an increase in agricultural productivity, and private sector involvement in agriculture which has flow-on benefits to their families and communities.

Impact

The project funds household biogas systems that use livestock waste to produce cooking gas. The better dairy practices under the project have increased milk production, and compost from the project dramatically increases productivity in their household farms. This business provides 6000 litres per week to local commercial outlets, a school milk program for six local schools, and is about to join with six other women’s cooperatives to move to a bigger factory.

Besides having safer cooking options (many women praised their new gas stoves because they no longer suffered from the impact of cooking smoke), and greater control over community decisions, there is progress in family gender relations. Men now help with cooking and women own and manage the successful dairy cooperative business.

Outcome for Australia

Tanzania is a priority partner for Australia in East Africa. Women find it difficult to become involved in the market, due to the tightly regulated business environment.  By supporting the Nronga project, Australia is publically supporting women’s economic empowerment in Tanzania, and promoting an innovative private sector business. With a small amount of funding, the cooperative is able to leverage important commercial business links and build the capacity of other women’s cooperatives in the area. The program also breaks down resistance to environmentally-friendly power sources by promoting biogas usage.

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Nauru

Case study: Creation of Nauru’s first tax system.

Summary:

Nauru established its first tax system, a project funded by Australian aid.

Impact:

The creation of a tax code and system of administration should provide a stable revenue base for the Nauru Government over the long term. Creating a legal framework provides greater certainty for foreign investors, including Australian businesses. The new tax system brings Nauru into line with global practice and better links it to the global economy.

Outcome for Australia:

The creation of a clear tax regime increases certainty and reduces risk for foreign investors, including Australian businesses.

The new tax system will increase macroeconomic stability by providing the Government of Nauru with a reliable method of collecting revenue and projecting future expenditure.

Case study: Signing of a new Air Services Agreement between Australia and Nauru.

Summary:

Australia and Nauru completed negotiations for a new Air Services Agreement. The new arrangements provide room for continued growth in the Australia-Nauru air market, a key enabler for trade and investment.

Impact:

The new air services arrangements increase capacity entitlements and provide ample room for growth in the Australia-Nauru air market, which has been rapidly expanding over the last few years. Nauru Airlines will now be able to access more Australian landing points, which will increase opportunities to expand its passenger and charter services.

Outcome for Australia:

By allowing more flights and opening new routes, the new air services arrangements offer opportunities for Australian and Nauruan businesses. The new arrangements make chartering and freighting services easier to deliver. The opening of new landing points also increases the potential for Nauruan tourists to visit Australia.

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New Delhi

Case study: Two-way PM visits.

Summary:

Leveraging of unprecedented two-way PM visits, including first Indian PM visit to Australia in 28 years.

Impact:

India posts used the visits to drive a wide range of outcomes and to galvanise the systems on both sides to set a higher level of ambition for the economic relationship.

Outcome for Australia:

Posts helped achieve the following outcomes:

  • Reinvigoration of the CECA, with the PMs committing to the goal of concluding negotiations by the end of 2015.
  • A Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, a real milestone in the maturing of the overall bilateral relationship.
  • A Social Security Agreement, which will help Australian businesses operating in India to reduce costs by eliminating double pension contributions.
  • MOUs on Culture, Tourism, Sports, Water and Skills, which will be useful in driving outcomes in these areas given India’s preference for government-to-government frameworks. PM Modi’s announcement that India will host a Festival of India in Australia in 2015 following our sustained advocacy. Australia has emerged as one of India’s preferred partners for the development of its sporting capabilities, especially with a view to lifting its Olympic medal performance. With the extension of the MOU on Water, we are well placed to be one of India’s main international partners in its Ganga rejuvenation efforts, a major priority for the Modi government.
  • Agreement to reconstitute the Australia India CEO Forum, including new co-leads and members on both sides, will position us to support closer business-to-business links. The proposal by India’s leading business chamber CII to hold an Australia India Business Summit reflects Australia’s increased standing as an economic partner.
  • The extension of funding for the Australia India Institute will strengthen our ability to develop closer political, business and media links. AII will coordinate the inaugural Australia India Leadership Dialogue in 2015, which we anticipate will develop into a flagship engagement activity.
  • The PM’s launch of the New Colombo Plan generated strong awareness of the scheme and will help balance two-way education flows.
  • India’s extension of visa on arrival to Australian travellers will enhance mobility.
  • India’s agreement to hold Make in India and Indian Tourism Week events in Australia in 2015 will enhance industry and tourism links.

Case study: Market access for lupins.

Summary:

In February 2014 India’s Department of Agriculture and Cooperation granted access for Australian split lupins for human consumption. Lupins have been one of Australia’s longstanding priority market access requests with India. The Department of Agriculture commenced market access negotiations in late 2006 and has actively pursued the issue at plant bilateral meetings since then, supported by post.

Impact:

The access is a positive outcome for the Australian industry, especially in Western Australia, the largest lupin producing state. Future lupin exports to India are expected to benefit Australian farmers and Indian consumers.

Outcome for Australia:

Pulses, including lupins, are a staple food of the largely vegetarian Indian population, where they are a valuable source of protein. India does not produce enough pulses for its domestic demand and India is already a significant market for Australian pulses. Australia is India’s third largest supplier of pulses, behind Myanmar and Canada, and the new access for lupins is expected to further increase our pulse exports.

Australia’s pulse industry assesses that, over the next 10 years, Australian lupin exports to India have the potential to grow to $450 million. Austrade and the Department of Agriculture have commenced working with Australian suppliers to facilitate lupin exports to India.

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New York UN

Case study: Australia’s G20 Presidency: Briefing on the World Stage.

Summary:

During Australia’s successful year as Chair of the G20, including the hosting of the Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane on 15-16 November 2014, the Australian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York planned and implemented an outreach program to UN Member States.

Impact:

Australia’s Chairmanship of the G20 was considered highly successful, with the Leaders’ final communique highlighting plans to increase global economic growth, create jobs, increase trade and reduce poverty. This year the G20 also addressed international concerns such as energy supply, climate change and the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

Australia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York formulated an outreach program to UN member states. Building on the G20 themes during Australia’s Chairmanship, the program included visits by Foreign Minister Bishop, and senior Australian government officials, including G20 Sherpa Heather Smith, and G20 Special Representative Daniel Sloper. These representatives briefed member states, with a focus on non-G20 members, on G20 plans during Australia’s presidency. The program included briefings to the General Assembly, continuing a trend by Chairman’s of G20 to ensure coordination between the G20 and the United Nations.

Through this outreach program, Australia was able to promote its G20 agenda, and ensure non-G20 members’ priorities were included in discussions. Our program was highly regarded, with the Chair of the 3G Global Economic Group, Singapore, noting our high level of engagement throughout our Presidency.

Outcome for Australia:

The G20 is a fundamental part of Australia’s foreign and trade policies. It is also an important part of our overall Economic Diplomacy efforts. Given the UN’s role as an international institution, it is important we continue to promote cooperation and discussion between these important multilateral bodies. Our outreach program ensured that UN member states, particularly those who are not members of G20, were able to have their views represented during our Presidency, enhancing both Australia’s reputation as a country who represents small and middle size countries, and our credentials as a serious global economic partner.

Points to note

  • Australia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York conducted an outreach program to UN member states during our successful Chairmanship of the G20, including:
    • The Foreign Minister twice briefed the 3G Global Governance Group (30 countries with strong engagement in the G20, chaired by Singapore)
    • Ms Bishop separately briefed non-G20 Member States, including the 3G Global Governance Group, and the G20 Troika (Russia and Turkey)
    • Heather Smith, G20 Sherpa, briefed UN members and other stakeholders in the private sector to promote Australia’s objectives.
    • Daniel Sloper, G20 Special Representative, and Clair Walsh also briefed member states and the UN on Australia’s Chairmanship.
  • The outreach program enhanced Australia’s reputation as a country that represents the interest of small and middle size countries and presented our credentials as a serious global economic partner,
  • Australia’s briefings promoted an understanding of, and support for our key G20 objectives with non-G20 members.

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Nicosia

Case study: CSIRO - Cyprus Institute: Partnership in Heliostat Field Installation and Research.

Summary:

A project partnership between the CSIRO and the Cyprus Institute, one of Cyprus’s premier applied research organisations, focuses on the installation of a heliostat field and further research linked to that. The site is currently under construction and the relationship between the two institutes is ongoing and strong. They are both keen to have Australian High Commission visibility. Solar energy is a growing focus for the government of Cyprus and the future looks promising as more interest and investment focus on this field.

Impact:

The success of Cypriot-Australian partnerships in renewable (solar) energy is becoming more visible and acknowledged. Australia’s contribution to the Cypriot industry could open doors to further opportunities for partnerships and even investment offers. Meanwhile, the sale of Australian products and knowledge in the industry is of great value. This is likely to grow as the successes are strengthened and enlarged with more partners, investors and even potential state involvement.

Outcome for Australia:

There is a chance Australian companies and institutes could find a growing number of opportunities in the field of solar energy as Cyprus gears up its focus on renewable sources of energy. Research partnership opportunities will also continue to open up in our view.

The prospect of Australia gaining a foothold in the Cypriot field of renewable (especially solar) energy could eventually lead to regional cooperation and the possibility of branching out in the region, using Cyprus as a partner.

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Noumea

Case study: Standards Australia Mission to New Caledonia.

Summary:

The Australian Consulate-General New Caledonia facilitated the launch of a project to create a standards framework for the construction industry in New Caledonia.

An MOU was signed between the New Caledonian Government, Standards Australia and French standards body AFNOR. HOP marked the signing with an event post-signing to bring together key government and construction industry actors.

Standards Australia and AFNOR will work to harmonise standards in one product category (as a pilot project), with roofing iron and metalwork as the shortlisted product categories.

In 2015, the project will continue. A further consultative mission and site visits will finalise the project and result in a joint report of recommendations to be handed to the New Caledonian Government at the end of 2015.

This mission is an agreed outcome of the Australia-New Caledonia bilateral talks 2013.

This mission is a significant technical and trade outcome. From a technical perspective, a standards framework will improve compliance processes and safety standards. It will also facilitate bilateral trade through simplifying standards for exporters and through harmonisation.

More broadly, this is an important step towards New Caledonia’s regional orientation.

Impact:

There is no standards framework in New Caledonia, with construction standards based on French standards (often out-of-date versions), and insurance industry requirements. The construction industry has called for this project. Current standards are often ill-suited to Pacific conditions and the construction materials imported by the territory. This project has the potential to harmonise international, Australian, and French standards in the territory and allow local businesses to use the standard most relevant to them.

The effect of this harmonised framework will be safer and higher quality construction products and projects, better suited to New Caledonia’s climatic conditions. It will facilitate the trade of construction materials between Australia and New Caledonia.

New Caledonian industries already use Australian products but without the accompanying skills, certification, testing and understanding of Australian standards required to ensure the products meet the standards. This will encourage the correct use of Australian products to our standards.

If accepted, any Australian standards incorporated into the New Caledonian standards framework will encourage a further increase in Australian construction imports. Local companies will seek compliance with a given Australian standard through the procurement and use of certified Australian products.

The mission attracted considerable media, government and industry attention, and other government departments expressed interest in extending the future standards framework – and involvement with Australia - to their sectors.

Outcome for Australia:

This project has the potential to remove a barrier to trade (namely, the exclusive use of French standards). This will be of considerable benefit to Australian exporters of construction materials, and potentially, over the longer-term, for Australian services, including technical training, testing and certification facilities.

Bilaterally, this project is representative of New Caledonia’s gradual shift towards greater regional integration, and closer relations with Australia. The transfer of governance competences to the New Caledonian Government gives decision-makers the opportunity to work with Australia as a regional trade partner.

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Nuku’Alofa

Case study: Using sport to promote positive gender outcomes and to combat the mounting social and economic costs of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Tonga.

Summary:

A World Health Organisation (WHO) STEPS Survey found that 99.9 per cent of Tonga’s population was at a high to moderate risk of NCDs. Lack of physical activity, poor diet, smoking and alcohol consumption were identified as the main risk factors with a high proportion of deaths NCD-related. Women in particular were at greater risk of NCDs with rates of obesity significantly higher in women than men. Women were also found to be much less likely to be physically active than men due to a range of factors that included social and cultural barriers. Around 95% of women in Tonga were identified as overweight.

There are significant economic, social and public health costs associated with the increasing prevalence of NCDs in Tonga. The Kau Mai Tonga program, funded under the Australian Sports Outreach Program (ASOP), responded to the challenge by using sport to deliver key health outcomes on NCDs. The program has promoted links between Tongan Government ministries, non-government organisations and service providers to innovatively use sport as a tool to change attitudes and create opportunities for women to lead more active lifestyles. A cadre of specialist NCD nurses, trained and funded through DFAT’s Tonga Health Systems Support Program, has run a referral program in tandem with Kau Mai to boost NCD outcomes across the community.

Impact:

Kau Mai recognised that women in Tonga were at a very high risk of NCDs. Kau Mai has been able to show progress in improving girls and women’s health through innovative use of media, advocacy and partnership work. Increased levels of awareness have been reported through the program with 86% of women interviewed saying they were concerned about the effects of physical inactivity on their health and 90% indicating they wanted to exercise more regularly. Women also reported feeling a greater sense of community and leadership through the program.

Outcome for Australia:

Through sport, Australia has been able to raise awareness of the benefits of healthier lifestyles and increase access to physical activity for women. By linking together investments in sports, communities and health, the Kau Mai program has supported effective and innovative approaches to help Tonga combat the spiralling social and economic costs of NCDs. Kau Mai received the WHO’s Healthy Islands Recognition Award in 2013 and was shortlisted for Beyond Sport’s Sport for Health Award in 2014.

Case study: TVET Interim Skills Development Facility.

Summary:

The Interim Skills Development Facility (ISDF) was established in May 2014 as a two year bridging TVET facility/fund. The ISDF is a strongly demand-driven model that will provide accredited training to meet skills shortages identified through extensive labour market research. The ISDF offers a flexible and demand driven TVET system that can be applied by DFAT in any long-term program of assistance for workforce skills development in Tonga.

Impact:

By aligning quality assured skills development training with labour market demand, the ISDF aims to give TVET graduates - particularly women, youth and persons with a disability – the qualifications required to secure productive employment in national and international labour markets. The ISDF will also assist national training providers in Tonga to achieve international benchmarks by partnering with internationally-accredited training institutions. The mutual recognition of qualifications will further establish pathways for continuing education and training both nationally and internationally.

Outcome for Australia:

The ISDF recognises the substantial economic benefits Tonga will derive from further workforce skills development and participation. One of the programs to be funded in the current financial year will be a lighthouse project that promotes women in horticulture. A focus of the project will be on assisting women to grow chillies, eggplant, zucchini and possibly papaya as commercial crops. Participants will be trained in how to produce high quality crops for export, from seed propagation to harvest and packing. Trainees will also adhere to quality management and biosecurity requirements at each step of the production process to help connect them to established supply chains for overseas markets.

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Ottawa

Case study: Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to Canada, including Business Roundtable in Ottawa.

Summary:

During his official visit to Canada in June 2014, Prime Minister Abbott chaired a successful business roundtable including senior representatives from Australian and Canadian companies.

Impact:

The Prime Minister was accompanied by Trade and Investment Minister Robb and a delegation of senior Australian business leaders. The roundtable brought them together with 27 senior Canadian business executives – many of whom travelled to Ottawa to attend – to discuss opportunities in the commercial relationship and foster closer investment ties.

Discussions affirmed the very healthy state of the bilateral commercial relationship, and focused on how this could be further enriched, particularly through increased investment and collaborative innovation.

Canadian participants were interested in Mr Abbott and Mr Robb’s comments on infrastructure investment opportunities – especially asset recycling – prospects for joint partnerships in third country greenfields investments and Australia’s foreign investment policies. Canadian business leaders came away with a better understanding of the opportunities that exist in Australia, especially in investment, and expressed admiration for Australia’s business-friendly policies and commitment to regulatory reform.

Outcome for Australia:

The roundtable successfully reached a cross-section of influential figures in the Canadian economy with the Government’s ‘Open for Business’ message. Mr Abbott’s strong commitment to enhancing commercial opportunities was noted and appreciated.

Many roundtable attendees had existing interests in Australia, including investment firms holding over $4 billion in assets in Australia. At the time of the roundtable, dairy giant Saputo Inc. had recently completed a $500 million purchase of a majority stake in Warrnambool Cheese and Butter. Engaging these leaders on the opportunities that exist in the Australian market and connecting them with Australian counterparts was useful in pursuit of a stronger investment relationship.

See caption
Prime Minister Abbott, with former co-Chair of the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum, Thomas D’Aquino and Prime Minister Harper, June 2014

Case study: Trade and Investment Minister’s visit to Toronto, with accompanying Business Delegation.

Summary:

During his visit to Toronto in June 2014, Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and an accompanying business delegation attended several successful business engagements including two business roundtables hosted by Austrade with senior executives from Canadian companies, and a dinner and a luncheon hosted by two key industry associations, the Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce (CACC) and the Canadian Council for Public Private Partnerships (CCPPP).

Impact:

Canadian investors (over twenty individuals from a range of companies) attended the resources roundtable and welcomed the Minister’s remarks on the Government’s efforts to cut the regulatory burden, to abolish the carbon tax and to encourage investment through the Exploration Development Incentive and research and development collaboration. Barriers to investment raised by investors at the discussions included high project costs, limited opportunities for Canadian companies to enter the supply chain and the longer certification process.

A further 20 Canadian investors attended the infrastructure roundtable and heard the Minister’s remarks on the Government’s efforts to improve Australian infrastructure, specifically through the asset recycling initiative to increase productivity, output capacity and relieve urban congestion in major Australian cities.

Drawing on Australia’s 25 years with public - private partnerships, investors welcomed the Government’s efforts to further improve access for foreign firms.

The sold-out CCPPP luncheon crowd of 160 and CACC dinner guests of 40 investors welcomed the Minister’s comments on investment opportunities for Canadian infrastructure firms.

Investors came away with a good understanding of investment and partnership opportunities for Canadian companies through Australia’s substantial pipeline of projects, generous tax incentives for research and development activities relating to the resources sector and the asset recycling initiative in the infrastructure sector, underpinned by Australia’s business -friendly policies and commitment to regulatory reform.

Outcome for Australia:

The business roundtables and industry associations’ events successfully reached key executives of major Canadian companies heavily invested in infrastructure and resources and energy globally and in Australia. The outreach reinforced the message that Australia is open for business and welcomes foreign investment from Canada. Investors welcomed the Government’s commitment to regulatory reform to support Australia’s growing economy.

The infrastructure roundtable attracted major Canadian pension funds, such as Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, OP Trust and Canadian banks Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Scotiabank.

The resources roundtable attracted investors such as Barrick Gold, Cameco Corporation, Laramide Resources, TransAlta, Hatch, New Gold among others.

OMERS, OP Trust, Fengate Capital opened offices in Australia in late 2013 and early 2014 and the major pension funds and resources investors continue to explore opportunities to bid for projects and assets being privatised. Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec plans to open a Sydney office in 2015.

Engaging with these senior executives on sector-specific investment opportunities in Australia further reinforced Australia’s continuing commitment to encouraging foreign investment from Canadian companies.

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Paris

Case study: Variscan Mines

Summary:

Variscan Mines commenced project acquisition work in Europe in July 2012, with a strong focus on France. Against the odds, Variscan Mines was granted three exploration permits, thus securing tenements in Brittany for copper, lead, zinc and gold, and has now commenced exploration.

Impact:

In July 2012, Variscan Mines Limited (an ASX listed Australian Resources Company) announced the granting of their first exploration licence in France. This followed joint lobbying of the French Government by the Embassy in Paris. Variscan Mines General Manager Greg Jones indicated to Austrade that it was “a big occasion for ourselves and the French Government as it overtly signals the push to reinvigorate the resources sector in metropolitan France. This is the first new licence granted for over two decades and it has been a huge effort to reach this milestone.”

Since this initial announcement, Variscan Mines Ltd has announced the grant of two new French licences – the latest on 5 November 2014.

The Minister for Trade and Investment, Mr Andrew Robb, the Ambassador and Austrade Paris helped obtain this result by working with the French Minister for Industrial Revival (Ministère du Redressement productif). The Ambassador and Austrade facilitated the relationship with Variscan Mines and Total through their relationship with Total SA (the major French oil and gas company).

Variscan’s success is a win for our economic diplomacy agenda in France. Although coming from a small base, new opportunities for junior Australian miners will arise from the gradual reopening of the French mining sector.

Outcome for Australia:

Through the first granting of an exploration licence in France for 20 years to an Australian mining company, the French Government has recognised Australia’s leading mining capabilities. This outcome reinforces the message to French authorities that Australia and our mining expertise can assist in the development of the French mining sector. The success of Variscan Mines Ltd in France enlarges the footprint of Australian foreign direct investment to France, with investment relating to each licence and the exploration work valued at $10 million.

The Embassy is now exploring the prospects for cooperation between Australian resources companies and French corporates in francophone Africa.

Case study: Reinforcing the Role of the G20 in France.

Summary:

We have worked hard during 2014 to build Australia’s role as a credible partner for economic policy dialogue, reinforcing the importance of the G20 to France and Australia’s role therein.

Impact:

As a member of the G7/G8, and also a member of the G20 grouping, France has been a key partner in efforts to promote global economic policy coordination.

In the context of our chairing of the G20, we have worked hard in Paris during 2014 to engage with French policy makers to support their efforts on structural economic reform, a major pillar of the G20’s agenda in 2014 and a big part of the success of the Brisbane Summit. We advocated for and hosted a range of high-level visits by senior Australian economic officials to engage with France on questions related to structural reform. We advocated for – and obtained – strong contributions from France to the G20’s Growth Strategy as a result of this effort.

The Embassy has added to that wider engagement by building its own program of economic policy dialogue. We have engaged directly with senior French policy makers to provide them with the opportunity to hear from our policy makers on Australia’s economic reform experience. We started a dialogue with the French on competition policy reform in 2014, bringing to France a former head of the Australian Productivity Commission to discuss with the Head of the French competition authority and other officials the challenges of navigating the political economy of reform in this area.

Outcome for Australia:

France has begun to pay more attention to Australia’s successful experience in economic reform, and its credibility as a source of economic policy advice. This in turn has helped reinforced for France the role of the G20 as the premier global economic grouping.

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Paris OECD

Case study: Launch of the OECD’s Southeast Asia Regional Programme.

Summary:

Due in large part to Australia’s advocacy through the Paris OECD Post, the OECD launched its Southeast Asia Regional Programme (SEARP) at the Ministerial Council Meeting in May 2014. Further advocacy through the OECD’s budget process has resulted in an allocation of Part I funding for coordination of the SEARP.

Impact:

The Southeast Asia region is one of the most dynamic and diverse areas in the world, with a growing influence on the world economy and an ambitious regional integration road map. There are currently no ASEAN countries in the OECD membership. Enhanced engagement with the Southeast Asia region is vital to the OECD’s ongoing relevance and influence.

ASEAN countries will benefit from the OECD’s expertise to support their domestic priorities, policy reforms and regional integration efforts. There are six thematic Regional Policy Networks (RPNs): Regulatory Reform; Connectivity and PPPs; Investment; Education and Skills; SMEs and Tax. There are also initiatives on trade, gender and innovation. The RPNs are expected to deliver mutual benefit by fostering the exchange of good practices and mutual learning among policy makers in OECD and ASEAN countries.

Australia continues to take a leading role in the SEARP, working closely with the OECD Secretariat and drawing on its links in the region, particularly through APEC and the ASEAN Secretariat, as well as other key regional partner organisations such as the ADB, ERIA and UNESCAP. Australia has nominated to chair two of the RPNs – Investment, and Education and Skills. Post serves as a key coordination point between the OECD Secretariat and relevant policy agencies in Canberra, ensuring Australia has a strong influence over the work programmes of the RPNs.

Outcome for Australia:

The Southeast Asian region is a key market for Australia and Australian companies are increasingly establishing a presence there. Australia will benefit from countries in the region implementing well formulated policy reforms to facilitate trade and improve their business climates, as well as greater integration in the region.

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Phnom Penh

Case study:

Summary:

On 21 November, the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh hosted a celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of Australia Award scholarships in Cambodia. Using sponsorship from five Australian universities, we ‘supersized’ one of our annual scholarship events and used it to showcase the value of Australian education. The event was attended by nearly 400 people, including Cambodian Government ministers, parliamentarians, CEOs, academics and community leaders. The event received wide coverage in the local broadcast, print and social media.

Impact:

The 20th anniversary event was a good networking opportunity for Australia Awards alumni—it allowed them to reconnect with old friends and colleagues, and make new contacts. It highlighted the contribution that Australian alumni were making to Cambodia’s development and encouraged them to do even more in the future.

The event was widely covered in the local media—on television, papers and Facebook. It was even promoted on social media by a popular Cambodian coffee chain founded by Australian alumni. In his speech and television interviews at the event the Cambodian Minister for Education, Youth and Sport praised the scholarships program and the quality of Australian education.

The event also helped strengthen the personal links between Australia and Cambodia. It allowed staff from the Australian embassy and Australian businesses to meet high-achieving Cambodians; all with exceptional English-language skills and many of whom are now leaders in their respective professions.

Through the event we also established contact with Australian alumni in Cambodia who had been self-funded or studied under other scholarship programs. We even reconnected with three original Colombo Plan scholars—including a former Prime Minister of Cambodia—who had studied in Australia in the 1960s and ‘70s. They looked forward to meeting New Colombo Plan students when they arrive in Cambodia next year.

The 20th anniversary event was a whole-of-government effort. Austrade helped find Australian universities who were interested in building their profile in Cambodia and provided marketing material to promote Australian education. The Australian Department of Education provided data for a briefing we provided to Australian universities and helped us connect with scholars from the Endeavour Awards program.

Outcome for Australia:

The 20th anniversary event helped raise the profile of Australian education in Cambodia. It drew attention to Australia’s longstanding scholarships program—and the contribution alumni have made to Cambodia’s economic development—and highlighted the life-changing impact of an Australian education. For the institutions that sponsored the event, it was an opportunity to build their profile in a rapidly growing market.

H.E. Hun Many, Member of Parliament and Australian alumnus, is interviewed by local media.
H.E. Say Samal (second from left), Minister of the Environment and Australian alumnus, has his photo taken with Australian alumni.
Belinda Howell, General Manager of Market Development from UTS: Insearch, talks with Australian alumni.
Australian alumni, including H.E. Hun Many (fourth from right), Member of Parliament, and staff of the Australian Embassy.

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Pohnpei

Case study: Direct Aid Program (DAP) grant to the ‘Pohnpei Eco-Adventure Map Guide Series’. The project is based in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Pohnpei State.

Summary:

This project is contributing funds towards the production of a series of thirteen topographic maps. The objective is to promote eco-tourism in areas of undiscovered and unspoilt islands of Pohnpei and the surrounding lagoons and reefs.

The maps are supported by additional information available on a website http://www.pohnpei-adventure.com/ . Information including hiking, biking, climbing, diving, festivals and archaeological sites is provided either on the maps or on the website. The website is the only one of its kind in FSM.

Impact:

To date DAP grants have funded the on-going production of eight maps. FSM’s Department of Resources and Development has provided funds for three additional maps.

The islands of Pohnpei have great potential as an eco-tourist destination. However, detailed information about the islands and their activities is scarce.

The maps and the website serve as a go-to point for visitors looking to visit Pohnpei. Information available through the maps and accompanying website is not available anywhere else. The comprehensive and user friendly nature of the maps is designed to attract tourism to Pohnpei, one of the least visited islands in the world.

The maps are already available in a number of businesses in Pohnpei and are seen as an important contribution to the development and growth of the tourism industry.

Outcome for Australia:

Australian Government is committed to supporting private sector growth. Development and growth of the tourism industry provides the potential to increase trade between FSM and Australia, as well as FSM and other trading partners.

Focus of the project on eco-tourism and the availability of the website to a wide audience can provide the opportunity to raise the profile of Pohnpei and the North Pacific region in general to the tourism and business markets in Australia.

Income injected into the economy through tourist activities will directly strengthen Pohnpei’s, and FSM’s, economic growth. The tourist activities will directly benefit local and isolated communities, who are mostly engaged as tourist guides on the island.

Australia is recognised as a partner in the maps through brand recognition. Post has been approached and thanked by communities and visitors for funding the publication of the “much needed” maps and for supporting the growth the local economy.

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Port Louis

Case study: Carnegie Wave Company WA; Mauritius and Seychelles.

Summary:

Post heard Mauritius Research Council had a new fund for investment ($5 million) in innovative projects. We invited the head Dr. Sudhoo on an SVP who visited CSIRO, WA with Carnegie Wave Energy, and UWA Institute for Indian Ocean Studies

A draft MOU has been developed and will be signed between Carnegie Wave Corp and MRC in January 2015.

CSIRO disaster management experts also visited Mauritius and met with IORA, Indian Ocean Commission, UM Faculty Ocean Studies; with view to consultancy opportunities – now in the pipeline.

Impact:

Carnegie Wave Corp had been in discussions with Mauritius before, even to the point of a site survey for possible installation of equipment but it has never come to fruition. Within a month of returning from the SVP we had reactivated the contacts through High Commission as well, encouraging follow-up. An MOU has now been drafted between Carnegie Wave and MRC.

Outcome for Australia:

An MOU has now been drafted between Carnegie Wave and MRC. Mauritian Government funding has also been made available for the CSIRO, with whom Dr Sudhoo met on the SVP, to enable them to undertake a two year marine renewable energy ocean mapping survey. The MRC will also be developing a further MOU with the Australian Research Council, also an interlocutor during the SVP.

A Pilot project is also under consideration of the DFAT Innovation Hub (Blue Economy workstream).

This could lead to a potential take-up of our cutting edge Wave Energy technology in Mauritius with Seychelles and other Indian economies encouraged to enter commercial arraignments for electricity supply and desalination.

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Port Moresby

Case study 1:

Austrade received strong support from Australia Awards, DFAT and DIBP to stage the 2014 Australian Tertiary Education Roadshow in PNG.  Twenty one Australian universities and education institutions visited Port Moresby with significant numbers also going to Lae, Madang and Goroka, to promote Australia’s tertiary education capabilities to shortlisted Australia Awards scholarship candidates as well as potential full fee paying students and their families.  Most of the institutions plan to return for the Australian Education Roadshow in 2015.  The 2015 event will also be expanded to include Australian Technical & Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions to assist PNG to upskill its workforce.

Case study 2:

DFAT has worked with a wide range of stakeholders in developing a PNG Private Sector Development Framework for 2015-2018. The framework sets out a number of jointly agreed areas where GoPNG, the private sector and DFAT will work together in a targeted and effective manner, on initiatives that will lead to economic growth and effective development. Consultations have taken place with Australian and PNG businesses, international partners, and with community groups. The framework is currently sitting with the PNG Department of National Planning and Monitoring, for their final approval.

Case study 3:

The Business Coalition for Women (implemented in partnership with the International Finance Corporation) has over 40 members from large extractive industries e.g. Exxon/Mobil, banks (e.g. Westpac), and well established local businesses eg Steamships.

One of the first activities of the Coalition initiative has been to develop effective family and sexual violence policies to try and keep women staff members working, safely. The Coalition launched a model policy at the recent White Ribbon event run by the Coalition for Change. Involved companies are modifying the model policy to suit their particular environments.

Most of the businesses involved in the Coalition recognise that intimate partner violence against women imposes a significant cost to their companies – in terms of time off work, but also because it is increasingly acknowledged that women cannot work to the best of their ability when they suffer from domestic violence.

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Port of Spain

Case study: LNG-Powered Australian Ferries for Inter-island transport in Trinidad & Tobago.

Summary:

Post is pursuing the interest of T&T’s Transport Minister in replacing the current fleet of diesel ferries with LNG-powered ferries (notably Incat vessels) in 2015.

Impact:

Post has been aware of the Minister's interest in replacing T&T's fast ferry fleet since statements in September 2013. Progress has been slow but the potential impact is significant. Though no monetary value has yet been given, at least two Australian companies, Incat (preferred by the Minister) and Austal Ships, would be able to bid for lucrative and potentially long-term contracts.

Cabinet approval for the ferry upgrade is expected in December 2014 and Post anticipates a tender round in early 2015. This may contribute meaningfully to pillar 4 of the Economic Diplomacy agenda, advancing the interests of Australian business and developing stronger private sector involvement in the region.

Outcome for Australia:

Apart from the benefit to Australian business, a key outcome of Post’s Economic Diplomacy strategy is the promotion of Australia as a leader in the maritime sector. Potential spin-off enterprises include the related interest of the T&T government to have all public transport buses and ministry fleets convert to compressed natural gas (CNG), and bidding opportunities for maritime fleets in other Caribbean countries. T&T would benefit from the switch to a more environmentally friendly fuel and an estimated TT $100 million per year savings.

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Port Vila

Case study: Ms Asunda Roy, Owner, Lakatoro Palm Lodge, Malekula, Vanuatu.

Summary:

Asunda Roy owns and manages a successful bungalow called Lakatoro Palm Lodge utilising skills she gained through training and business mentoring from the Australian-funded Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Centre in Malekula.

Impact:

Asunda Roy, who lives in the small village of Lakatoro on Malekula island, has always dreamed of owning her own tourist bungalow. While she was still working as a cleaner, Asunda took a course in house-keeping at the Australian-Government-funded Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Centre in Malekula and later she returned to the centre for business coaching and tourism training.

Using the skills she acquired through TVET, and with her family’s strong support, Asunda now owns and manages a successful bungalow called Lakatoro Palm Lodge. It is full all year round. She uses the profits to support her family and create employment opportunities in her community. Asunda is a wonderful example to women across Vanuatu. She has shown that with tenacity and commitment, helped along by some high-quality training, women in Vanuatu can be successful small-business owners.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia is committed to building entrepreneurial skills and strengthening small business in Vanuatu and is particularly interested in encouraging women and girls to participate fully in the economy. Australia’s TVET Sector Strengthening Program supports economic development, including in the provinces, through targeted skills training and business development services. Tourism is among the most important sectors in Vanuatu’s economy, so it’s one of the program’s main priorities.

The beauty of the TVET model is that training can be tailored to the participants’ individual needs and includes ongoing mentoring and support. Asunda is one of a growing group of people who have accessed this training to become financially independent and have shared their success with their communities.

Case study: Ms Joyce Napuat, Community-Coordinator for SHEFA Province, Strengthening Early Childhood Care and Education Program, World Vision, Vanuatu.

Summary:

Joyce Napuat is a young ni-Vanuatu woman living with a disability. She was born with one leg, and faced many challenges growing up in a rural area on Tanna island. She was determined to overcome these challenges and worked hard to make the long journey to school every day, walking 10 kilometres over almost 3 hours to receive an education, just like any other child. Joyce is an Australia Award recipient, graduating from the Fiji National University with a Certificate in Community Disability and Rehabilitation. During her studies, the Australian Government also provided additional family pastoral care and medical support. Joyce has also studied for four years at Talua Ministry Training College in Santo.

On International Women’s Day in 2013, Joyce was awarded the Andy Lynch Award for Excellence in the Field of Disability Support by the Australian High Commission in recognition of her contribution to the empowerment of people living with disabilities in Vanuatu.

Impact:

Joyce’s determination and perseverance for an education and a better life helped her overcome the challenges faced by most people living with disabilities in Vanuatu. She is a strong advocate and role model.

Joyce has a passion for helping children living with disability and, in addition to her full time job, volunteers as an Early Intervention Group teacher with the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia is recognised internationally as a leading donor in disability-inclusive development. Providing support to individuals like Joyce, through Australia Awards and other Australian Government-funded programs, raises awareness among communities and provides role models to empower people living with disabilities.

Through its aid program, Australia works with a range of partners in Vanuatu to tackle the stigma that surrounds disability, which can be one of the strongest barriers to participation in community and economic life. Australia will continue to promote disability inclusive education, help remove physical barriers through our investments in infrastructure, and enable people with disability to access essential services.

Case study: Mr Samuel Andikar, CEO and Manager, Millennium Cave Tours, Santo, Vanuatu.

Summary:

In 2000, Samuel Andikar started a small tour called Millennium Cave Tours. As a self-proclaimed “village boy” without any formal training or skills, he worked hard to build his business to earn an income for his family and support the eight villages in his community.

With support provided by the Australian Government, Samuel graduated with a Certificate III in Tourism from the Australian Government-funded Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in 2012. In 2014, he also completed a Diploma in Management at APTC.

Samuel is also a client of the SANMA Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Centre, supported by the Australian Government-funded TVET Sector Strengthening Program. Samuel and his staff regularly participate in a range of formal training in tourism and administration, as well as coaching and mentoring in small business management.

Impact:

The skills and knowledge acquired through studying at APTC and the assistance provided by the TVET program enabled Samuel to develop his business well beyond his initial, modest ambitions.

Since he graduated, Samuel’s business has grown from strength to strength. Customer numbers have increased from 26 in 2000 to over 5000 in 2014. His efforts have created employment opportunities, where previously there were none, for people from the eight villages in his community. He now employs more than 30, all of whom have been trained in TVET courses.

What’s more, Samuel’s business success has contributed directly to new development opportunities and improved facilities for his community. He used the proceeds of his business to fund the construction of two local kindergartens servicing three villages. Samuel also ensures the kindergarten is able to operate effectively by continuing to donate a proportion of his profits to contribute with the parents to the teachers’ salaries. In 2013, the communities with Sam’s support built a year 1 classroom, Sam liaised with MOET to get a trained teacher in February 2014 (on MOET payroll) and in 2015 there will be a year 2.

Samuel is a text-book example of how the Australian aid program can contribute directly to economic and social development. He is a pioneer in Vanuatu’s tourism industry with a nationwide profile as a leading role model for aspiring ni-Vanuatu entrepreneurs. Millennium Caves has developed from an informal business operating without any business, management or financial structures to one of the most successful locally-owned businesses in the country. It is now a formally registered company with a multi-million vatu annual turnover.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia is committed to promoting the economic development of Vanuatu. Tourism is one of the major drivers of economy growth in Vanuatu, with over 350,000 tourists visiting each year (approximately 60 per cent of which are Australians). Samuel’s story will continue to motivate ni-Vanuatu to develop their skills, to get involved in business, and to make a positive contribution to the economy. And that’s exactly what the Australian Government’s APTC and TVET programs are designed to achieve.

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Pretoria

Case study: G20 engagement in South Africa in 2014.

Summary:

Post adopted a multi-pronged approach to encourage engagement with Australia’s G20 agenda in South Africa in 2014, both within and outside of government. Efforts included regular advocacy to policy-makers across government, engagement with B20/Y20/T20/C20/L20 representatives, active participation in and hosting of public seminars, media engagement, support for G20-related senior official visits from Australia, and assistance with DFAT’s broader African outreach efforts. We also facilitated the attendance of two young South African women from disadvantage backgrounds (the ‘Soweto youth delegation’) at the Brisbane Summit in November.

Impact:

South Africa is the continent’s only G20 member, however general awareness and engagement with the G20 is limited outside of government and a select group of commentators.

Post’s efforts helped improve general awareness of the G20 in South Africa and gain buy-in from key groups (e.g. business, youth, think-tanks) for Australia’s agenda focused on growth and jobs – issues which resonate strongly within South Africa given the country’s ongoing economic woes.

Media coverage of Australia’s G20 Presidency in South Africa was overwhelmingly positive and repeated key messages in line with our interests – in particular following local outreach seminars and the Soweto youth delegation’s attendance at the Brisbane Summit.

The participation of two young women from Soweto in Johannesburg in the Summit – selected through a G20-themed essay competition which Post ran with their school – was a novel way of promoting media interest in the G20 in South Africa outside of the traditional financial press. It also delivered a strong message of Australia’s commitment to female economic and social empowerment.

Outcome for Australia:

Post’s efforts reinforced work of the G20 taskforce and teams in Canberra, ensuring that Australia presented very well in South Africa as G20 President – both to government and to those with influence outside of government. A heightened public profile for the G20 in South Africa will also help build greater accountability around South Africa’s commitments, the implementation of which is in Australian companies’ interests (e.g. reduced infrastructure constraints, improved competition policy and skilling-up of the future workforce).

Our bilateral relationship has also been strengthened from close cooperation in 2014. Post has established useful working relationships in key ministries, business groups, policy think-tanks and media.

See caption
Then Chargé d’Affaires, Adam McCarthy, presents certificates to the Soweto school students (accompanied by teacher) selected to attend the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane following a G20 essay competition with Molestane High School – November 2014.
See caption
‘Soweto youth delegation’ to the G20 Summit – meeting with Minister Julie Bishop and South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane in Brisbane, November 2014.
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‘Soweto youth delegation’ to the G20 Summit – meeting with Treasurer Joe Hockey and South Africa’s Minister of Finance, Nhalanhla Nene in Brisbane, November 2014.
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G20 seminar at University of South Africa – July 2014. G20 Sherpa, Dr Heather Smith, gave key-note address followed by remarks of South African B20, T20, C20, L20 and Y20 representatives.
See caption
Then South African Sherpa, Ambassador Mxakato-Diseko, invites Dr Heather Smith to deliver key-note address at G20 seminar.

Case study: Extractives Skills Development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Summary:

A strategic partnership with the Australian industry skills council for the resources and infrastructure sectors (Skills DMC) that is supporting economic growth by helping industry to access better skilled local workforces and helping communities take advantage of employment and livelihood opportunities offered by the extractives sector.

Impact:

Skill shortages have been identified as the number one ranked business risk for the mining and metals sector over the last six years. Skills gaps limit the ability of governments to effectively regulate and manage the extractives sector, and the ability of communities to take advantage of employment and livelihood opportunities offered by the sector.

Post has entered a strategic partnership with the Australian industry skills council for the resources and infrastructure sectors (Skills DMC) to enable African Governments to develop a skilled and competent extractives workforce by better linking skills development efforts to industry needs.

The partnership, established in April 2014, is currently supporting leading extractives producing countries (Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania) as well as key regional organisations (SADC, the African Union Commission, and UNECA) to adopt Australian industry-led models for skills forecasting, analysis and planning and competency frameworks in the resources and infrastructure sectors.

Together with Austrade (Johannesburg), Post and Skills DMC are working with Australian industry to promote efficient ways to address skills development issues and highlight the partnership between DFAT Post and Skills DMC

Outcome for Australia:

There are 220 Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed resource companies with 1047 projects across 38 countries in Africa. Discovery of mineral resources by ASX listed companies in Africa in recent years is close to $700 billion – greater than in any other region, including Australia. Many of these projects are concentrated in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia.

The partnership with SkillsDMC should:

  • in the longer-term, assist in addressing skills shortages which will allow mining companies (including Australian) to access better skilled potential employees;
  • improve opportunities for Australian industry to engage with African Governments on an issue of mutual interest, thereby providing opportunities to further improve the reputation of Australian industry in Africa; and
  • in the medium to long-term, the adoption of Australian models and competency standards will provide a competitive advantage to Australian skills and training organisations to enable them to enter / strengthen their involvement in the African market. This aligns with the Austrade focus on the education market in Africa.

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Ramallah

Case study: Improving education links with the Palestinian Territories through Australia’s scholarships program.

Summary:

The scholarship program (2011-2016) will award 50 scholarships for studies in Australia to future leaders in the Palestinian Territories. The students who went to Australia in the initial tranches have returned to Australia, and they are very positively disposed to Australia.

Impact:

Australia has awarded 30 scholarships so far in the program. Six alumni have returned from their studies to take up more senior roles in the Palestinian Authority. Post has assisted in establishing an alumni network, which is has been registered locally and is active on social media. The alumni have met with visiting delegations from Australia, and have participated in public diplomacy activities.

Outcome for Australia:

Creating a network of 50 key alumni from Palestinians identified as future leaders by Ramallah post will provide better access and influence with the Palestinian Authority and its policy makers. Media coverage of returnees has generated positive public diplomacy outcomes for Australia.

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Rangoon

Case study: ANZ Bank awarded bank licence in Burma.

Summary:

On 1 October 2014, the Central Bank of Myanmar granted ANZ Bank, along with eight other foreign banks, preliminary approval to commence banking operations in Burma. This followed extensive representations by the Australian Government to the Burmese Government, including by the Foreign Minister and Minister for Trade and Investment during their respective visits to Burma in July and August 2014. Once ANZ has set up its wholesale banking services in Burma (expected to be in 2015), this will make it easier for Australian companies to do business here and enhance trading links between Australia and Burma.

Impact:

On 1 October 2014, ANZ was granted preliminary approval by the Central Bank of Myanmar to prepare for the commencement of banking operations in Burma. This approval is valid for 12 months, during which time it must have fulfilled commitments made in its proposal, have set up operations and be ready to provide wholesale banking services in Burma. Once these conditions are met, the Central Bank will issue the final license to operation in Burma.

Given Burma’s weak financial systems, ANZ’s ability to provide wholesale banking services will support Australian companies who wish to do business in Burma. With ANZ’s network of banks throughout the Asia-Pacific region, it will also enhance Burma’s integration with the region.

Outcome for Australia:

Provided ANZ is given its final licence to operate in Burma, a major Australian bank will have an ongoing presence in Burma. This will support Australian commercial links with Burma and provide for the expansion of two-way trade between Australia and Burma. The high-quality of ANZ’s bank licence bid due favourable comment from the Burmese Government and other interested parties, enhancing Australia’s trade and investment reputation in Burma.

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Riyadh

Case study: Australia Unlimited 2014 Reception.

Summary:

An evening reception held on 16 April 2014 at the Embassy of Australia attended by approximately 250 people, including the Minister for Trade and Investment.

Impact:

The reception brought together representatives from the 27 Australian educational institutions participating in the annual International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education, representatives of the Council for Australian Arab Relations (CAAR), participants in the CAAR Energy, Water and Food Nexus Policy Forum, Saudi government officials (including members of the Shura Council), Saudi business-persons and Saudi alumni from Australian universities.

Outcome for Australia:

The reception provided Minister Robb with the opportunity to emphasise the importance of an early recommencement of Australia-GCC FTA negotiations, highlight the energy, water and food nexus, promote tourism to Australia and deliver the message that Australia was open for business

The reception allowed Post, Austrade and the Minister to showcase trade and investment opportunities in Australia to an influential and receptive audience.

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Rome

Case study: Westfield Group’s opening of new shopping centre in Milan.

Summary:

The Westfield Group, in cooperation with an Italian partner, is developing Europe's biggest shopping centre in Milan. Westfield’s investment is 1.4 billion euro and will create 17,000 permanent jobs on opening and 27,000 jobs in the construction stage. The project has been beset by delays and Post, in close cooperation with Westfield’s consultants in Italy (Crosby Textor), has helped Westfield to overcome these difficulties by engaging senior Italian ministers and officials.

Impact:

Post has raised the problems besetting Westfield Milan at various levels of national and local government, including the Prime Minister’s Office, ministers for industry, trade, labour and foreign affairs, mayor of Milan, president of Lombardy region, peak industry association, Governor of the Bank of Italy and so on.

Post has also helped Westfield’s representatives gain direct access to important decision makers, culminating in a meeting between Prime Minister Renzi and Westfield’s owners in Sydney after the G20 Summit. HOM has also raised the project in numerous interviews and speeches.

The project fits perfectly with Prime Minister Renzi’s jobs and growth agenda and Post has presented it to all stakeholders as an excellent opportunity to show that Italy is ‘open for business’ as well as showcasing the investment ‘muscle’ and interest of Australian companies.

Outcome for Australia:

The scale of the investment has raised Australia’s profile in Italy as a serious player in foreign investment (Macquarie, Lend Lease, IFM and others are also investing/considering investment here). Milan, according to the studies undertaken by Westfield, is ideally situated to draw in wealthy consumers from Italy’s richest regions but also from the prosperous countries surrounding that part of Italy. Westfield expects construction to start in 2015/2016 with opening in 2018, which will boost further Australia’s commercial visibility.

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Santiago

Case study: Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum

Summary:

In December 2014, the Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum (ACELF) attracted more than 300 high-level business leaders, government representatives and academics to explore new ways to expand and deepen the Australia-Chile bilateral relationship.

Impact:

A joint initiative of the Australian Embassy and the Chile-Australia Chamber of Commerce, ACELF, the first event of its kind between Australia and a Latin American country, was the centrepiece of post’s economic diplomacy strategy in 2014. The event attracted public and private participants from both countries, including Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb AO MP, the President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, former Chilean Presidents Ricardo Lagos and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, as well as the Chilean Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Economy, Mining and Energy. This unprecedented event raised the profile of Australian business in Chile significantly, and has prepared the ground for further expansion of trade and investment links and institutional cooperation between both countries.

The ACELF explored commercial opportunities and challenges for Australian and Chilean businesses in six key industry sectors - mining, energy, water management, education, transport and logistics, and financial services. It promoted the concept of Australia and Chile as platforms for trade and investment in Asia and Latin America respectively, in addition to underscoring the importance of the bilateral trade and investment relationship.

Outcome for Australia:

Feedback from Chilean and Australian government and private sector participants has been overwhelmingly positive and there is already strong interest for the “institutionalisation” of the Forum as an annual or biennial event. Participation from Chilean political leaders at the highest level generated unparalleled coverage by national television and print media, lifting significantly the profile of Australia and Australian businesses in Chile.

The ACELF explored new directions for bilateral cooperation and identified new opportunities for trade and investment across six key industrial sectors. Already, Australian businesses are capitalising on the positive exposure resulting from the ACELF, particularly in the energy sector. We expect further outcomes in the coming months. We will capitalise on the momentum generated by the ACELF to take the bilateral relationship to the next level.

See caption below
L to R: Australian Ambassador to Chile, HE Timothy Kane; Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP; President of Chile, HE Michelle Bachelet; Chilean Foreign Minister HE Heraldo Muñoz; Chilean Mining Minister, HE Aurora Williams; Chilean Economy Minister, HE Luis Felipe Cespedes. Photo: Austrade.
See caption below
L to R: Chilean Mining Minister, HE Aurora Williams; Executive Director, Plusmining, Juan Carlos Guajardo; BHP Billiton CFO, Peter Beaven; CEO Antofagasta Minerals, Jean Paul Luksic; President of the Chilean Mining Council, Joaquin Villarino; President of the Chilean National Mining Society, Alberto Salas; Technical Manager, Ausenco, Alba Ruiz Leon; Worley Parsons General Manager, Fernando Garcia. Photo: Austrade.
See caption below
Former Chilean President, Ricardo Lagos, addressing the ACELF. Photo: Austrade.
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Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP addressing the ACELF gala dinner. Photo: Austrade.
See caption below
L to R: Chilean Vice-Minsiter for Trade, Andres Rebolledo; Chairman of the Australia-Latin America Business Council, Jose Blanco; Executive Director of the Chilean Pacific Foundation, Manfred Wilhemy; Vice President of the Chilean Foreign Investment Committee, Jorge Pizarro; Director of the Women of the Pacific Organisation, Maria Carolina del Rio. Photo: Austrade.
See caption below
Chilean President, HE Michelle Bachelet, addressing the ACELF gala dinner. Photo: Austrade.

Case study: Eliminating transit visas for Chilean travellers and boosting connectivity.

Summary:

Post worked with Chilean and Australian agencies and airlines to remove the visa requirement for Chileans transiting through Australia, and we advocated successfully for an increase in the number of non-stop Qantas flights between Australia and Chile.

Impact:

The Embassy adopted a whole-of-government approach, involving DFAT, Austrade and DIBP, in working with agencies in Chile and Australia, to remove the visa requirement for Chileans transiting through Australia.  As of 6 October 2014, Chileans transiting Australia for a period of eight hours or less can do so without requiring a transit visa.

In addition, post’s effective advocacy with Qantas helped shape the decision by the company to increase the number of flights between Australia and Chile. In December 2014, Qantas commenced a fourth weekly non-stop 747 flight between Sydney and Santiago.

Outcome for Australia:

The elimination of visas for Chileans transiting Australia removed the single biggest irritant in the bilateral relationship. It also addressed concerns that Chileans travelling to Asia were increasingly adopting alternative routes (via North America and New Zealand) to avoid the need to apply for an Australian transit visa. Since elimination of the transit visa requirement, Qantas has already reported increased ticket sales on its Santiago-Sydney route, which it attributes in large part to increases in transit passenger volumes.

Post's effective advocacy for increased flight capacity between Australia and Chile has boosted physical connectivity between Australia and Chile, benefiting Australian and Chilean tourists as well as businesses and investors. For Australia and Chile, air transport underpins the trade and investment relationship. Increased connectivity is expected to boost Australia’s services exports (education and tourism) and make it easier for Australian and Chilean companies to do business.

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Seoul

Case study: The Korea-Australia Services Sector Promotion Forum (SSPF).

Summary:

First held in Seoul on 2 October 2014, the SSPF is a high-level business-led dialogue on legal, financial and creative services (audio-visual and smart cities). Opened by Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb and Vice Minister of Strategy and Finance JOO Hyung-hwan, the forum was attended by 40 senior Australian and Korean services sector representatives. Following sectoral breakout sessions, participants presented recommendations to senior officials from Korea and Australia.

Impact:

The inaugural SSPF identified challenges and opportunities under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA). Participant feedback reinforced that SSPF provided a valuable mechanism to explore how both sides could make the best use of KAFTA's high-quality services provisions; and that both sides would need to better understand each other's operating and regulatory environment in order to maximise the benefits under KAFTA. SSPF participants agreed to continue to work intersessionally ahead of the second SSPF in Australia in 2015, thereby nurturing useful services sector networks in the lead up to entry-into-force of KAFTA.

Outcome for Australia:

Korea is Australia’s fourth largest overall trading partner, but services exports to the ROK (tenth largest) lag substantially behind goods (third largest). SSPF provides a useful vehicle to identify future avenues to expand trade in services in the context of impending implementation of KAFTA.

SSPF also lays the groundwork for both sides to build the relationships between financial services regulators, including the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and Korea's Financial Services Commission. This will enhance cooperation on implementing KAFTA's financial services provisions as well as other initiatives such as the Asia Region Funds Passport.

SSPF also provides an opportunity to work more closely with Korea in two of President Park’s priority policy areas as identified in the Three-year Plan for Economic Innovation: services and particularly ‘the creative economy’.

Case study: Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) Advocacy.

Summary:

Seoul Embassy conducted a strategic, cross-portfolio advocacy campaign to press for KAFTA entry-into-force before the end of 2014. A comprehensive strategy was developed and overseen by a KAFTA advocacy taskforce which met fortnightly to coordinate KAFTA advocacy across the Embassy, including Austrade and the Agriculture section, and to ensure maximum leverage from high-level visits. The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AustCham) actively participated in this taskforce. During the year Ambassador and Embassy officers made numerous representations on KAFTA to a wide range of Korean government, business and media contacts.

Impact:

Although KAFTA was signed in April 2014, the benefits of the agreement could not be realised until parliamentary approval cleared the way for entry-into-force. Under the terms of the Agreement, if it entered into force before the end of 2014, it would deliver two tariff cuts in quick succession, narrowing the tariff differential between Australia and its competitors in key sectors like beef and wine.

A turbulent period in Korean domestic politics, coupled with an initial lack of awareness about the benefits of entry into force before the end of 2014, meant there was not the same sense of urgency about KAFTA at all levels of the ROK bureaucracy, so government timelines for ratification crept into 2015. Agricultural lobby groups also raised concerns about the perceived negative impact of KAFTA on their interests.

However, through Post’s coordinated advocacy campaign, including sustained HOM advocacy and high-level representations from Canberra, we were able to make ratification of KAFTA before the end of 2014 a high priority. President Park explicitly urged the National Assembly to ratify KAFTA during her parliamentary address in October. The Agreement was approved by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly on 13 November, and it is expected to be approved by the National Assembly’s plenary session on 2 December.

Outcome for Australia:

According to independent modelling, KAFTA will add over $5 billion to Australia’s GDP between 2015 and 2030, increase exports of agricultural goods to Korea by 73 per cent and create over 1,700 jobs. It will also drive further Korean investment in Australia, which had already grown from $637 million in 2002 to $12.0 billion by 2012.

More broadly, KAFTA will strengthen Australia’s strategic partnership with Korea across the economic, diplomatic, political, security, and cultural spheres.

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Singapore

Case study: ASEAN-Australia Workshop on Connectivity – making it real and highlighting Australia’s corporate expertise.

Summary:

The AHC leveraged Australian business practitioners to bring a strongly practical dimension to an Australia-ASEAN workshop on infrastructure development. As well as making the exercise more valuable, it put Australian firms and their infrastructure expertise up in lights with key ASEAN decision-makers.

Impact:

There is no shortage of talkfests on infrastructure in Singapore. To provide a point of difference and make this event relevant, the Australian High Commission brought together ASEAN officials from across the region in May 2014 to listen to private sector investors and experts in a practical, outcomes-oriented one-day workshop. With the benefit of showcasing Australia’s experience and abilities in ‘getting infrastructure built’ (the subtitle of our workshop), the workshop provided a valuable opportunity for regional policy makers to hear from Australian companies like Lend Lease and Macquarie and learn first-hand what they needed to do to attract and retain private and PPP investment.

As has been identified by the World Bank and the G20, there are two major constraints to further investment in emerging market infrastructure, despite the potential opportunities: 1), a shortage of properly-prepared projects and 2), a lack of financing instruments to help manage the risks of long-term investment. Rarely do policy makers and businesspeople have the opportunity to hear these messages directly and frankly. This workshop provided that forum and allowed for engaged, two-way interaction on best practice.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia was able to demonstrate its strong public and private sector capacities in infrastructure development, project finance, planning and policy to a senior audience of government decision makers. Alongside other activities in Australia and overseas, this workshop helped contextualise why Australia was using infrastructure as a key policy platform in its G20 presidency.

By delivering a comprehensive and high-level facilitated discussion, the Australian Government was also able to demonstrate its ability to host world-class events involving multiple coordinating agencies in Australia and at Post. The workshop was preceded by an alfresco dinner at the High Commissioner’s residence, which also formed a key part of the High Commission’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of Australia – ASEAN relations.

Case study: “Moonlight Investor Briefings” – with Tasmanian whisky.

Summary:

To make briefings on Australian investment opportunities more attractive, the AHC has run a series of “Moonlight Investor Briefings,” using Tasmanian whisky tastings as a drawcard.

Impact:

Virtually every night of the week in Singapore there is a bank or a chamber of commerce hosting an investment cocktail party or roundtable. By utilising the unique venue of the High Commission Residence, the even more unique inducement of award-winning Tasmanian whisky, and a targeted array of niche investment opportunities, DFAT and Austrade at Post has delivered a series of high-quality events showcasing Australian businesses to high-net-worth and sophisticated investors in Singapore.

Focussed primarily on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), these events have both demonstrated the potential and ingenuity of Australians as well as the Government’s commitment to international investment and an open economy. These “Moonlight” briefings have so far covered agriculture, infrastructure, aviation and start-ups. With regards to the latter, the High Commission has worked with Sydney-based investment platform Wholesale Investor to bring delegations of investment-ready SMEs to family offices and investment funds that are typically hard to reach, even for experienced brokers and advisors. With regards to aviation, this briefing was attended by Minister Andrew Robb, who brought together a superb aerospace trade delegation from across Australia.

Outcome for Australia:

By providing an exceptional venue, gourmet Australian food and wine and a curated selection of investment-ready companies, the High Commission has been able to attract a consistently strong audience of investors, which is a rare feat in Singapore’s crowded financial services industry. By bringing investors and opportunities together, the High Commission has been able to not only help bridge the information asymmetry that hinders unlisted offshore investment, but develop a source of deals that Singapore-based investors can tap in the future.

As a global financial hub of increasing importance, and one that is geographically close to Australia, Singapore has become a Government priority for investment promotion activities. In between high-level visits and announcements, these “Moonlight” briefings allow the High Commission to continue to pitch the Government’s Economic Diplomacy narrative to an influential audience while at the same time providing a platform for real business opportunities, connections and transactions. By providing an exclusive and memorable experience for participants these events have quickly become popular and desired.

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Stockholm

Case study: Australian Craft Beer Promotion Event

Summary:

On 8 May 2014, post hosted an Australian Craft Beer Promotion event at HOM’s residence to support Australian Breweries seeking export opportunities in the Nordic-Baltic region. The event showcased seven of Australia’s leading craft breweries to an audience of influential alcohol industry representatives, journalists and Swedish trade officials. Post partnered with the Australian Craft Beer Industry Association (CIBA) and Samskip Logistics in delivering the event.

Impact:

Through hosting the event, post was able to showcase some of Australia’s best craft breweries to key industry contacts, including leading import/distribution companies, bar and restaurant owners and representatives from the state-owned alcohol monopoly retailer, in one of the world’s fastest-growing craft beer markets. The event was widely reported in a number of Sweden’s top food/beverage websites and beer-blogs, see for example http://blogg.alltommat.se/99bottles/2014/05/09/beer-at-the-australian-ambassadors-residence/ and was also reported in Australia on the CIBA’s website and other beer industry web pages, see http://www.australiancraftbeer.org.au/australian-craft-beer-sweden/. We are aware of ongoing negotiations between at least one Swedish importer and a number of the participating breweries regarding export contracts.

Outcome for Australia:

The event successfully raised Australia’s profile as a producer of high quality craft beer in Sweden, buttressing Australia’s already strong reputation in the region as an exporter of high-quality wine. The event supported the CIBA’s objectives in export market development and proved a useful example of collaboration between post and an Australian industry association in the promotion of Australian economic objectives.

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Suva

Case study: Private Sector Production of Agricultural Lime.

Our Market Development Facility (MDF) in Fiji partnered with Standard Concrete Industries (SCI), to diversify its business into producing agricultural lime and in doing so, increase the yields and incomes of poor farmers.

In Fiji, soils have turned acidic due to intensive cultivation without proper management, resulting in low yields and reduced income. Agricultural lime is a commonly available and affordable solution to this in most of the world. However in Fiji it was imported, making it unaffordable for poor farmers. Despite the Government of Fiji setting up a task force to address the issue, little could be done without a business to invest in mining and marketing affordable agricultural lime.

MDF partnered with SCI, Fiji’s largest manufacturer of concrete blocks, to pilot production of agricultural lime. As a construction company with no agricultural experience, SCI saw few benefits and many risks to doing this on its own. So MDF cost-shared testing of the lime quarry; feasibility studies; and investments in machinery, storage, branding, promotion and technical extension. ‘Aglime’ is now commercially available and its use is on the rise, from 600 bags in May to 1,500 bags in July. The Ministry of Agriculture has ordered over 20,000 bags and major agricultural holdings have entered negotiations over bulk purchasing. Over the next few years up to 10,000 farmers are expected to start using Aglime. This is expected to increase crop yields by around 93,500 tons per year, and milk production by 1.3 million litres. Each farmer using Aglime is expected to increase their income by an average of FJD 550 (AUD 340) per annum. This investment by Australia has cemented our reputation as a donor that supports innovative, pro-poor private sector development.

Case study: Tuvalu: Seasonal Workers Program.

Summary:

Through the Seasonal Workers Program, Tuvaluan workers are now able to work in Australia, allowing for remittances to flow back to Tuvalu. So far there have been 27 Tuvaluans working in Australia under the program.

Impact:

Tuvalu has a long history of providing maritime workers to the global fleets which transport goods around the world. The Global Financial Crisis coupled with Tuvalu’s remoteness and inconsistent transport access stymied the demand for Tuvalu sea farers. Gaining access to Australia’s labour market through the Seasonal Workers Program has provided Tuvaluan workers with a new opportunity to work abroad to provide remittances to their families back home. So far, 27 Tuvaluans have travelled to Australia under this program, a small but modest start for this nation of 10,000 hard-working Pacific Islanders. The growth of Tuvalu’s involvement in the Seasonal Workers Program will hopefully steady the tides of fluctuations in the seafaring industry and provide an alternative source of revenue for Tuvaluans working abroad, particularly for women.

Outcome for Australia:

The benefits to Australia of Pacific workers entering Australia for seasonal work provides our agriculture and tourism industries with ready labour available to assist, often with short notice, with seasonal loads.

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Taipei

Case study: Building our reputation for Australian exports when food safety scandals hit.

Summary:

When Taiwan media reaction and public concern around food safety scares over tainted cooking oils outran the evidence to implicate Australian exports, we acted swiftly to find the facts, correct the record and put newly required certification in place.

Impact:

Australian exports of vegetable and animal oils and fats continued without missing a beat, while those from other countries were suspended or delayed. The safety and integrity of Australian food exports was confirmed. The market reputation of a significant local food manufacturer and importer of Australian produce was salvaged, and the company has been vocal in praise of the Australian government’s responsiveness.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia’s reputation with consumers as a source of clean safe food was enhanced. Taiwan imports over $750 million of Australian agricultural produce each year, making it our 14th largest market for these goods. Food safety concerns can devastate a country’s exports to Taiwan, either through outright bans or through loss of consumer confidence.

Local importers’ view of Australia as a country of preference when sourcing food was strengthened and this should translate to export gains in out years. Importers describe Australia as a country with reliable quarantine certification and inspection regimes, with an efficient and responsive government that stands by its produce and its producers.

Case study: CSL Behring Ltd’s succeeds in the Taiwan market for blood products.

Summary:

CSL Behring Ltd has won and held the contract to be the national plasma fractionator for Taiwan since 2007. The Australian Office assisted CSL to enter the Taiwan market and has been retained by CSL on an on-going basis to help with communications between various Taiwan parties involved in the commercial contracts. The Australian office in 2014 helped CSL win an extension to their plasma fractionation contract out to June 2018.

Impact:

CSL Biotherapies has performed the role of national plasma fractionator in Taiwan since 2007. CSL has provided Taiwan with toll manufacturing services in order to implement World Health Organisation (WHO) supported self-sufficiency programs.

CSL has played an important role helping Taiwan upgrade blood collection practices. As a result, Taiwan has adopted more stringent blood screen and inspection/testing practices (e.g.: HIV and Hepatitis B and C).

Outcome for Australia:

CSL is the largest biomedical company in Australia with advanced plasma manufacturing capabilities and a strong foundation in research and development.

CSL Biotherapies has performed the role of national plasma fractionator in Taiwan since 2007. CSL has provided Taiwan with toll manufacturing services in order to implement World Health Organisation (WHO) supported self-sufficiency programs.

CSL has garnered a strong reputation for Plasmapheresis, a blood donation process in which one donates the liquid portion of their blood, the plasma. The donor’s blood is drawn through a needle in the arm into a machine that separates blood cells from the plasma. At the end of the donation, the cells are returned to the donor through the same needle.

CSL’s revenue from Taiwan is expected to reach A$11 million per year, including commercial sales and toll manufacture.

Case study: Australia-Taiwan Business Council annual conference – enhanced, whole-of-post support.

Summary:

Enhanced government support for annual conference in Taichung, including attendance / presentations by Austrade CEO, NT Mines and Energy Parliamentary Secretary, DFAT and Austrade staff, a full program of side meetings and a post-hosted dinner event.

Impact:

This year we identified the annual Australia-Taiwan Business Council annual conference in Taichung as an opportunity to promote economic diplomacy goals. Enhanced government support assisted in attracting a guest list of high-level decision makers from a range of companies engaged in bilateral trade and investment. Austrade CEO Bruce Gosper’s visit, presentation and side meetings communicated important messages to Australian trade partners, including surrounding the oft-misunderstood FIRB process. NT Mines and Energy Parliamentary Secretary Gary Higgins’ visit, presentation and side meetings provided a compelling introduction to new and expected investment and trade opportunities in the resources and energy sector in the Northern Territory to relevant Taiwanese companies. Austrade and DFAT staff also worked together to support the conference through attendance, presentations, side meetings and hosting a farewell dinner for delegates at which Representative Cathy Raper presented remarks on the bilateral business and trade relationship.

Outcome for Australia:

Australia’s FIRB process is now understood by a wide audience of relevant investors and businesspeople in Taiwan. Investment opportunities have been highlighted, and we are aware of at least two major investment decisions in Australian resource sector projects that were facilitated as a result of conference side meetings. Taiwanese investors are newly aware of opportunities in northern Australia, leading to likely investments in the future as these opportunities mature. Bilateral business relationships were built, enhanced and supported through conference discussions and side meetings. Strengthened links between government and the bilateral business councils, which has led to collaboration on a project to be launched in 2015 which will connect Australian and Taiwanese women entrepreneurs.

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Tarawa

Case study: Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Sector Strengthening Program in Kiribati.

Summary:

Through TVET, Australia is supporting the Kiribati Institute of Technology (KIT) to provide young i-Kiribati women and men with Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers.

Impact:

Under the TVET program, 273 young i-Kiribati women and men (183 men, 90 women) have gained internationally recognised qualifications since 2012 in technical areas of accounting, business, automotive, carpentry and electro technology. These qualifications are delivered by KIT to Australian standards under an auspicing agreement with TAFE South Australia. These qualifications provide pathways to further study (for example, at the Australia-Pacific Technical College), or for employment domestically, regionally or internationally.

Outcome for Australia:

This investment promotes the employability of young i-Kiribati women and men for the domestic market, thus reducing poverty and supporting economic growth and prosperity in Kiribati.

The investment will also help prepare young i-Kiribati women and men for international labour mobility, including within the region and to Australia, in areas of skills demand.

Case study: Female participation in microenterprise road maintenance initiative in the Republic of Kiribati.

Summary:

Twenty-five women are now employed and being trained to form microenterprise units to conduct routine maintenance of the recently rehabilitated road in South Tarawa. This initiative provides small-business opportunities to i-Kiribati, including breaking gender barriers and targeting women, to introduce performance-based maintenance contracts.

Impact:

Under the road rehabilitation project, led by the World Bank with Australia as a major investor, support is being provided to establish microenterprise road maintenance units to upkeep the rehabilitated South Tarawa road. These performance-based contracts will allow for 5 units of approximately 9-17 employees. Currently 25 women, employed by the roads contractor, are being trained in the skills they will require to run their own maintenance businesses. This initiative not only supports the private sector in Kiribati, it breaks gender stereotypes by engaging women in a typically male dominated sector.

Outcome for Australia:

The benefits of this initiative are twofold. Firstly, the microenterprise initiative supports private sector development; spurring participation in the workforce and income generation at the community level. It facilitates routine road maintenance, which is a known challenge in the Pacific context, to be privatised and managed through a performance-based contract. This approach, if successful, safeguards Australia’s significant investment in this vital piece of economic infrastructure.

Secondly, the initiative focuses on gender empowerment and encourages women’s participation in the workforce. By specifically recruiting females, the microenterprise initiative is helping women gain valuable skills, providing employment opportunities and breaking gender-based stereotypes.

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Tehran

No case studies.

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Tel Aviv

Case study: Beef exports to Israel.

Summary:

Post helped increase quota for duty-free fresh beef and put the proposal for a lower tariff on live cattle imports on Israel’s agenda by linking these proposals to the Israeli Government’s policy drive to lower cost-of-living pressures.

Impact:

The Israeli Government announced recently it would increase the quota for fresh beef imports to 5,700 tonnes and consider eliminating (following consultation) the 15 shekel/kg tariff that applies to live cattle in excess of 250 kgs. This followed representations from post to the Agriculture Minister and the chair of the parliamentary committee tasked with promoting competition in the food sector, linking these policy settings with the high cost of beef in Israel.

Outcome for Australia:

These decisions have the potential to further increase our agricultural and live animal exports to Israel (our second largest export item to Israel). We are already noticing an uptick in commercial interest from Israeli importers.

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The Hague

Case study: Australian agribusiness showcase event - February 2014.

Austrade Frankfurt, with support from the Australian Embassy in The Hague, hosted a seminar for Dutch agribusiness companies, "A tasty choice: Australia's vibrant food industry in Asia", at the University of Wageningen on 27 February 2014. The Australian Ambassador, Neil Mules, jointly opened the seminar with the President and Chairman of the Executive Board, Wageningen University.

The seminar was attended by 45 senior representatives of leading Dutch agribusiness companies, including DSM, AkzoNobel, Rabobank, NIZO Food Research, Topsector Agri&Food International, Wageningen UR Livestock Research and TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research).

The event included a range of senior Dutch and Australian speakers, including representatives from KMPG, Dairy Innovation Australia, the state governments of South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia, and the President and CEO of INCOTEC Group BV, a Dutch company specialising in sustainable agriculture with a track record of successful investment in Australia.

The seminar highlighted the benefits of investment in the Australian agricultural sector, particularly in research and development (R&D) capabilities, as a means of capitalising on the growing demand in Asia for high-quality agricultural products. Discussion topics included innovation and opportunity in Australian agribusiness, Australia’s place in Asian agribusiness supply chains, Australian tax incentives for R&D, Australia as an investment destination and the extensive and mutually beneficial economic ties between the Netherlands and Australia

The event helped raised the profile of Australian expertise in agricultural research and development among senior decision-makers in the Dutch agribusiness sector. It also showcased opportunities in Australia and highlighted Austrade's ability to assist in furthering Dutch investment interests in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

Case study: Australian Business Dinner – October 2014.

In cooperation with Austrade’s Frankfurt office, on 15 October the Ambassador to the Netherlands, Neil Mules, hosted an annual Australian Business Dinner. Invitations focused on Dutch companies supported by Austrade with existing commercial investments in Australia, or considering new investments. Guests included senior representatives of companies from a range of priority sectors, including banking/finance, energy, bio-technology, food and nutrition, textiles and public infrastructure/waste management.

David Campbell, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Western Europe, also attended and spoke to guests on current economic and trade policy trends in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

The guests were largely positive about their investments in the Australian market. The discussion during the event allowed for Dutch investors to share their perspectives on investing in Australia, including some issues which were potentially relevant to other Dutch investors. With the support of the Embassy, Austrade will use future visits to the Netherlands to hold follow-up discussions with Dutch investors on investment-related issues raised during the event. This engagement will contribute to policy considerations to enhance Australia’s attractiveness as an investment destination for Dutch (and more broadly European) companies.

Case study: ‘Masters of BioFabrication’ Launch – May 2014.

On 9 May 2014, the Ambassador to the Netherlands, Neil Mules, hosted the official Dutch launch of the world’s first Masters of BioFabrication, an international postgraduate course allowing graduates to hold a masters degree in both Australia and Europe.

The Masters of BioFabrication initiative is a collaboration between Australian, Dutch and German universities: University of Wollongong (ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science); Queensland University of Technology; University Medical Centre Utrecht (Netherlands); and University of Würzburg (Germany). The focus of the course, BioFabrication research, relates to the cutting-edge technologies to allow scientists to regrow most types of human tissue using 3D printers.

The launch and networking reception, organised in close coordination with University of Wollongong, was targeted at a select group of key players from the Dutch academic and biotechnology communities. Ambassador Mules gave introductory remarks, followed by a presentation on 3D bio-printing processes by Professor Gordon Wallace from the ARC Centre for Excellence (University of Wollongong).

The event provided a valuable opportunity to highlight Australia’s world class research and development capabilities in the medical and biotechnology fields, and the ability of Australian researchers to make important, innovative contributions to cutting-edge technologies. Post expects this, and other Australian R&D initiatives, to significantly enhance Australia’s standing as an exporter of high-technology goods and services, a premier investment destination for research and development, and a provider of world class education services.

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Tokyo

Case study: Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) – Support for negotiations and implementation.

Summary:

Post provided research and logistical support throughout the negotiations, advocated early approval and entry-into-force to Japanese decision-makers, and promoted business understanding of the agreement.

Impact:

JAEPA is the most ambitious trade agreement Japan has ever concluded. More than 97 per cent of Australia’s exports to Japan will receive preferential access or enter duty-free when the agreement is fully implemented. It affords Australia major concessions across a range of areas, most notably agriculture and services.

Tokyo Post (including DFAT, Department of Agriculture and Austrade) worked with the negotiating team in Canberra and Consulates in Osaka, Fukuoka and Sapporo to support the negotiations, ensure a smooth domestic approval process in Japan, and promote understanding and utilisation of JAEPA through a range of outreach activities with business and the public.

Outcome for Australia:

Japan is our second largest trading partner, with two-way trade in 2013 worth $70.8 billion. JAEPA will make it easier to do business with Japan, strengthening and deepening trade between our two economies. It will provide Australian exporters, importers, investors and producers a significant advantage over their international competitors.

JAEPA will significantly improve Australian companies' access to the Japanese market, making their goods and services exports more cost competitive. JAEPA will also improve the range and price of Japanese inputs for Australian manufacturers. As Asia's rapid economic growth continues, closer trade ties with major Asian economies including Japan are essential to Australia's continued prosperity.

Case study: Continued investment in Australian resources and energy by Japan.

Summary:

Post promotes Japanese investment in Australian minerals and energy projects, including twice yearly seminars and targeted meetings. This includes advice on investment conditions such as taxation and environmental approvals.

Impact:

Japanese companies continue to invest in Australian resources projects, including in mineral exploration and upstream petroleum titles, despite growing competition from other countries for Japanese investment. Post is working with the Department of Industry, Geoscience Australia and State mines agencies to attract a new wave of Japanese investment in Australia, including mid-tier energy companies and manufacturing companies seeking to buy into the resources supply chain. Japanese companies are also taking larger shares in resources projects, beyond 5% interests, as was previously typical. For example, INPEX will operate the Ichthys project, the first Japanese operated LNG project in the world.

Outcome for Australia:

Japan has been a significant investor in Australian resources and energy projects as well as a long-term customer. As it seeks to diversify its sources of supply and other countries work harder to attract Japanese investment, Post has been targeting a new wave of Japanese investors to increase the level of Japanese investment in Australia.

Australian resources and energy exports to Japan are worth around $40 billion, our second largest export market overall. Japanese investment stock in Australia is $131 billion, the third largest FDI, and the bulk of this is directed at resources. Continued investment, particularly in upstream petroleum and minerals exploration is vital for the next generation of resources projects. Continued investment and trade can’t be taken for granted, but requires active promotion and management. This is particularly the case given increased competition from North America, Africa and South America for Japanese investment in resources.

Case study: New Market Access for Table Grapes to Japan: DAFF, DFAT and Austrade.

Summary:

Australia secured market access for table grapes into Japan for the first time in February 2014 and, through JAEPA, the staged elimination of tariffs on table grapes over a period of ten or seven years, depending on the season of importation.

Impact:

Trade in table grapes to Japan commenced in April 2014. The elimination of tariffs under JAEPA at a faster rate than other major exporters will increase the competiveness of Australian table grapes in the Japanese market.

For grapes imported during the period from 1st March to 31st October, the 17 per cent tariff will be reduced in equal instalments over ten years from the date of entry-into-force of JAEPA. For grapes imported during the period from 1st November to the last day of February, the 7.8 per cent tariff will be reduced in equal instalments over seven years from entry-into-force until elimination.

Outcome for Australia:

Market access for table grapes was Australia’s number one horticultural market priority for Japan. Development of agreed import conditions took nearly eight years. Trade commenced towards the end of the 2013-14 season and about 400 tonnes of grapes were sent. The first full export season will commence in late Jan 2015.

The Australian industry estimates that the Japanese market could be worth up to $40 million over the next three to five years.

The table grape industry now has access to the three key North Asian markets, namely Japan, China and Korea. This increased market access provides greater opportunity to Australian exporters and supports industry development and employment.

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Vienna UN

Case study: Promotion of Australia’s Production of Nuclear Medicines at the IAEA and OECD.

Summary:

Post has been actively promoting Australia’s planned expansion of nuclear medicine production capacity, as well as working to establish more favourable international policy environments at both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).

Impact:

In September 2012, the Australian Government announced plans to greatly increase its nuclear medicine (specifically molybvdenum-99) production capacity (SW1647H refers). When this capacity comes on line in late 2016, Australia will be able to provide 20-25% of the global molybdenum-99 market which is worth in excess of 1 billion USD per year. Post has used various fora at the IAEA and NEA to promote this increasing capacity to an international audience. We announced the ANM project in our national statement at the 2012 General Conference when the project was launched, and have updated the IAEA on the project’s development in subsequent statements, as well as under relevant items at meetings of the Board of Governors. At the NEA, Post promotes Australia’s nuclear medicine capability at a number of fora including the High Level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR) and the Nuclear Steering Committee. These representations are important to keep the international community aware of the increased availability of molybdenum-99 that Australia will be able to provide at a time when the supply chain will be under pressure due to reactor closures (France 2015, Canada 2016) and major refurbishments (Belgium 2015-2016).

In addition to promoting Australia’s increasing nuclear medicine capability in international fora, we also work to establish a favourable and responsible policy environment consistent with Australian production practices. At the IAEA, we work with the Secretariat and like-minded to encourage producers of molybdenum-99 to convert from the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) to reduce proliferation risk, including by enshrined this concept in relevant General Conference Resolutions. At the NEA, we actively promote the HLG-MR “Policy Approach”; a set of six principles for the sustainable production of molybdenum-99.

Outcome for Australia:

In recent times, we have noted that some IAEA Member States and nuclear medicine producers are placing a greater emphasis on security of supply than responsible production, but have been able to prevent slippage in key international documents. At the IAEA General Conference, we were able to prevent Russian, Indian, German and French efforts to weaken language on HEU conversion in resolutions on nuclear energy, nuclear applications, and technical cooperation. At the NEA, we were able revitalise commitment to the HLG-MR Policy Approach by working with the Secretariat to get ten members of the Group to sign a Ministerial Joint Declaration on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes despite some initial resistance from European producers.

Case study: Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava: The value of a visit.

Summary:

FAS EUD’s visit to Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava in June 2014 gave impetus to building our network in EU capitals.

Impact:

Visits have a multiplier effect on posts' ability of pursue economic diplomacy. FAS EUD’s visit to Central Europe in June 2014, for example, provided an opportunity to develop our networks and increase our influence on trade and economic policy. In Austria where, our resident accreditation, it built momentum behind our efforts to increase post’s engagement with key contacts, notably the Director General (DG) level (Economy and EU relations) of the Foreign Ministry and the Trade DG and Science Deputy Vice Minister in the powerful Trade and Economy Ministry. It also added a dimension to our working relationship with the powerful national Chamber of Commerce (WKO), in particular to Advance Austria, the counterpart to Austrade, and to the Austrian trade negotiating team, which is coordinated by WKO.

In Slovakia, the visit helped maintain our profile with the DG for Economic Affairs in the Foreign Ministry and the DG for Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Economy, who was the Slovak representative of the EU committee on trade police at the time. In Hungary, it allowed us to underline our economic diplomacy agenda to the Deputy State Secretary with responsibility for trade in the Foreign Ministry, although follow-up has been constrained by continuing flux in the bureaucracy in Budapest.

Outcome for Australia:

Establishing and maintaining more regular talks is part of the platform for us to lobby actively on EU matters, probe views on a possible EU FTA and dynamics of the Transatlantic Trade and Partnership Agreement, and increase our engagement on trade policy developments, including negotiation of new Australian agreements in East Asia and our G20 role. Having talks at a senior level, with the relevant A-based DG- equivalent, also helped post advance some more transactional economic diplomacy outcomes, such as Qantas codeshare rights in Austria.

Case study: Major Austrian construction company Strabag participates in Australian infrastructure market.

Summary:

In line with Austrade’s Major Infrastructure priority, Austrade Frankfurt scoped the Austrian market in late 2013 for potential targets. In the infrastructure construction business, Post identified one major player, Strabag, based in Vienna.

Austrade together with the Embassy arranged an initial meeting with a member of the board to showcase business opportunities in Australia’s infrastructure market.

The meeting revealed that the company had not considered Australia as a potential market in the past, simply because their core European markets were offering a considerable and lucrative project pipeline. At the time of the meeting the European economic landscape has already changed significantly and the presentation of opportunities from the Australian market were well received.

Over the course of a year, Austrade Frankfurt engaged closely with the company’s HQ in Vienna and their subsidiary in Cologne, providing information on upcoming business opportunities and potential partners. Austrade also delivered an itinerary for a potential site visit to Australia contributing to the company’s effort to build a footprint in Australia.

Impact:

As a result of the engagement with the Australian government, the Company decided to submit their EOI for the WestConnex stage 2 project.

Outcome for Australia:

  • Increasing competition in the design and construction of infrastructure to drive better value for money outcomes for Government and lift Australia's economic productivity.
  • Filling gaps in existing Australian infrastructure capability by increasing technology, capability transfer to Australia and providing for innovation.

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Vientiane

Case study: Partnering with Lao private sector to support Lao forestry sector development.

Summary:

In the Lao PDR, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Forestry Program is collaborating with Lao Agroforestry Company, Burapha, to enhance their systems and improve value chains. ACIAR researchers work directly with company staff at its sawmill and manufacturing factory, sharing pivotal research and development results, and supporting company managers’ wood processing training abroad.

Impact:

As a result of ACIAR-Burapha’s joint cooperation, the quality of Burpha Agroforestry’s wood products has increased, and is better able to compete on international markets. This increase in business for Burapha Agroforestry has resulted in increased sales for local teak tree farmers. The Lao company is now looking to expand their plantation estate from 6,000 to 60,000 hectares.

ACIAR’s project works directly with the private sector to address impediments to producers’ domestic and international market links. Through improved productivity and value chains, the Lao forestry private sector will grow, generating greater participation of rural farmers in the market economy.

Outcome for Australia:

Expanding the rural population’s participation in the market economy supports a major priority of Australia’s engagement with Laos, which is to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Developing the rural economy is vital for the Lao PDR’s socio-economic development. Two-thirds of Lao people live in rural areas. Over half the rural workforce tend their own farms (around 2.2 million people). Urban-rural disparities have grown in recent years, despite impressive national economic growth. The wealthiest 20 per cent of Lao people own 44 per cent of the country’s wealth. Continued expansion of the Lao economy will bring with it opportunities for Australian businesses and investors, including in the agribusiness sector.

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Warsaw

Case study: Prairie Mining Lublin Coal Project.

Summary:

Australian company Prairie Mining through local subsidiary PD Co, had exploration rights in the Lublin Coal Basin. Contrary to Polish mining law, competitor Bogdanka (a former SOE) applied for mining rights overlapping PD Co’s exploration rights. Post successfully lobbied to have this decision overturned.

Impact:

Assured that its exploration rights will be respected and that it holds mining rights to the area, PD Co is willing to invest in the establishment of a mine in the Lublin Coal Basin. This is a 2.5 billion złoty (almost A$ 900 million) investment with the potential to create around 2000 jobs (not including jobs indirectly created). At a time when Poland is looking to modernise its coal mines and power plants, the investment and know-how provided by Australian firms like Prairie Mining is highly valuable.

Post has developed good contacts with PD Co and Prairie Mining. The company wrote to Minister Robb to express its appreciation for Warsaw post’s efforts and invited HOM and the Senior Trade Commissioner to the mine’s naming ceremony. The mine has been named after Jan Karski – a member of the Polish Resistance during World War II who saved the lives of many Jews.

Outcome for Australia:

Not only does this project have potential to bring about increased goodwill for Australia in the Lublin area, and Poland more generally, by creating jobs and more efficiently producing energy, but it also paves the way for future Australian investment in Poland’s energy sector. This mine will be a showcase of Australia’s efficient mining practices. This case provides other potential Australian investors with reassurance that property rights are respected here.

Poland is a large economy of almost 40 million people in the centre of Europe looking to revolutionise its energy sector. There is room for Australian businesses to play a leading role in this transformation.

Case study: Australian Wine in Poland.

Summary:

Poland’s economy is growing, incomes are rising and consumer tastes and preferences are becoming more sophisticated. This provides good opportunities for exporters of Australian high-end products such as wine. Post has had a busy program promoting Australian wine in Poland and raising awareness of the Polish market among Australian producers already active elsewhere in Europe.

Impact:

Post has arranged a number of events aimed at increasing the visibility of Australian wine in Poland and, ultimately, the region. Given the strong presence of Australian wine in other European countries, HOM and Senior Trade Commissioner visited Wine Australia and wine producers in London in September 2013 to encourage it to explore Poland as a potential market.

Flowing on from this we hosted a visit by Wine Australia in November that year which included a lunch with Polish press and importers. Wine Australia invited journalist Andrzej Daszkiewicz to Australia on a study tour of Australia in October and Polish sommelier Adam Pawlowski to attend Australia Day Tasting in London in January. In May 2015, Wine Australia in collaboration with post will be hosting an Australian Wine Tasting event in Warsaw. This is set to become an annual event. Post will also be working to coordinate smaller wine events around the country under a single banner to better promote Australian wine.

We provide significant support to Australian producer events in Poland. Businesses we have worked with this year include Langmeil and Josef Chromy Wines. Post will be working hard to facilitate the further development of this market in 2015.

Outcome for Australia:

Wine is an important export market for Australia and while Western Europe may be a mature market, the rising disposable incomes of Central Europe make Poland and the Czech Republic lucrative markets to develop. Australian companies are starting to realise the value of the Polish market, as seen by Jacob’s Creek sponsorship of the Australia Days film festival in Wroclaw in January this year. Post worked to link Jacob’s Creek with the event organisers and HOM and STC attended the opening of the festival.

Case study: Energy Industry – European Australian Business Council Visit to Poland.

Summary:

A delegation from the European Australian Business Council (EABC) visited in June-July. Post arranged an energy policy forum to familiarise the delegation with Poland’s energy policy priorities and help members network with key local stakeholders.

Impact:

A visit from the largest Australian business delegation to ever come to Europe was an ideal situation for post to help foster high level business ties between both countries. We facilitated the organisation of an Energy Policy Forum with the Polish Employers’ Confederation, Lewiatan. As well as providing an opportunity to network, the forum was an opportunity to present to Australian business leaders the challenges faced by the Polish energy sector as well as the potential commercial opportunities this could bring to Australian businesses.

Key concerns for Poland are the need to modernise its power production facilities, EU environmental regulations and energy security. In the context of energy security and diversifying natural resource suppliers, Poland is beginning to take a greater interest in Australia, particularly in its role in the LNG market.

Outcome for Australia:

The energy sector is our key economic diplomacy priority in Poland as it is an area in which our knowledge and experiences can complement those of Poland. Poland, like Australia, is heavily reliant on coal and can benefit from our investment and know-how. It is a stable and rapidly growing economy with strong legal institutions and that needs to reform its energy sector, thereby providing an ideal environment for Australian investment.

Events like these as well as mining missions to the region, which we have facilitated, provide for greater business ties and the potential for greater Australian investment in the future.

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Washington

Case study: G’Day USA 2014 Program (Americas Region).

Summary:

G’Day USA is the key Australian annual economic and public diplomacy initiative running in the US. The program is organised by the Australian Government (DFAT, Austrade and Tourism Australia) in partnership with Qantas Airlines and corporate sector sponsors, and is targeted at bringing Australian and US public and private sector leaders together with the goal of enhancing the Australia-US relationship. In 2014, events were held across the US (e.g. LA, Houston, Palm Springs, and San Diego) and covered a range of economic and public diplomacy areas for Australia.

Impact:

2014 events focussed on promoting economic and public diplomacy priority areas in tourism (and tourism infrastructure); food and beverage; music and film; innovation; ICT and digital economy; energy (oil and gas); water/drought management; agribusiness; defence industries; free-trade agreements (TPP/AUSFTA); and bilateral/foreign policy.

All events were developed to deliver to US audiences compelling messaging about the strength of the Australian economy internationally and our growing relationship with the US. Over 500 US companies and 100 Australian companies participated in the 2014 program along with over 2,000 event attendees. Ministers Robb, Bishop and Turnbull delivered keynote remarks at major events as did executives from large US and Australian corporations.

Outcome for Australia:

Events delivered Australian economic messaging to US companies attending/sponsoring/partnering events, including: Dow Chemicals, Chevron, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, GE, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Caterpillar, Baker and McKenzie, Apache, Disney, Safeways, Delta, American Airlines, Twitter, Trump, Unisys Corporation, Denham Capital, Exxon Mobile, Buzzfeed, Miramax, 21st Century Fox, Ernst and Young, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Southern California Edison, Warner Brothers, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin.

US media articles covering the bilateral relationship/TPP, Australia’s economy and tourism were published in outlets such as the Wall St Journal and LA Times. Events showcased Australian companies to US investors, including in defence industries. The platform also created opportunities for our academic/research institutions to create links with US organisations such as UCLA, CSIS and USC.

Case study: G20 Advocacy (Americas Region).

Summary:

The G20 is the premier forum for its members’ international economic cooperation and decision-making. US Posts led by Washington and New York have engaged with US stakeholders (private and public) throughout Australia’s 2014 G20 presidency to support Australia’s G20 agenda and raise broader public and private awareness of the G20’s role and importance.

Impact:

US buy-in is essential to the success of the G20. Posts’ engagement of the US, including through high-level engagement from HOM and HOPs with key US stakeholders (including the Administration, members of Congress, business, and civil society groups) and targeted public diplomacy and media (including through hosting functions promoting the G20, participation in public think tank events and private roundtables, and effective use of social media) reinforced efforts in Canberra to drive a G20 agenda focussed on jobs and growth (including with an emphasis on trade, investment and business), focussed US minds on the strengths and value of the G20 and raised broader awareness of the G20. We have also maintained close engagement with the World Bank and IMF to ensure their strong analytical and institutional support for Australia’s priorities.

We have also leveraged off high-level visits from the Treasurer (in April and October), G20 Sherpa (February) and other senior Australian G20 officials to raise the profile of the G20 and engage with US stakeholders. In particular, we hosted receptions featuring the Treasurer and G20 Sherpa, and HOM hosted a number of roundtables with key US G20 stakeholders. Posts helped facilitate the participation of senior representatives from major US corporations at the B20 investment forum in Sydney in July.

Outcome for Australia:

At a time when the global economy is faltering, effective advocacy in the US of Australia’s G20 agenda has helped contribute to a global focus on global economic growth, jobs resilience and international institutions. Posts’ engagement with key US G20 officials, business groups, think tanks and other organisations directly influenced US thinking on the G20 and supported Canberra’s efforts to shape a strong agenda, including through the 2% growth target and trade, finance, infrastructure, development and energy outcomes. Just as importantly, the joint effort of Canberra and Posts, and Australia’s handling of the G20 Presidency, has helped stabilise US commitment to the G20.

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Wellington

Case study: Sponsored NZ’s National Agricultural Fieldays in June 2014.

Summary:

DFAT and Austrade coordinated a three-day program for the High Commissioner to promote Australian agri-business and investment opportunities at the largest annual farming and agricultural trade show in NZ and the Southern Hemisphere - National Agricultural Fieldays in Hamilton in June 2014.

Impact:

The program, led by the High Commissioner, lifted the profile of Australian companies present and promoted Australian agricultural products, services and investment at Fieldays. Our sponsorship, media and networking events at Fieldays strengthened relationships with NZ Ministers, businesses, interest groups, and other international participants.

The program demonstrated the Australian industry and government’s insight and interest in NZ’s primary sector (which represents 76 per cent of NZ’s merchandise exports and is worth NZ$38 billion in exports annually). Integration of trans-Tasman sectors is already significant and promotion of our common interests in regional markets is vital to the future health of our trade.

Outcome for Australia:

Our engagement with Australian companies (such as Murray Goulburn), the NZ Government, and NZ businesses (including NZ-owned multinational dairy cooperative Fonterra) provided clarity on how the Australian Government can best support Australian business and investment working in and with NZ’s primary sector in regional markets. Areas of focus included drought and water management; livestock handling equipment; and, farm software technology.

The Australian Government’s sponsorship and media program - which included interviews between the High Commissioner and Australian and NZ agricultural media – raised the profile our objectives under Australia’s National Food Plan to have a globally recognised food brand that is synonymous with high–quality, innovative, safe and sustainable food, services and technology.

Case study: NZ infrastructure trade mission to Australia in July 2014.

Summary:

Austrade, DFAT, NZ Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and the NZ Council for Infrastructure Development (NZCID) coordinated a NZ infrastructure trade mission to Sydney and Melbourne in July 2014.

The 28 participants included NZTE, NZCID, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), and other senior government and business representatives. All delegates have significant influence in decisions on NZ infrastructure opportunities.

The trade mission was targeted to develop long-term strategic alliances at senior trans-Tasman government and business levels.

Impact:

The mission strengthened trade and investment relationships between Australian and NZ businesses. It provided a platform to promote Australian capability and capacity for the NZ$40 billion rebuild of Christchurch and other infrastructure projects of national significance including roads, ports, social services and water in key NZ regions, especially Auckland and Wellington.

Outcome for Australia:

The mission raised awareness of the scale of Australian infrastructure projects and helped align NZ infrastructure demand with Australian supplier capability. It supported a desire by local NZ companies to expand supply chains and the flow of capital, labour and building resources.

The mission highlighted market entry options for Australian businesses wishing to access the NZ market, including through joint-ventures and partnerships with local NZ companies. Australian participants also gained specific knowledge of the special dynamics (political, municipal, purchasing and stakeholder relations) of the Christchurch rebuild.

NZ participants gained a greater understanding of Australia’s infrastructure, construction and business capabilities. Project leaders identified where Australia’s expertise and investment could be utilised in current and future NZ infrastructure and construction projects, including in key anchor projects in the Christchurch rebuild (e.g. hospital, bus terminal, and convention centre) and other national infrastructure projects including roads, ports, social services and water (NZ Treasury forecasts a NZ$92 billion spend in the nine years to 2023 on national infrastructure projects).

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Zagreb

Case study: World Croatian Diaspora Congress – Zagreb.

Summary:

Croatian diaspora from around the globe attended the Congress in Zagreb in June, the first in 20 years. Australia had one of the highest attendances, including business and community representatives and academics, including two from the Australian Academy of Science. Ambassador Susan Cox spoke at the Congress about the strength of Australia’s multiculturalism. She organised networking opportunities for Australian participants giving them direct access to key government, business and academic contacts.

Impact:

The Diaspora Congress provided impetus by ensuring a critical mass of prominent diaspora members were in Zagreb. The Embassy strengthened and deepened our kinship network and gave them renewed enthusiasm to help us develop productive relations. They explored education cooperation in science and history, economic collaboration through new Croatian-Australian Chambers of Commerce and explored investment opportunities. Australian academics, scientists and business people found a natural partner in Croatia because of diaspora links. Croatia’s membership of the EU now opens doors to new cooperative endeavours, including with other EU members.

Outcome for Australia:

Croatia is a small but scientifically successful EU country and, despite current economic uncertainties, a possible potential trade and investment partner given the increasing certainty to investors EU membership brings. Tourism investment discussions centred on the potential market in Croatia. During the summer season the numbers of tourists extends the market from 4.3 million to around 17 million. Australian scientific and historical research projects discussed in Croatia have the potential not only to enhance scientific and innovative cooperation, but to commercialise research outcomes and discover possible tourism potential. Enhanced cooperation provides opportunities for Australian research and innovation bodies to look to Croatia as a viable interlocutor and possible partner for EU funding schemes. The Embassy can be an important facilitator for future endeavours aimed at broadening trade and academic cooperation.

Ambassador Susan Cox addressing the Croatian World Congress in Zagreb, June 2014
(Photograph courtesy of Bill McCrimmon)

Case study: Expansion of Australian wine supply in Croatia: a small market story.

Summary:

The largest wine distributor in Croatia will import Tomich Wines [Adelaide Hills] and De Bortoli [Melbourne region] wines from Australia. Australian Ambassador to Croatia identified exporters interested in the market during her visit to Australia in March 2014 and set about finding an appropriate importer to grow Australia’s wine exports in a small market well known for its own wines.

Impact:

The Embassy will promote these newly available wines on the Croatian market, including through a wine tasting event to be organised with the importer. We have already arranged for the owner of the 11th largest tourism operator in Croatia (an Australia-Croatian) to pre-order these wines.

Croatia is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination. In the past year, the number of tourists in Croatia reached 12 million, while the number of Australian tourists has risen to more than 130,000 in just the first nine months of this year. These statistics show that Australian exporters should take into account the tourism market as well as the Croatian population when making decisions.

The Embassy was confident that well-targeted trade matching would lead to other opportunities. We networked with Austrade in Warsaw and Wine Australia in London to explore further opportunities. A renowned Croatian wine journalist is currently planning to attend the Australia Day Tasting in London in January 2015.

Outcome for Australia:

While there are limits for Australian wine on the Croatian market, it remains popular and well regarded, particularly the red wines. While price will be a limiting factor, we see potential to expand the availability of a wider range of Australian wines on HORECA and on the middle to upper end of the Croatian market.

Beyond expanding the palette for Australian wine in Croatia, we also see potential to use Australian wine as a tourist attraction. The renowned journalist, who is already familiar with the Australian wine industry, is planning to visit Australia to write a publication about the Australian wine industry, Australian wine roads and Australia as a tourist destination for wine connoisseurs.

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Last Updated: 21 September 2016

Trade

Pursue trade liberalisation through bilateral, regional and global trade agreements that open up new markets for Australian exporters and sustain a strong, rules-based architecture for global trade.

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Support global growth, including by using Australia's aid program and other measures to promote economic reform and infrastructure, and through regional and global economic cooperation forums.

Australia's aid program

Investment

Promote investment into Australia and Australian investment internationally.

Investment

Business

Advance the interests of Australian business overseas, the development of a stronger private sector in our region, and promote Australian tourism.

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