Economic diplomacy is about using our international diplomatic network to pursue economic benefits for Australia and its people, through our four key pillars – trade, growth, investment and support for business.
In 2013, the Foreign Minister tasked the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with making economic diplomacy a central pillar of our international engagement.
With unprecedented geopolitical uncertainty and technology accelerating the pace of change, it has never been more important to ensure that economic diplomacy is at the forefront of our international efforts to pursue peace and stability.
In a highly competitive and constantly changing political and economic environment, Australia must maintain its strong economy, and ensure we continue to work towards a secure and prosperous region.
Our 2016 Economic Diplomacy report highlights the achievements made by our Posts and State and Territory offices in implementing Australia’s economic diplomacy agenda. For example:
- Australia’s Consul-General in Hong Kong, supported by the Australian Embassy in Beijing, successfully facilitated a $1.7 billion investment in GenesisCare, Australia’s leading provider of cancer and cardiac health services;
- Australia Week in China 2016 was the largest business mission ever organised by Austrade, consisting of 1000 delegates and over 140 events across 12 cities in greater China. Over the week, 27 commercial deals and MOUs were signed spanning biotech to tourism;
- In Egypt, Japan, Kuwait, Poland and Vietnam, Australian embassies supported Australian business by hosting “Taste of Australia” programs; and
- The Australian High Commission in Laos worked with the Bank of Lao PDR to expand financial services and promote greater financial inclusion in rural Laos establishing more than 190 village banks with 37,000 members and over 23,000 accounts with total savings over USD4 million.
This collaboration across trade, business and development helps Australia nurture deep relationships with other countries and enables Australia to positively influence the international environment. It is clear that the trust forged, relationships developed, and the commercial deals struck will yield benefits well into the future, both at home and abroad. In 2017 we are consolidating our achievements in 2016 and continuing to build on the success of our economic diplomacy agenda.
The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Hon Steven Ciobo MP
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
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Case study: Encouraging Foreign Investment
The UAE is home to Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) that together manage over an estimated USD1 trillion in assets. Post’s close engagement with SWFs is central to our economic diplomacy strategy and the whole-of-government effort to attract long-term, high quality institutional investors to the Australian market.
In 2016, Post took advantage of visits by the then Minister for Tourism and International Education, the Hon Senator Richard Colbeck, and the Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade to access high-level meetings with key SWFs, the Investment Corporation of Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). ADIA is reportedly the third biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world, with assets of around USD792 billion. It holds the largest hotel portfolio in Australia and is a major investor in Australian infrastructure, including significant shares in three of our ports. In 2016, ADIA took a $1 billion dollar stake in the NSW electricity transmission grid and in November took a $60 million dollar stake in a motorway project in Queensland.
As part of our attempts to encourage increased SWF investment, Post took the initiative to invite a Board member of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to visit UAE in June to discuss Australia’s foreign investment processes with the senior management of major SWFs, including ADIA, the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (managing USD110 billion), and Mubadala (USD66 billion). SWFs welcomed the visit and the opportunity to ask questions and provide direct feedback to a FIRB Board member.
Capitalising on a visit by the then Environment Minister, Mr Hunt, to the UAE in February 2016, Post organised a fact-finding mission to Australia for Masdar to investigate potential investment opportunities. Masdar is world-leading investor in renewable energy projects, and a subsidiary of Mubadala.
Case study:Australia Unlimited MENA (AUMENA) 2016
For many in the Middle East, Australia is still seen as too far away to do business with. Australia Unlimited MENA is Austrade’s main annual promotional campaign in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region and is aimed at dispelling that perception. Now in its fourth year, AUMENA is a collaborative effort between Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, other state government agencies and key industry stakeholders. Abu Dhabi Post is closely involved in coordinating events and Ministerial participation.
In 2016, AUMENA was launched by the then Australian Minister for Tourism and International Education, the Hon Senator Richard Colbeck, and attracted 82 Australian companies to exhibit. Out of the 82 companies, 30 also participated in the Arab Health conference held in Dubai. The focus of the conference this year was on health, sports, and education. Participants included 18 Australian educational institutions with representatives from universities and vocational education and training establishments. Post also organised a sports delegation, led by the Football Federation of Australia, to share expertise on our management of the 2015 Asian Cup for when the UAE hosts the tournament in 2019, with the aim of identifying commercial opportunities for Australian businesses.
AUMENA was complemented by Mr Colbeck’s program which included meetings with the Minister for Economy, the Chairman of Emirates Airlines, the Head of Dubai Tourism, and Sovereign Wealth Funds. Also in support of AUMENA objectives, Ambassador Spyrou and Consul General Seeber travelled to Australia for two weeks in November 2016 to visit Australian capitals to promote the UAE and the broader Middle East and North Africa as a potential investment destination and to inform Australian businesses about market conditions and opportunities. The mission reached over 600 firms across five cities, including through five major seminars, six business roundtables and meetings with State Ministers.
Case study:Opening doors for Australian healthcare expertise
Australia is home to one of only three international standards bodies recognised by the UAE for the accreditation of its healthcare facilities – the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS). In December 2014, the UAE announced that all its health facilities would require accreditation to international standards by 2019.
Given this window of opportunity to deliver significant new access to the domestic market, Ambassador Spyrou presented the opportunity to the senior leadership of the ACHS during his visit to Australia in 2016 and offered to support a visit by the ACHS Board to the UAE.
As a direct result of this engagement, ACHS visited the UAE and Austrade delivered a comprehensive program of meetings and engagements in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. The ACHS leadership, including the CEO and Managing Director, presented to over 80 UAE government and industry representatives on Australian certification standards and the opportunities to use those standards in UAE hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities. The market has until now been dominated by companies from the United States.
A number of promising proposals came out of the ACHS visit including:
- a proposal to accredit 12 dental clinics under the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention;
- the possibility of accrediting two existing hospitals as well as numerous clinics; and
- the delivery of training modules to local quality managers and accreditation representatives.
These outcomes built on the strong relationships Abu Dhabi and Dubai posts have developed with the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and other key health authorities in the UAE, and underscored the high quality of Australian expertise in a priority area of focus for the UAE government.
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Case study:A Mining Workshop for Nigerian
Government officials showcasing
leading government practice in WA
On 14-15 November 2016, the Australian High Commission in Abuja, in partnership with the Nigerian Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, hosted a policy and capacity building workshop on the mining sector in Abuja.
Two senior Western Australian mining officials delivered the workshop, training local officials on leading mining practices from Western Australia. The workshop built capacity in the Nigerian mining sector in relation to mineral exploration and mining governance. Over 70 Nigerian mining officials participated in the workshop, including from Federal and State Mining Ministries, the Mines Inspectorate, Mining Cadastre, Promotion and Investment Unit, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, Metallurgical Inspectorate, Mines Environmental Compliance Department, and the Nigerian Institute of Mining and Geoscience.
The workshop reinforced Australia’s credentials as a world leader in the mining sector and provided an opportunity to share experience and knowledge with Nigerian counterparts as they seek to develop the minerals sector in Nigeria.
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Ghana and countries of accreditation – Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo
Case study:Implementation of a Digital Mining Cadastre System in Ghana
The Australian High Commission Accra, in partnership with the Revenue Development Foundation and the Minerals Commission of Ghana, recently established a digital Mining Cadastre Administration System (MCAS) and integrated public information portal.
MCAS aims to ensure transparency in the administration of mineral rights in Ghana; simplify the minerals licensing system for businesses; improve government revenue collection; and increase investor confidence in the administration of mineral rights.
The MCAS project complements ongoing efforts by the Ghanaian Government to combat illegal mining and revenue loss in the extractives sector. The online portal is accessible to mining companies, prospective investors, relevant government agencies and civil society. The portal currently has 132 registered users and MCAS covers almost USD2 million in large-scale mining licences.
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Case study:Australian Government builds capacities in Ethiopian mining regulation and management
The Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa and the Western Australian Government hosted two capacity building workshops in February and November 2016 with stakeholders in Ethiopia on mining regulation and management.
The workshops aimed to build in-country capacity for the delivery of an enhanced mineral exploration and mining regime, promote ongoing education and training in mineral policy governance, and foster partnerships for knowledge sharing and skills transfer.
The training was warmly received by the Ethiopian Government and local stakeholders. Participants included representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines Petroleum and Natural Gas, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change, the Ethiopian Investment Commission, and the National and Development Bank of Ethiopia.
Representatives from the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, KEFI and MIDROC Technology Group mining companies, and the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) joined the group to offer additional industry perspectives.
Case study:Fostering youth employability in Ethiopia, in partnership with Bahir Zaf, a TREE Alliance Restaurant
Through the Direct Aid Program (DAP), the Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa has provided funding for the establishment of Bahir Zaf training restaurant in Ethiopia. The restaurant is a social enterprise and part of the global Training Restaurants for Employment and Entrepreneurship (TREE) partnership.
Investments into training students of the restaurant and their social programs comes from the profits of the Bahir Zaf restaurant. The aim of the investments are to help support the students to become skilled and productive young people with a more secure future. Bahir Zaf also works in partnership with other DAP-funded NGOs that assist vulnerable children and street children in Addis Ababa assisting them to receive training in catering and hospitality.
Currently 18 students are receiving support. The restaurant anticipates taking on a greater number of students as the restaurant grows.
Case study:Australian Government facilitates workshop on Trade in Services for Ethiopian Government officials
DFAT funded a workshop by the University of Adelaide’s Institute for International Trade (IIT) on Trade in Services in Least Developed Countries in Addis Ababa from 29 February to 4 March 2016.
Over 40 Ethiopian officials participated in the workshop. This included attendees from the Ministries of Trade, Communications, Justice, Science and Technology, Labour, Culture and Tourism, Transport, and Finance and Economic Development. There were also participants from the Association of Ethiopian Insurance, the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, the National Bank of Ethiopia, and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.
To provide additional insights and context on reform efforts in the region, the Africa Trade Policy Centre at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) presented on regional integration and liberalisation efforts and the Continental Free Trade Area agenda.
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Case study:Showcasing quality Australian meat
Although Jordan is a relatively small regional market, Australian exporters have still been able to carve out a good local share for their agricultural products. Australian meat exports to Jordan now exceed $100 million and represent the key component of the bilateral trade relationship – two-way merchandise trade was $281.8 million in 2015, heavily in Australia’s favour. However, the market is dynamic. Domestic producers, and other countries (including Romania, New Zealand and Brazil), compete for market share in Jordan.
In October 2016, during a visit to Amman by senior officials from Meat and Livestock Australia and Austrade, Ambassador Miles Armitage hosted two events, in conjunction with the HORECA food festival, a small dinner at the official Residence and a larger function at the Embassy. The events showcased Australian premium cuts, and the novel uses of alternative meat cuts, to influential key opinion makers such as executive chefs, celebrity chefs and buyers from international hotels and top line restaurants. The events were excellent opportunities to promote Australian meat and engage with relevant Jordanian industry figures, in support of Australian producers keen to grow their share of a competitive market. These events strengthened confidence in the quality of Australian products and the reliability of fresh supply to Middle Eastern markets.
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Turkey and country of accreditation – Azerbaijan
Case study:Mine Safety Initiative – Australia-Turkey Centre for Mining Excellence
The 2014 mining disaster in Soma, Turkey has been a catalyst for improving safety in Turkey’s coal sector.
Austrade Istanbul and the Australian Embassy in Ankara have been working closely with local mining companies, associations and government to assist with the introduction of Australia’s best in class mine safety systems and technologies. The Australian resources industry is a lead partner in the development and reform of the Turkish mining industry.
In March 2015, the Australia-Turkey Centre for Mining Excellence was founded, a result of ongoing dialogue by Austrade and the Embassy with key mining industry stakeholders in Australia and Turkey. The University of Queensland and the Hacettepe University host the Centre in Ankara and endorsement has been given by the Turkish government, which is providing a critical pathway for Australia to partner with the Turkish Government to reform the industry.
The partnership between Australia and Turkey has developed with the signing of a research and development Memorandum of Understanding between Queensland Government and the Turkish Energy Ministry. Further, Australian mine safety specialists participated in mine safety conferences in Turkey in 2014 and 2016 and supported a scoping study to establish a mine safety training centre in Soma, Turkey. The proposed mine safety centre will provide a virtual reality safety simulation and enhance the skills and training of mine workers and emergency response teams.
Finally, Austrade has been working closely with two leading coal mining companies to introduce advanced Australian mining technologies including the introduction of Turkey’s first spontaneous combustion monitoring systems in Soma.
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Case study:Australia helping Samoan customers to access faster, more affordable and more reliable internet services
Australia is working with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to provide Samoa with a new submarine internet cable by September 2017. The new cable will greatly improve the speed and capacity of internet services in Samoa and will stimulate innovation, support efficient ways of doing business, and promote inclusive development. Australia is investing in the new cable as a means to support the creation of new jobs and ways of doing business, better access to information, and markets and opportunities for revolutionising basic services including health and education. In the early stages of the project, Australia funded three specialists to support Samoa to plan for the new cable. This included designing and establishing an innovative public-private partnership to manage wholesale internet services. The Samoa Submarine Cable Company will ensure wholesale internet is offered at a price that ensures retailers offer affordable high speed and reliable internet to their customers.
Case study:Linking partners for future work opportunities in Samoa
Australia is linking job seekers with potential employers in Samoa, through funding the development of the first Labour Market Information System (LMIS). The system, managed by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour connects job seekers with employers and provides an accurate analysis of labour market information. The launch of the system took place on 11 November 2016, together with Samoa’s National Employment Policy. The new system means that job seekers can register online and potential employers can view their profiles. It will simplify the process of finding a job and assist employers to identify the right people. Since the launching, the Ministry is exploring a partnership with the Samoa National Youth Council to increase youth employment opportunities.
Case study:Rural women benefitting from training for micro-business entrepreneurs
The Small Business Enterprise Corporation (SBEC) is equipping women with skills and ongoing support services to succeed as entrepreneurs. SBEC is funded under the Samoa Women Shaping Development Program (part of the Pacific Women Shaping Development regional program). In the first six months of 2016 SBEC trained 212 people (168 of whom are women) from eight local villages in Upolu and Savai’i. The training provided participants with advice on how to turn their existing micro businesses such as bakeries, food processing, handicrafts, saw mills, weaving, sewing and gardening into income generating initiatives. Participants learnt how to prepare a business management plan; basic book-keeping skills, and innovative advertising and marketing skills. Four of the women received loans after presenting their business plans.
The 168 women trained are now registered members of SBEC and can apply for ongoing support through a new Australian aid-funded micro-business incubator managed by the Samoan Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development. SBEC is continuing to offer business training to women in other villages in Samoa.
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Greece and countries of accreditation – Bulgaria and Romania
Case study:Fashion Diplomacy in Bucharest, Romania
The Australian Embassy Athens hosted a fashion-focused event in Bucharest on 23 June 2016 to highlight Australian creativity and innovation. The work of five award-winning RMIT fashion design students was showcased to an audience of local designers, fashion bloggers, as well as government and industry representatives.
Addressing attendees, Ambassador John Griffin highlighted the contribution Australia’s creative industries make to the economy and spoke of the importance of science, design and technology in driving an innovative, modern economy with a strong services focus.
Government and industry contacts showed particular interest in RMIT’s work with technological innovation and commercial/industrial applications, such as stab-proof fabrics incorporated into police and military uniforms.
The involvement of Romanian universities such as UNARTE and Cluj, which offer degrees in fashion design, provided an opportunity to foster collaboration and to promote Australia as a world-class education destination.
Romanians, with their vibrant design scene, fast-growing economy and rich history in textiles and craft trades, proved a receptive audience. The event received positive feedback from attendees and given coverage in local print and social media.
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Australian Mission to ASEAN
Case study:Australia leading the way on access to finance for businesses in emerging ASEAN markets
The Australian-funded Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), delivered in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, is opening up new opportunities for enterprises in ASEAN’s emerging economies to access finance and grow their businesses. This economic diplomacy program supports Australia’s regional economic integration agenda by contributing to ASEAN’s financial integration plans.
Access to finance is an issue for any business but in ASEAN’s emerging economies, specifically Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam, it is an acute challenge constraining economic growth. Small businesses account for more than 90 per cent of enterprises in these markets but high lending rates make it hard for them to expand. MBI works with the private and public sector to identify new sources of investment and approaches to finance that can unlock the full potential of small businesses in these markets.
Examples of MBI’s work include the establishment of the Mekong Angel Investor Network providing business mentoring and investment to Mekong start-ups; partnering with commercial financial institutions to pilot innovative financial products aimed at the underfinanced agricultural sector; and working with regulators and industry to explore the potential for financial technology ‘FinTech’ in the region.
Case study:Australian support for ASEAN’s new Connectivity Master Plan
Funded by Australia, in September 2016, Leaders at the ASEAN Summit adopted ASEAN’s Master Plan on Connectivity (MPAC) 2025. The plan focusses on five key sectors: infrastructure, digital innovation, logistics, regulatory reform and people mobility to improve the physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity of one of the world’s fastest growing regions.
MPAC 2025 seeks to address emerging challenges and opportunities facing ASEAN in the years ahead. These trends include the projected movement of an additional 90 million people to ASEAN cities by 2030; energy demands projected to grow by 80 per cent by 2040; the need for infrastructure spending of around USD110 billion per year until 2020; and the need for ASEAN Member States to double their historical productivity gains to sustain their pace of economic growth.
As a beneficiary of ASEAN’s contribution to regional stability and prosperity, and as ASEAN makes up over 14 per cent of Australia’s total trade, Australia is deeply invested in ASEAN’s success. We are supporting ASEAN to meet some of these challenges through our economic diplomacy and trade programs. For many years, we have supported ASEAN Members States’ infrastructure needs through our bilateral, regional and global programs. In addition, our people-to-people programs addressing ASEAN’s skills needs span scholarships, two-way exchanges and capacity building activities across a range of sectors such as tourism.
Our economic cooperation includes support for ASEAN member states to implement their trade commitments under the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) across goods, services, investment and intellectual property. We provide significant research and technical assistance to facilitate implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community, in support of regional economic integration. We are also working, in conjunction with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to reduce the Mekong region’s high customs and logistics costs and improve productivity by harmonising activities of customs, immigration, and quarantine and border crossings to facilitate easier and faster cross-border movement of goods.
Australia’s value-add lies in our genuine partnership approach and our strong track record of working collaboratively in the region to deliver strong economic development outcomes. ASEAN sees Australia as one of its most reliable, trusted and long-standing partners and continues to seek out Australian expertise.
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Case study:Understanding Bali’s Australian business community
The Australian Consulate-General is working with the SME business community in Bali to highlight Australia’s significant contribution to the island’s tourism industry and economy. A 2016 research project - which enlisted the help of a New Colombo Plan scholar on an eight-week internship - estimated upwards of 1000 businesses in Bali have an Australian ownership interest.
Through targeted interviews, surveys, and focus groups, we sought to understand better the motivations and challenges for Australians investing and working in Bali. Drawing on case studies, such as Pod Chocolate, our research not only signified Bali’s importance as an Australian tourist town, but also its status as the most populous Australian business community in Indonesia. We also uncovered future growth opportunities, particularly in Bali’s emerging start-up IT and creative industries. These areas have now become priorities in our forward economic diplomacy agenda.
Case study:Building a coherent and informed community through the IABC Bali
The Australian Consulate-General is reinvigorating its partnership with the Indonesia-Australia Business Council (IABC) Bali Branch to boost the IABC’s membership and to enhance its standing in the expatriate community.
Through co-sponsored outreach activities in 2016 we initiated links between IABC members and civil society organisations with a strong Australian presence and encouraged successful business/NGO partnerships. We have also reached out to a growing number of Australian entrepreneurs doing business in Badung (Western Bali), home to an emerging innovative and creative business scene. Linking the business communities on the east and west sides of the island, as well as the new and the well-established with the IABC will be a key step in strengthening Australian business advocacy in Bali and beyond.
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Bandar Seri Begawan
Case study:Brunei medical students to study in Australia
With the support of the Australian High Commission, the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) has concluded agreements with the Australian National University (ANU), University of New South Wales (UNSW) and University of Adelaide (UA) for UBD medical students to undertake three years of their qualifications in Australia. The first four Brunei students under this arrangement started at ANU and UNSW in mid-2016. A further three students will start at UA in 2017. Six of these seven students are women. International education is Australia’s third largest export and Australia is the second largest destination for Brunei students studying abroad. This arrangement expands educational links between Australia and Brunei and has the potential to expand cooperation into other areas such as nursing, physiotherapy and research.
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Case study:Australia as a constructive partner in developing Thailand’s dairy sector
With support from DFAT’s South East Asian Discretionary Aid program and Dairy Australia, an independent tropical dairy expert Dr Brad Granzin delivered a project entitled Increasing Productivity in Thailand’s Dairy Cooperatives. Dr Granzin visited Thailand from 20-27 June 2016 to take stock of the operations, strengths and weaknesses of three Thai dairy cooperatives. He then made recommendations to assist Thai industry to adapt to increased competition.
The project positioned Australia as a preferred partner to develop Thailand’s dairy industry and meet growing demand in the region.
In addition, the activity was a practical contribution building on the Australian Government’s efforts in trade negotiations to address barriers to Thai imports of Australian dairy products. Under the Thailand Australia Free Trade Agreement, Thailand applies special agricultural safeguard (SSG) provisions for dairy (and beef products). Australia’s position is that the SSGs should be lifted. Many Australian dairy products can complement, rather than compete with Thailand’s local product. With our industries working together, both Australia and Thailand can create new demand and increase exports of value-added dairy products.
Case study:Starting a debate on women’s economic empowerment in Thailand
Throughout 2016, the Australian Embassy Bangkok initiated Australia-Thailand business exchanges between women and fostered women’s business networks:
- On International Women’s Day 2016, the Embassy partnered with the Australia-Thailand Chamber of Commerce, AustCham, to organise a seminar on “Equal Partners: Realising the Potential of Women in the Workplace”.
- A visit by Australian Scientist Professor Veena Sahajwalla in June included a roundtable on ways to support women in science, technology, engineering, maths careers, including by sharing experiences from Sahajwalla’s successful “50:50” program.
- DFAT held a discussion on Investment, Finance and Women in ASEAN at the Bangkok Embassy on 27 May 2016. The discussion showcased our regional DFAT Gender Equality Branch programs, and highlighted areas for new collaboration.
Each of these events provided a platform to celebrate women who are innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs, particularly in SMEs, in order to advocate for women’s empowerment and women’s contribution to sustainable development. They generated positive media coverage, which showed Australia’s commitment to equality, freedom of expression and minority rights.
Case study:Australia-Thailand Research and Innovation Mission
The Australia-Thailand Research and Innovation mission, 27-29 April 2016, showcased innovative Australian research and world-class education. Organised by Austrade, in conjunction with Australia’s Department of Education and Training and Thailand’s National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office and also supported by DFAT, it brought ten Australian researchers and experts in agribusiness and renewable energy to Thailand to engage with counterparts.
This activity positioned Australia as an important partner for Thailand at a time when education reform will be critical to Thailand’s development. Thai universities are interested in engaging more with Australia, including through developing joint PhD and double degree programs, increased mobility of graduate students and academic staff, and knowledge exchange on research management and operation. We expect the result will be an increase in joint research in these fields between Australian and Thai universities.
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Case study:Attracting Chinese investment to Australia
Investment is a success story in the Australia-China relationship, with two-way investment flows growing rapidly. China’s stock of direct investment in Australia has increased almost tenfold since 2008 to reach $35 billion in 2015. The Australian Government recognises that productive foreign investment generates jobs and growth, and China is one of the world’s major sources of capital. Austrade and DFAT drive engagement with major Chinese investors across China Posts to promote Australia as an investment destination. For example, Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo hosted successful roundtables on investment in agriculture and infrastructure during Australia Week in China in April 2016. The Ambassador has a program of regular engagement with top executives from China’s largest companies such as China Investment Corporation (agriculture and infrastructure), Dalian Wanda (real estate and tourism), Goldwind (renewable energy) and China Resources (healthcare). Advocating the benefits of investing in Australia continues to be a core element of the economic diplomacy work across China Posts.
Case study:Australia Week in China 2016
Australia Week in China (AWIC) 2016 was the largest business mission ever organised by Austrade, consisting of around 1000 delegates, making it the largest business delegation ever to depart Australia. Led by Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo, AWIC focused on forging business linkages, building the bilateral relationship with our largest trading partner and demonstrating Australia as a trusted trade, investment, education and tourism partner with China. Over 140 events were organised across 12 cities in greater China, with programmes featuring eight industry streams that focused on opportunities arising from ChAFTA – Agribusiness, Financial Services, Health and Aged Care, Innovation, International Education, Tourism, Premium Food & Beverage, Consumer and E-commerce, and Urban Sustainability and Water Management.
During AWIC, 27 commercial deals and memoranda of understanding were signed, spanning a wide range of sectors including food and beverage, biotech, health, horticulture, childcare, sustainable urban water management, vocational training, science, logistics, tourism and air services.
Case study:E-commerce cooperation
The Australian Government is helping Australian business to take advantage of the growth in e-commerce in China. More than 1,300 Australian brands are selling online in China and Australia ranks fifth in overall popularity among Chinese buyers of imported products.
E-commerce platforms provide greater opportunity for Australia’s small and medium-sized enterprises which may be too small or overwhelmed to enter the Chinese market via conventional means.
Austrade led the largest ever e-commerce mission to China as part of Australia Week in April 2016, when more than 250 Australian food and beverage delegates were introduced to senior representatives and buyers from leading online marketplaces, including Tmall, JD.com, Netease Kaola, Womai, VIP.com and Chunbo.com.
Austrade has cooperation agreements with three major online marketplaces to promote Australian products. An agreement with Alibaba signed in Hangzhou in September 2016, witnessed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Alibaba Founder Jack Ma, will establish an Australian food channel on Youku.com, a video sharing site with more than 500 million users.
Case study:ChAFTA Promotion
Since the conclusion of China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) negotiations in November 2014, DFAT and Austrade have delivered over 70 seminars and 83 media articles and interviews across mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau to explain the benefits of ChAFTA to traders, consumers and investors. Trade data for the first nine months since ChAFTA entered into force show that Australian bottled wine exports to China grew more than 40 per cent. Exports of whole and skim milk powders increased more than 70 per cent, Australian live, fresh and chilled abalone exports to China have more than doubled, and exports of Australian skin care products have increased more than 45 per cent.
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Case study:Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference
As part of the Lebanese Diaspora Energy Conference, organised by the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, the Embassy participated in a panel discussion on trade and investment opportunities in Australia, focussing on leveraging the community links between the two countries. The Conference, which attracted around 2000 participants from North America, Latin America, West Africa, the Gulf as well as Australia, provided a networking opportunity for key players and decision-makers in the diaspora, with a focus on investment opportunities both in Lebanon and abroad.
The Embassy used the session on Australia to promote investment and business opportunities in Australia. In his presentation, Ambassador Miles outlined Australia’s capabilities and strengths, with a focus on sectors such as agribusiness, education and innovation that offered the best prospects for further engagement. The panel, facilitated by John Defterious, CNN’s Emerging Markets Editor, included a range of Australian business people.
The session also saw the launch by Lebanon’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gibran Bassil, and Minister of Economy and Trade, Alain Hakim, of the International Chamber House (ICH), which aims to encourage collaboration between government agencies, bilateral international chambers and business associations. The Embassy supported the Australia-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ALCCI) in its efforts to encourage the Lebanese Government to establish the ICH, with a view to better facilitate trade and investment between Australia and Lebanon.
Excerpt from the presentations can be viewed www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLlLx7CAFXM
Case study:Meat and Livestock Australia Promotional Reception
In April 2016, the Embassy and Meat and Livestock Australia hosted a reception at the official residence for around 110 major Australian meat importers, leading restaurant owners, international hotels, and influential chefs from around Lebanon to promote Australian frozen and chilled meat products.
Celebrity Chef, Tarek Ibrahim, provided a cooking masterclass to showcase premium Australian cuts and optimal cooking techniques. The reception attracted positive feedback and reinforced the quality of Australian meat products in the high-end Lebanese market.
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Serbia and countries of accreditation – Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Case study:Business Development - Australian Embassy hosts its first B2B forum
The Australian Embassy Belgrade hosted its first-ever Business to Business (B2B) Forum on 19 May 2016 aimed at increasing visibility for Australian firms and entrepreneurs operating in the region and provide a B2B networking platform for participants.
The audience was comprised of Australian business people and professionals with robust links to Australia. Also present were relevant non-Australian stakeholders (government, NGOs, international financial institutions, like-minded missions, professional service providers, business/investment advocacy groups). Significantly, a total of sixteen speakers participated at the event, representing world-class Australian firms such as Rio Tinto, Cardno, Brambles, Cochlear and Brivis. Lesser known Australia based SMEs were also in attendance, including Australian entrepreneurs and local business people who market Australian goods, services and know-how. Speakers took the opportunity to showcase their innovative business models and highlight successes in numerous industry sectors in the region. An Austrade delegate was also on hand to raise awareness of their role in promoting Australia’s trade and investment credentials.
Post-event feedback was very positive and we expect that we will continue to support Australian firms and business people in this manner. The event proved to be a catalyst for the establishment of a number of business-to-business linkages that may result in tangible commercial deals in the near-term.
Case study:Business Development - Supporting Australia’s mining industry in Serbia
Following the sixth International Conference on Mineral Resources held in Belgrade, Australian Ambassador to Serbia, Mrs Julia Feeney, hosted a lunch for five Australian mining representatives at the official residence on 5 October 2016. The Conference took place on 4 October 2016 and afforded the Embassy a unique opportunity to host a diverse group of Australian mining firms operating in Serbia and the wider region. Second Secretary Mr Maris Tebecis addressed the conference, discussing the role of ‘social licence’ in the mining sector in Australia. Post noted that there was considerable Australian presence at the conference – indeed the largest Australian contingent that we have ever seen in Serbia for any single mining conference.
The Ambassador’s lunch drew together senior mining stakeholders and the gathering proved to be an excellent networking opportunity for all involved, while Post gained useful industry insights. All companies represented are currently working on mining projects in Serbia and neighbouring countries, with a view to expanding their operations in Serbia on the back of major ongoing projects. Based on their feedback it is evident that a similar or even larger Australian turnout is expected at the 2017 conference. According to their assessments, Serbia’s visibility in the global mining space has drastically increased recently due to increased activity on high-value greenfield projects. This has led to a significant uptick in pre-production investment, which is now drawing in METS (mining equipment, technology and services) providers into Serbia. With the word getting out that Serbia could host high-value mining projects in the near to mid-term, this will almost certainly bring in more Australian-based METS providers looking for new opportunities.
Case study:Economic empowerment of women through Direct Aid
Outreach through the Embassy’s Direct Aid Program grew significantly in 2015-16, helping us to promote gender equality and the inclusion of disadvantaged people in mainstream society across Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The increase in direct aid enabled the embassy to support high quality projects that aimed to empower women in economically sustainable ways.
One highly successful project was in Pljevlja (Northern Montenegro) where we supported local women in learning how to create high quality and fashionable garments. The project entitled “Economically empowered, we will exit violence” objective was to reduce gender discrimination by supporting female victims of violence in overcoming challenges through creative activity and teamwork. The Embassy financed the purchase of machinery and materials as well as the promotion of a fashion show for the graduates of the project.
In Lazarevac (Central Serbia) we assisted with the opening of a factory that has become an established and sustainable business. The ZUKO uniform factory employs women including single mothers, victims of violence, minority groups and people with disabilities in making uniforms for local work places.
By promoting sustainable businesses in local communities, we hope to encourage more women to participate in the economy and become economically independent.
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Case study:Innovators to land in Berlin
Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo announced the establishment of a Landing Pad for Australian start-ups in Berlin in April 2016 to help Australian start-ups ‘think globally’. The Berlin Landing Pad will support Australian innovators and entrepreneurs through access to world-class in-market business development, investment and mentorship in Germany and across Europe.
Ambassador to Germany, Lynette Wood, opened the Berlin Landing Pad at betahaus in Berlin on 14 November 2016.
Berlin is a major tech hub with an increasingly international start-up community. Around 60,000 people work in Berlin’s digital economy and nearly 18,000 new jobs created in the sector since 2008. The city now ranks second among the top cities for venture capital have been in Europe. The Berlin Landing Pad is ideally placed to take advantage of Berlin’s advantages for start-ups, including access to big corporate partners, increasing availability of capital, a large talent pool, office space at a reasonable cost, fast visa processing, and ‘the vibe of the city’.
The Berlin Landing Pad is also a key element of a broader strategy to boost Australia’s trade and investment relationship with Germany. Following the launch of the Australian Landing Pad in Berlin, the German Government is now exploring ideas for potential sister landing pads for German start-ups in Australia.
Case study:Advocating an Australia-EU FTA and the benefits of free trade
Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO Hamish McCormick visited Berlin at the invitation of Post to undertake a program of focused trade advocacy. The program included meetings with senior trade officials and participation in a panel discussion on ‘Lessons and Opportunities from EU FTAs’ at the inaugural German-Asian Business Dialogue, held by the German Parliamentary Society on 27 April 2016. The event was an initiative of German Parliamentarian Mark Hauptmann (Christian Democratic Union), to raise awareness of trade and investment opportunities in the Asian region, and provide a networking platform for German and Asian business leaders, German Parliamentarians and Embassies.
The Panel discussion focused on the lessons learned and benefits gained from existing EU FTA negotiations and the expected benefits from future EU FTAs, including with Australia. Ambassador McCormick highlighted the benefits of an Australia-EU FTA as a platform to build relationships between the Asian region and Europe, building on the network of FTAs Australia has successfully concluded in Asia. He emphasised that bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements are important ‘bricks in the wall’, building ‘piece by piece’ towards wider efforts at the global level.
The Embassy and Austrade Frankfurt supported Hauptmann’s initiative as an opportunity to raise awareness of the potential for increased trade and investment with Australia and to advocate for an Australia-EU FTA. We also hosted a ‘country booth’ at the event featuring Austrade and Tourism Australia material, and provided Tourism Australia brochures for inclusion in participant gift bags. HOM Berlin also attended a breakfast discussion with German Parliamentarians on 28 April 2016 as part of the event for Ambassadors and their invited guests. Marc Voigt, CEO Prima Biomed, attended as the Australian business representative.
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Case study:Water Cooperation–building long-term partnerships
Australia’s global leadership in water management is an ever-increasingly valued source of knowledge and technology the world over including in water ‘super-rich’ countries such as Brazil. Through the Australian Embassy in Brasilia and Austrade in São Paulo, and supported at key moments by Australia’s Foreign and Trade Ministers, a strong water partnership has developed between Australia and Brazil, particularly with the State of São Paulo.
In 2015 and 2016, several events resulted in gains for both Australia and Brazil, including:
- Australia-Brazil Water cooperation workshop in São Paulo;
- Water Symposium Brazil-Australia Seminar in Brasilia;
- Water Seminar in Rio de Janeiro, a program that Austrade conducted during the first week of the Olympics featuring a presentation to stakeholders in Rio de Janeiro on Australian water technologies; and
- Visit of Australian water specialists to Brazil and Brazilian senior officials to Australia
For São Paulo, the cooperation and technologies assisted the economic powerhouse of Brazil better manage the unusual drought conditions it was then experiencing in 2016. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the State of São Paulo to formally recognise and take forward this bilateral water cooperation. Other topics of mutual interest such as the environment, culture, education and innovation and research were also included.
Based on these positive and constructive relationships, other Brazilian authorities including at the Federal level (Brazil’s National Water Agency) have reached out to seek greater collaboration with Australia on management of water resources, water security and water quality and the technologies that drive improved outcomes.
Brazil is hosting the eighth World Water Forum in 2018 (in Brasilia). The water cooperation between Australia and Brazil provides a strong foundation for delivering outcomes at this forum.
Case study:Education and Research – Strong Foundations
The number of Brazilian students enrolled with education institutions in Australia has doubled in the last five years. Enrolments in 2016 are likely to exceed 30,000, compared to 15,261 in 2011. With a current annual growth rate of 20 per cent, Brazil looks set to soon become a top-5 source country of international students for Australia. The Brazilian Government’s Science without Borders program saw 7,000 Brazilian students spend a year at an Australian university during this period. The Embassy is working closely with this high-achieving cohort through outreach and alumni engagement events, as well our social media campaigns, to learn from their experiences, to engage with an emerging leadership group and to leverage even stronger outcomes for future cohorts.
The impact on the bilateral relationship shows not only in student numbers. The internationally renowned São Paolo Research Foundation (FAPESP) has signed funding agreements with 13 Australian universities since 2013. FAPESP has made it clear that it would welcome more and larger agreements with Australian partners. Similar growth in other bilateral cooperation agreements and activities is evident right across the Brazilian higher education and research landscape.
Word of mouth is the best advertisement for the quality of Australian education. Brazilian students return from Australia with a positive experience and a desire to continue to engage with or even return to Australia. Australian education institutions, in particular our universities, speak warmly of the positive impact that Brazilian students are having on campus. This increased engagement is helping change the Brazilian opinion of Australia as a beach and adventure destination into a destination of choice for education and research collaboration.
Case study:Winning Business through Sport – Casa Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games
During the first week of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August 2016, Austrade hosted ‘Casa Australia’ in Rio de Janeiro, to promote Australia as a “great place in which to do business, to study or to visit”. Casa Australia attracted large local crowds using virtual reality headsets that showcased Tourism Australia videos, which were particularly popular. The visitor flow remained high for seven days, attracting 12,000 visitors.
Casa Australia featured a program of seminars focussed on major sporting events, water technologies, financial services and education. The major sporting events seminar showcased an impressive array of successful Australian companies supplying goods and services to the Rio Olympics. These included:
- RGS - supplier for the fit-out of all Olympic facilities at the Olympic Villages and many venues
- Polytan - supplied and installed the Olympic hockey pitches (with surfaces manufactured in Melbourne) and has an exclusive contract to supply competition pitches for the International Hockey Federation for seven years
- Stingsports - sole supplier for the boxing arenas
- Skedgo - developed a highly innovative app which enabled visitors to plan multimodal routes to Olympic venues while highlighting tourist opportunities en route
The education fair attracted more than 2,000 visitors, featured several local education agents, representatives of the Victorian and Queensland Governments, and an Australian Government booth convened by Austrade and the Embassy’s Education and Immigration staff. Seminars on Study in Australia (Austrade), visa requirements (Immigration) and the Australia Awards. Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships (Education) were completely full.
A photographic exhibition featured Australian innovations and technologies invented by Australians, including in vitro fertilisation, cancer treatments, and aircraft black box recorders. After the closure of Casa Australia, the exhibition was donated to Centro Paulo Souza, one of Sao Paulo State’s premier technical education institutions.
Casa Australia was featured extensively in local media, including through interviews and a live cross to SportsTV, the Brazilian channel featuring the Olympic Games. Media interest extended to Australia, including Channel 9’s Wide World of Sport.
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Belgium and the European Union
Case study:Building support for an Australia-EU FTA
The Embassy, together with the EU-Asia Centre and the Foreign Trade Association, co-hosted a panel discussion on the Australia-European Union (EU) free trade agreement (FTA) on 17 October 2016. Alison Burrows, First Assistant Secretary, Office of Trade Negotiations-DFAT, Peter Berz from the EU’s Directorate General for Trade and Christian Ewert from the Foreign Trade Association engaged in a lively discussion with over 70 participants from the European Commission, member state governments, business, academia, think-tanks, the media and the general public on the value of a trade agreement between Australia and the EU in the context of a strong public policy debate on trade in Europe.
Post used the high level panel discussion to engage European stakeholders on the benefits and opportunities that would stem from a future FTA. The EU as a bloc is equivalent Australia’s second largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment (2015).
History, strong people-to-people links, shared values and many common interests underpin relations between Australia and the EU. A FTA would build on our existing dynamic relationship, common values, and foster closer trade and investment links. A FTA would support sustainable growth and investment, open up new commercial opportunities and promote innovation in both Australia and the EU.
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Argentina and countries of accreditation – Paraguay and Uruguay
Case study:Australian economic success story inspires Argentine reform agenda
President Macri won office in late 2015 on a platform of economic reform and opening the country to trade and foreign investment. Post has taken the opportunity to promote awareness of Australia’s reform experience and economic success story, including through sector-specific initiatives in mining and education where Australia is well-placed to assist Argentina with expertise and potential investment. The visit of Peter Harris, Chair of the Productivity Commission of Australia, was a highlight of these efforts in 2016 opening another opportunity to engage senior economic policy decision-makers and the media. Post is contacted regularly by officials for further information on Australia’s reform approach and commentary on Australia’s economy appears regularly in the media. Most notably, a chapter of the government’s own white paper on economic reform was devoted to the Australian experience.
Case study:Joint research and exchanges open new opportunities for commercial spin-offs in South America
The Australian Studies Centre at Universidad ORT in Montevideo, Uruguay, was launched on 24 November 2016, the first of its kind in South America. It is a joint initiative with the Uruguayan Embassy in Canberra, Austrade, the Uruguay-Australia Chamber of Commerce and Deakin University. Post successfully approached Australian company Petrel Energy to provide initial funding for the initiative. The Centre will strengthen links between Australia and South America by facilitating conferences, student and staff exchanges, joint publications and comparative research projects in key areas such as agriculture, biotechnology, sustainable development, financial technology and natural resources. Bringing Australia’s expertise to the region will create linkages between public and private sector interests with the potential for significant commercial spin-offs to follow.
Case study:Australia staking a claim in potential new mining boom in Argentina
Attracting foreign investment for sustainable mining projects is part of President Macri’s push to deliver growth and jobs to the remotest and least developed parts of Argentina. His priority is to restore public confidence in mining by addressing corruption, managing the environmental impact and to engage with the local community to ensure that there are shared benefits from mining. Post has worked to build ties with senior mining decision-makers at the national and provincial level to promote awareness of Australia’s mining capabilities and sustainable mining practices. Most recently, Senior Trade Commissioner for Andean Latin America, Shannon Powell, hosted Argentina’s Mining Policy Undersecretary Dr. Santiago Dondo in Santiago (Chile) to meet some of the 150 Australian companies based there. The event was part of a migration strategy, which encourages Australian firms already active in the region to look at mining opportunities in Argentina, a potential USD400 billion market. Australian junior miners are already leading the charge to develop Argentina’s lithium reserves and there are growing opportunities for Australian mining equipment, technology and services providers (METS).
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Case study:Promoting Aussie beef and lamb Taste of Australia
On 1 November 2016, the Australian Embassy in Cairo hosted a ‘Taste of Australia’ barbecue to promote Australia as a reliable producer of safe, healthy and Halal-certified produce. The event, attended by over 60 representatives from leading importers, hotels and restaurants encouraged key government decision-makers to remove trade barriers and marketed Australian beef and lamb to key importers and distributors. Meat and Livestock Australia and Austrade co-sponsored the event.
Australia exported 21,000 tons of meat to Egypt in 2015 and is often the top choice for quality cuts in leading restaurants. At a time of economic pressures in Egypt, our sustained advocacy aims to reinforce the high-quality reputation of Australian meat and remove barriers to trade which restrict the entry of Australian meat and increase its price for Egyptian consumers.
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Case study:Unleashing the potential of Sri Lankan business and creating a vision for tourism
Sri Lanka is a lower middle-income country on a trajectory toward upper middle-income status. Sri Lanka wants to reform its investment climate and address the competitiveness of its traditional industries, both of which are impeding sustainable economic growth. Through a two-year ($2.8 million) partnership with the World Bank, DFAT is funding the design and implementation of reforms to Sri Lanka’s business environment. The goal is to attract more international investment and to boost the tourism sector, both of which will create new and better jobs for Sri Lankans. The release of a new national vision statement and action plan for Sri Lanka took place at the end of 2016. By February 2017, targeted action plans will help Sri Lanka boost its performance on each of the nine ‘Ease of Doing Business’ indicators. This support from Australia is aligned closely with the economic reform ambitions of the Sri Lankan Government. It is complemented by our aid investments through the Market Development Facility and a new tourism skills program.
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Denmark and countries of accreditation - Norward and Iceland
Case study:The inaugural “Australia Update” in Oslo, Norway
On 26 August 2016, the Australian Embassy Copenhagen, in partnership with Austrade, Innovation Norway (the Norwegian equivalent to Austrade) and the Norwegian Government, initiated the first “Australia Update” in Oslo, Norway. The attracted more than 50 representatives from business, peak industry groups, clusters and government. Attendees included Scatec Solar, DNV, Kongsberg Marine, Add Energy, Aker Biomarine, Oslo Medtech as well as a cluster of ICT/digital companies. The Australia Update provides a forum for the Australian Government to highlight the strengths of the Australian economy, investment opportunities and new government initiatives. This year we showcased strong links between the Australian and Norwegian oil and gas, shipping and defence sectors. Currently over 40 Norwegian companies are operating and investing in the Australian oil and gas sector. We also focused on the Government’s innovation agenda. Two Norwegian companies, Kongsberg and BlueCloud, spoke about their experiences in the Australian market.
Speakers included Damien Miller, Australian Ambassador to Denmark, Norway and Iceland; Richard Leather, Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Western Europe; Kyrre Lohne, Head of Communications, Kongsberg Defense Systems; and Morten Blomfeldt, Co-Founder and Director BlueCloud Australia. Our goal is for the Australia Update in Oslo to be an annual event, following the model we established with Dansk Industri (Denmark’s peak industry group) in Copenhagen.
The Australian Embassy and Austrade have been working with Innovation Norway to connect Norway’s and Australia’s innovation clusters, and are forging new connections in the ICT/digital, green technology, aquaculture, and health sectors. As a result, Innovation Norway undertook a follow-up fact-finding mission to Australia in November 2016 and the Norwegian Deputy Minister for Petroleum and Energy visited Australia in November 2016 for an offshore petroleum event in Perth.
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Case study:Promotion of Australian cotton in Bangladesh
The Australian High Commission in Dhaka, together with Austrade and the Australian Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA), are working with textile producers to ensure Australia becomes a key supplier of cotton in Bangladesh. In May 2016, Austrade and DFAT hosted a 10 member ACSA delegation that highlighted capabilities, quality attributes and the latest research on Australian cotton. The delegation also met with 90 Bangladeshi business people from textile mills, local agents and importers to explore further partnerships between Australia and Bangladesh. The success of this mission generated significant interest from the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA). As a result, several cotton buyers attended the 18th Australian Cotton Conference held on the Gold Coast in early August 2016.
Bangladesh is the second largest cotton importer in the world, importing more than 6 million bales of cotton. The projection is that this volume will double within four years with Bangladesh set to overtake China as the world’s largest importer of cotton. Bangladesh has become a significant and emerging cotton export market for Australia. There is a growing interest for Australia’s high-quality cotton, which has almost zero contamination. Australian cotton is also becoming more competitive with the price gap between Australian cotton and other markets shrinking. As a result, of the High Commission’s efforts and favourable global conditions, Australian cotton exports to Bangladesh are projected to double in 2017.
Case study:Byron Bay Chilli Co. launches in Bangladesh
The Australian High Commission is assisting Australian businesses specialising in high-quality food products to expand into Bangladesh. With a growing middle class of about 30 million people, Bangladesh is becoming a significant consumer market for high-quality food products.
In October 2016, the Australian High Commission helped launch the Byron Bay Chilli Co. in Bangladesh. This is the first agreement of its kind to make food products in Bangladesh by using Australian recipes, technologies and branding. Byron Bay Chilli Co. has launched six varieties of sauces – Smokin Mango, Spicy Lemongrass, Fiery Coconut, Heavenly Habanero, Green Jalapeno and Red Bengali – to be produced and sold through Bangladesh’s largest processed food conglomerate, PRAN Agro Ltd. The range will potentially be exported into neighbouring South Asian markets, the Middle East and Malaysia.
The expanding retail and food processing sector is opening new opportunities for Australian brands, such as Byron Bay Chilli Co., in processed and packaged products such as fresh juice, jam, honey, cereals, dairy, and pasta.
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Case study:Telling tourists about Timor-Leste
Timor-Leste is a small, oil and gas-reliant country with an undeveloped private sector. It is also a beautiful, fascinating, but rarely-visited tourism destination.
The Australian Embassy Dili is supporting Timor-Leste to develop demand-side strategies to grow its tourism sector, and thus its economy. Through the Support for Good Public Policy Program, delivered by The Asia Foundation (TAF), we have engaged with the Ministry of Tourism to develop Timor-Leste’s Strategic Marketing Plan. This includes developing a tourism promotion website, brand logo, slogan, and subsequent tourism roll-out strategy. Timor-Leste’s new tourism website, www.timorleste.tl was launched in October this year. We are in the process of finalising design concepts for Timor-Leste’s tourism brand (a slogan and logo). Our support also includes funding TAF to track the impact of tourism marketing through an annual Visitors Survey (2014–17). This will help to build an evidence base on demand-side opinions, and to develop projections of economic value.
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Case study:Using sport to promote Australian economic interests in Ireland
The centrepiece of the Embassy’s economic diplomacy strategy has been to work with business to develop a platform for the Australian business community to come together. The Embassy supported the launch of the Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce in Dublin in June 2016 and has since been working actively with the Chamber to strengthen its ability to bring together Australian and Irish companies to create new business opportunities.
On the evening of 21 November 2016, the Australian Embassy in Dublin and the Chamber combined forces to host an event, taking advantage of the high profile visit of the Wallabies’ to Ireland, to promote participation in the Chamber. The Embassy used its extensive network of contacts in Government and business while the Chamber provided the venue and catering (including Australian meat provided by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian wine).
The reception was well attended. Ireland’s Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar TD to the opportunity to present Dublin and Sydney based foreign exchange firm, Currencyfair with the Chamber’s International Trader and People’s Choice Awards. The awards were announced in Sydney on 11 November 2016 as part of the 2016 Irish Australia Business event held by the Australian Chapter of the Chamber.
The crowd then enjoyed a session with Wallabies Coach Michael Cheika and Captain Stephen Moore giving insights into the upcoming game. Cheika also provided comments on what businesses can learn from sport.
The Embassy also worked with MLA to maximise the benefits of the Wallabies’ visit for our messaging on the trade policy agenda. Capitalising on the drawing power of the Wallabies’ match with Ireland MLA hosted a business lunch, featuring fine Australian beef, on the day of the game (26 November 2016) with key figures in Ireland’s agricultural industry and government bodies responsible for trade. Australian Ambassador to Ireland, Richard Andrews, addressed guests highlighting the benefits of collaboration, particularly in the red meat sector, as both countries share equivalent high standards of livestock production and export a large proportion of their beef relying on liberalised global trade for the ongoing success of their industry.
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Case study:Promoting an integrated approach to victim assistance
Geneva UN co-hosted a Workshop on an Integrated Approach to Victim Assistance on 18 May 2016. The workshop promoted good practices in ensuring non-discriminatory, gender-sensitive and sustainable support for victims of landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). This includes support for the economic reintegration of victims, which is important for continued economic growth in countries affected by landmine, cluster munition and ERW contamination. Following the workshop, Geneva UN supported the publication of Guidance on an Integrated Approach to Victim Assistance, which was on 29 November 2016 in Santiago at the Mine Ban Convention Meeting of States Parties.
Case study:Partnerships to end trafficking and slavery- The Bali Process Business Forum
Geneva UN co-hosted an event with Thailand, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, during the 2016 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights to promote the Bali Process Business Forum. The event focussed on partnerships between business and government to combat human trafficking and modern slavery, and brought together around 200 participants representing states, international organisations, businesses and civil society. Panellists – including Fortescue Metals Ltd Chair and Founder of the Walk Free Foundation Andrew Forrest, and a representative from Thai conglomerate the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group – emphasised the importance of government and business taking concrete steps to work together to combat people trafficking. The panel also made clear that sustainable economic growth was not possible so long as slavery and trafficking existed in a society. Participants discussed practical examples of government-business co-operation, agreeing on the need for government to create the enabling environment for business to manage its own supply chains in accordance with human rights obligations.
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Case study:MIKTA Partnership drives WTO E-Commerce and Agenda 2030 discussion
In 2016, Post worked to enhance the MIKTA Partnership’s (Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia) standing in the WTO as an innovative partnership by convening several events on topical issues.
The first was a full day workshop on electronic commerce. More than 230 people packed into the WTO’s main auditorium, as Developing and Developed Members heard from high level speakers including WTO Director-General Azevêdo, ITC Executive Director, Arancha González and the Ambassadors of Panama, Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia. The workshop successfully raised the profile of MIKTA in the WTO. The quality of presentations and high level of engagement, particularly by developing countries, provided a much needed boost to e-commerce work in the WTO. Following the workshop, at MIKTA’s request, the WTO Secretariat presented a full day technical seminar.
Building on the success of the e-commerce event, Post organised a follow up workshop on the potential role the WTO can play in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Once again, hundreds of delegates attended and participated actively in a session designed to step away from long-standing debates and to focus on new ideas and innovation.
The overwhelming success of the workshops demonstrated the usefulness of the format and the potential of the MIKTA grouping in the WTO context. Plans are being drawn-up for three more workshops in 2017 organized by the Missions of Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey on topical issues including Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Case study:Australia leads Cairns Group in fight against Export Subsidies and Trade Distorting Support in Agriculture
Post worked tirelessly in 2016 to secure Australia’s position as the clarion voice calling for reforms to end unfair, trade distorting practices in world agricultural trade. As the convener of the Cairns Group of Agricultural exporting nations, Australia, led by Former Trade and Investment Minister Robb, travelled to the WTO’s 10th Ministerial Conference (MCIO) in Nairobi with a clear mandate to tackle head on the practices directly disadvantaging Australian farmers. Post played a central role in delivering a successful result at the MCIO. Widely recognized as historic, the outcome eliminated export subsidy entitlements (worth over $15 billion), a particularly trade distortive form of subsidy that stakeholders had long identified as an issue of real concern. Australia drafted the framework that, after 30 years of fighting for this outcome, finally eliminated export subsidies in agriculture. Upon returning to Geneva, the challenge was to find new ways to keep the conversation moving forward and thus build on the success achieved in Nairobi. Post adopted a multi-pronged strategy, disseminating research, deploying stakeholders, strengthening links to other groupings and building innovative new tools in an effort to move the conversation forward.
The Cairns Group led by Australia partnered with leading academics and published multiple studies and papers which clearly illustrated the extent to which major players were employing subsidies and how much space those actually had to accept common-sense reforms on their limits. We arranged for leading stakeholder organisations such as Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) to visit Geneva and brief delegates directly on what farmers are focusing on.. MLA also co-hosted an Australian meat barbeque with Post. The input provided by MLA received a positive response. In recognition of this momentum, Cairns Group Farm Leaders hosted a seminar in Geneva with Australia. The Seminar gave Cairns Group Farm Leaders and WTO negotiators an opportunity to jointly workshop deliverables in agricultural trade liberalisation- over 100 delegates attended.
In 2016 Post started to break down the barriers and silos that existed in the Geneva negotiating groups. Australia arranged for the Cairns Group to meet jointly with other major groups such as the Africa Group, the Least Developed Country Group, EU Member states and the ‘G10’. This has led to better understanding and some shared priorities. To aid in these discussions, Post developed a new tool that allows any delegate to calculate instantly the impact of a proposed change to Agricultural rules. This Domestic Support Calculator enables more delegations to actively participate in negotiations, a huge step forward in this difficult and technical area.
These initiatives combined with full-throated advocacy in the WTO and beyond have reinforced Australia and the Cairns Group reputation as the champions of trade liberalisation in agriculture. Heading into 2017, the WTO discussions on this topic are more participatory, better informed and vibrant for Post’s work.
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Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Case study:First Taste of Australia in Vietnam
As income levels rise and consumption patterns change in Vietnam, more and more people are demanding food that is clean, fresh, safe and healthy. Australia has a reputation for quality produce in Vietnam. Restaurants advertise ‘thịt bò Úc ‘(Australian beef) across the country, which Vietnamese consumers know means is high-quality, tender and safe meat. However, Australian food and beverage exports to Vietnam are currently lower than comparable ASEAN markets, and there is ample room for exports to diversify and grow.
To highlight the range and quality of Australian produce in market, we put together a national ‘Taste of Australia’ program in April 2016, connecting Australian premium food and beverage suppliers to the Vietnamese market and promoting Australian food and beverage already in market to Vietnamese consumers.
With Australian-Vietnamese celebrity Chef Luke Nguyen as the Ambassador of Taste of Australia, the month-long program garnered considerable attention from the public and media, including through national TV channel. Highlights included a one day ‘Masterchef-style’ Australian Culinary Competition between teams from four cooking schools in Ho Chi Minh City using premium Australian produce and wine. The winning team received a scholarship to study in Australia, highlighting the quality of Australian vocational education. A highlight in Hanoi was a kangaroo Bun Cha (local dish) cooking competition attended by the Vietnamese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Taste of Australia program established new and expanded business and trade relationships among over 60 private sector event partners, suppliers and sponsors, and a number of Australian suppliers who took part in the program’s business-matching events reported new trade opportunities as a result. The program also successfully educated Vietnamese consumers about the quality and diversity of Australian cuisine. In 2017, an expanded and more comprehensive Taste of Australia program will be organised.
Case study:Interpretative panels for the Thang Long (Hanoi) Royal Citadel
The Thang Long Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a top tourist site providing insight into Hanoi’s 1000-year history, and the rulers who governed Vietnam from the Citadel for much of this time. It is a large site, and consists of elements from different chapters of history in varying states of repair.
The site previously had few signs to help Vietnamese and foreign visitors understand its historic value and the signs tended to deteriorate rapidly in Hanoi’s climate.
In 2016, Australia invested $40,000 to produce 14 new signs for the Citadel in both English and Vietnamese. These signs were constructed in Australia out of high-grade steel designed specifically to be resilient to Hanoi’s hot, humid summers and cold, wet winters. The project demonstrates Australia’s ongoing support for the conservation of the site, and support for the development of Vietnam’s tourism sector, which is a priority for the Government of Vietnam. The Australian Government logo was placed on each panel next to UNESCO and the Citadel’s logos.
In helping people to understand the site, this project has raised awareness about the importance of protecting the site and other historic sites in Vietnam. It also inspired Vietnamese and foreign visitors to learn more about Vietnam’s rich history.
The panels have given Australia significant and lasting profile. They provide the growing number of visitors (383,900 in the first half of 2016, compared with 120,000 in the whole of 2013) with accessible information about an important historical and cultural site in Vietnam. They also serve as an example of how to effectively showcase such sites, thus supporting the broader tourism industry in Vietnam. The panels serve as a public diplomacy tool for Australia as well, with the logo of Australian Government on each panel.
We have received universally positive feedback about the high standard of the panels.
Since their introduction, the Temple of Literature (which received over 700,000 visitors in 2015) and the Hue Imperial Citadel management boards have approached Australia for technical assistance and production of similar panels.
Case study:Australia invests knowledge and dollars into sustainable mining in Vietnam
Vietnam’s mining sector has great potential. Across the country, there remains vast untapped natural resources, particularly deep resources. However, the sector continues to be held back by the use of outdated technologies as well as a lack of effective governance and regulation. Australia has a wealth of experience that it can share with Vietnam to help the sector develop, bringing a new source of economic growth and trade and investment opportunities for Australian companies.
Over the past two years we have been sharing Australia’s experience with Vietnam through a series of study tours, sustainable mining workshops and seminars. Australia’s world leading expertise among our companies and regulatory agencies has demonstrated how mining can be both profitable and sustainable. Armed with this new understanding of Australian capability and experience, we have seen increased demand among Vietnamese miners for Australian services, cutting edge technologies and practices. For example, Ban Phuc Nickel Mine, under Australian management, has procured technologies and services from over 100 Australian METS companies valued at around $50 million. Raising the profile of Australian mining expertise has also created new investment opportunities for our companies. Recently, the licence for Pu Sam Cap Gold mine was signed to an Australian company, as a result of the former Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Nguyen Minh Quang’ having confidence that the project would be well managed, following his experiences travelling in Australia.
Our support to the mining sector has underpinned Vietnam’s decision to join the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and to consider adopting other Australian mining codes and standards, which could potentially encourage more Australian mining investment into Vietnam.
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Zimbabwe and countries of accreditation – the Democratic
Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zambia
Case study:Mining Workshops and Forums hosted by the Australian Embassy, Harare
Capitalising on Australia’s reputation as a world-class leader in the mining sector the Australian Embassy in Zimbabwe organised two workshops on best practice mining governance in Zimbabwe and Zambia in November 2016. This was a joint initiative between the Embassy, Western Australian Government and the Zambia and Zimbabwe governments. Senior Western Australian Government officials with outstanding expertise in the area delivered the two-day workshops. Respective Ministers of Mines opened the two workshops and had senior level government attendance. In Zimbabwe, the Deputy Minister of Mines attended both days. It was a useful opportunity for DFAT to enhance and influence the policy environment in one of the biggest areas for Australian investment in the region. After delivering workshops in Zimbabwe and Zambia, the facilitators travelled to Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria to undertake workshops in those countries.
The Zimbabwean workshop built upon the success of a regular series of mining forums initiated by the Embassy in Zimbabwe. These regular forums provide a space for interaction between key stakeholders in the mining sector, government, private sector, and civil society, and allows them to discuss pertinent issues. The inaugural forum, held in December 2015, covered the business-enabling environment in Zimbabwe. The second forum held in May 2016 focussed on the draft Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill. The third forum held on the last day of the Harare workshop, focussed on best practice mining governance, using Western Australia as a case study.
Case study:Supporting disadvantaged women and girls through business and vocational skills, Malawi
Through the Direct Aid Program (DAP) the Australian High Commission has assisted young girls to acquire vocational skills at the Home of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji, Malawi. DAP funding was spent on purchasing machines and resources to teach the girls to sew clothes and reusable sanitary pads. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and basic goods such as sanitary pads are an expensive luxury. Girls who cannot afford sanitary pads often skip school during menstruation. Reusable sanitary pads are a cheap and sustainable way to ensure that girls can continue their study without disruption, while also providing the girls with skills that will help them make money and provide for their families. Once trained, the girls will return to their communities and start their own sewing businesses. Much of the High Commission’s DAP support is directed towards livelihood projects that encourage entrepreneurial development. This project also helped address the underlying challenge of gender inequality, which increases the financial vulnerability of women and girls.
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Case study:Laudato Si’ in action: Eco Community’s Catholic Energy Efficiency Project
In May 2016, the Australian Embassy to the Holy See hosted executives from Eco Community, a North Queensland based end-to-end service provider and funder of innovative eco solutions.
The visit provided an opportunity for Eco Community to showcase the rollout of solar panels to 31 schools in the Diocese of Townsville, part of the Catholic Energy Efficiency Project that is expected to reduce the annual power bill of the schools by $250,000. Post facilitated a meeting with the Holy See’s Secretariat for the Economy and held a round table at the Embassy for Holy See officials, media and members of the diplomatic corps.
Eco Community is poised to become an exporter of Australian eco solutions and services. Along with the interest the Holy See has taken in the application of the Townsville Template to its network of schools, Eco Community is building a pilot program that by 2018 could see its template in over 500 schools in Italy, France, Chile, Argentina, USA and the Philippines.
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Case study:Hong Kong investment boosts Australian health services
Foreign investment from Hong Kong into a leading Australian medical services provider will expand cancer and cardiac services throughout Australia and will enable the export of Australian health care expertise and technology to overseas markets, including China.
In October 2016 the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board approved a $1.7 billion investment in GenesisCare by a consortium formed by Hong Kong-based China Resources Group and Macquarie Capital. GenesisCare is Australia’s leading provider of radiation oncology, cardiology and sleep treatments. Hong Kong is the sixth largest investor in Australia, with total foreign investment amounting to $85.4 billion at the end of 2015.
With the strategic capability and positioning of China Resources Group, the expectation is that investment will help GenesisCare accelerate plans for Asia and in particular China, as well as further expansion around the world. China’s ageing population will increase demand for the type of health care services provided by GenesisCare. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was cited as a catalyst for discussions that led to the investment.
The injection of capital will create Australian jobs and significantly boost specialist support of patients throughout Australia, including in regional and rural areas.
China Resources Group is a Hong Kong-registered Chinese state-owned enterprise. The Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong has worked closely with the Hong Kong-based management of China Resources Group to facilitate its engagement in Australia, including through organising Ministerial-level engagement, assisting with senior management visits to Australia, and providing information on Australian requirements. The Australian Embassy in Beijing has also provided offshore support for the facilitation.
Case study:Hong Kong embraces Australian beauty
The Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong provided the platform to showcase the best that Australia has to offer in the personal care sector. The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) organised the inaugural Australian Beauty Products Online Retail Opportunities Seminar and Networking Reception in Hong Kong on 15 November 2016. The event provided an opportunity to hear first-hand how Chinese consumers, retailers and distributors are driving growth in beauty products and skincare.
Coinciding with the Cosmoprof Asia expo, the event attracted 50 Australian business representatives and 70 industry buyers from Hong Kong and mainland China. Australian leading companies, including the winner of the 2016 NSW Exporter of the Year Award, Blackmores, e-commerce platform JD.com and e-commerce logistics consultant KCW & Associates, provided industry insights and shared experiences about cross-border e-commerce market opportunities and challenges in Hong Kong and China.
Hong Kong is the second largest export market of beauty products for Australia (after New Zealand), representing more than 13 per cent of the total exports of cosmetics. Australian cosmetics exports to Hong Kong grew by 14 per cent in 2015 to a value of $70 million. Exports have more than doubled in the last six years.
Underscoring the success of the seminar and networking reception, Sylvi Allan, Director of the Divine Company said “we appreciate [post’s] effort in coordinating the seminar and found it quite valuable. We now have a greater understanding of the current situation with e-commerce cross border business into China. We are very keen to expand into Hong Kong and other Asian markets within the coming weeks so appreciate your assistance with information and introductions to key people in the market.”
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Case study:Australian advocacy helps kick-start cruise tourism in Solomon Islands
Australia has played a catalytic role in the recent commencement of regular, scheduled cruise ship visits to Solomon Islands and the opening of new destinations. Cruise tourism offers real potential for growth in Solomon Islands. While the industry is still in its infancy, it is already helping to improve local tourism standards and boost the profile of the nation as a tourist destination.
Since early 2015, senior diplomats from the Australian High Commission in Honiara have encouraged both Carnival Australia and local stakeholders to recognise the potential of cruise tourism in Solomon Islands. Australia’s convening power and resources helped inject momentum into the sector, overcome obstacles and quantify the potential benefits of cruise tourism.
One local exporter, Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI), is already benefiting from cruise tourism. Rob Laird, an Australian Business Volunteer working with KPSI, said the impact has been significant.
“The direct economic boost is obvious to any person watching the cruise ships come to Honiara,” Rob said.
“We have had a stall on the wharf to greet every cruise ship this year. Our sales have almost doubled and our staff have developed a better understanding of tourist requirements”.
“This month we calculated a single day sales from a cruise ship can represent between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of an average months’ profit. Without the cruise ships bringing these tourists to Honiara these sales would not have occurred,” Rob said.
“Visitors have indicated an interest in local Solomon Islands products and often requested further information on where the KPSI products can be purchased. This is helping KPSI to expand into Australia”.
Australia plans to further support tourism, through the new $50 million Solomon Islands Growth Program.
Case study:Solomon Islanders “work ready” for the jobs of the future
Australia’s $16 million investment in skills training in Solomon Islands is enhancing labour productivity to drive economic growth.
In the past year, our Skills for Economic Growth program has supported over 135 private sector employees to earn Australian skills qualifications.
Australia’s support has also helped build a new hospitality training facility that will host training for hundreds of prospective hospitality workers. This facility will ensure a new generation of professionals are “work-ready” for careers in the country’s growing tourism industry.
In response to skills gaps identified by local employers, the program has developed an industry-supported curriculum in automotive, plumbing, electrical and construction. It has also supported the Solomon Islands Government to develop national legislation that will guide skills training into the future.
Case study:Australian TVET partnership to train Pakistani nurses for international job placement
Austrade in Pakistan assisted Talisman Healthcare Australia and The Superior Group Pakistan to partner in providing the skills necessary for Pakistani nurses to be placed in international jobs.
The partnership was an outcome of a visit by Talisman Healthcare Australia to Islamabad for an international TVET conference in 2016, following the 2016 Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET) Asia Pacific International Education Forum (APIEF) and National Conference.
An estimated 60 per cent of Pakistanis are under the age of 25. With the population set to double to approximately 400 million by 2050, there is huge demand for international standard skill-based training (vocational training), but there currently exists limited supply within Pakistan.
The partnership will see Talisman Healthcare through The Superior Group deliver Nursing Pre-Placement Course (NPPC) skills training, assessment and certification to Pakistani nurses prior to placing them into jobs, primarily in the Middle East. Talisman Healthcare expects to require 500 to 1000 nurses and technicians each year for international job placement.
Under the arrangement, Talisman will provide curriculum development and academic support; job offers and employment contracts; and Australian trainers and assessors to conduct final assessments of students. The Superior Group, accredited as a Talisman International Training Centre (ITC) in Pakistan, will provide infrastructure and training resources; experienced nurse educators; and source suitably qualified nurses.
Case study:Revitalising the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry
A new generation of leaders have transformed the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) with the goal of strengthening advocacy and dialogue with the Solomon Islands Government.
In late 2015, SICCI was facing closure after a period of turbulent governance and falling membership. Australia agreed to step in and provide a small amount of funding to keep SICCI afloat, noting the critical role business plays in creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth.
Twelve months later and it is clear this support has helped the organisation thrive at a critical time for the business community and broader Solomon Islands economy.
With Australia’s encouragement, advice and funding, SICCI is becoming an institution with real energy and influence. With local leadership, SICCI has been able to increase its membership base throughout the year.
In 2016, SICCI hosted over twenty networking and advocacy events and consulted with government ministries on key economic policy issues relating to tax, infrastructure, business regulation and SMEs.
The new SICCI Chair and CEO (both young Solomon Islanders) are making headway in establishing a regular, formal dialogue with the Solomon Islands Government and in improving cohesion across business community.
“There is a sense of direction and stability within the chamber with a functioning office representing member’s interests,” SICCI CEO Dennis Meone said.
“We have improved dialogue with government and have more opportunities to share the views of our members with key decision makers. And we’ve been able make progress towards our vision of being able to effectively shape and influence government policies,” Dennis said.
SICCI showcased its transformation at the 2016 Business Excellence Awards, which profiled achievements of over 66 local businesses striving to improve employment opportunities for all Solomon Islanders.
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Case study: A pathway to women’s economic empowerment in Balochistan
The Australian High Commission, through the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), has this year started work in developing the wool sector in Balochistan under the Australian Assistance to Agricultural Development in Balochistan Border Areas (AusABBA) project.
Through AusABBA we have created Women’s Community Organisations and Women Farmers’ Marketing Collectives to provide women with training in a range of wool sector-related skills including animal husbandry and management, wool sorting and grading, spinning, carpet and rug making, felting and wool dyeing. The marketing collectives connect with markets to enable better market understanding.
The wool sector has enormous potential for economic development not only in Balochistan but also for the whole of Pakistan. However, it faces many challenges, which Australian agricultural expertise, technical know-how and business acumen can help to address. Wool is one of only a few sectors in Balochistan with the power to significantly and positively impact on women’s economic empowerment as it provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs across the entire value chain. From sheep rearing through to wool grading, spinning, dyeing, carpet and textiles making and marketing, the potential for women entrepreneurs is enormous. In Pakistan, an important element of national and cultural heritage is Baloch carpets and woollen textiles, and the importation of wool for the manufacture of these products is large. As a result, this initiative will help promote and put higher value on cultural heritage in parallel with building business acumen.
Balochistan has an estimated 50 per cent (14.7 million) of the total sheep population of Pakistan, with the majority used for meat and hides with wool treated as a by-product of little or no value. Through this program, women farmers will gain a return on wool, previously discarded or regarded as only fit for stuffing pillows and mattresses.
Balochistan wool is most suited to carpet making and is one of only a few types of wool that will successfully blend well with Australian wools. Australia’s expertise in the wool sector and wool value chain sees us uniquely placed to support the development of the wool sector in Balochistan and Pakistan, and in tandem building strong bilateral business, research and trade links.
Case study: Australia’s Market Development Facility in action: 30 women changing shoe manufacturing and their lives in Pakistan
The Australian Government-funded Market Development Facility (MDF) partnered with Footlib Shoes, a reputed mid-sized shoe manufacturer in Pakistan, to set up a dedicated women-only shoe stitching line in Punjab Province which has helped create more jobs for women and removed barriers to women entering the work force.
Through this partnership with MDF, Footlib has increased its capacity to service international and local orders in shorter processing times with greater efficiency. The partnership simultaneously removed a huge barrier for women from surrounding villages to enter the labour market and increase their incomes. For Footlib, this meant increased access to the labour force.
The male-dominated shoe manufacturing industry in Pakistan has seen limited investment support over the past two decades. Pakistan’s manufacturers now have to import inputs such as shoe lasts, moulds and zippers and then produce shoes in-house. This lowers efficiency, increases turnaround time and makes Pakistan’s manufacturers globally uncompetitive.
Australia’s partnership with Footlib has resulted in 30 women workers and their supervisors sitting on the dedicated stitching line. The success of the dedicated stitching line is serving as a precedent for other mid- sized shoe manufacturers to follow and increase employment opportunities for women across the industry.
Workers at the women-only shoe stitching line in Punjab Province. Photo credits: Footlib Shoes
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Case study:Relaunching Indonesia- Australia trade talks
Australian and Indonesian Trade Ministers relaunched Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) negotiations in March 2016, following a concerted effort by the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade to build support for the agreement. IA-CEPA will build on the existing ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), opening markets for goods and services sellers and boosting investment between our two countries. Increased bilateral trade (currently worth $15.3 billion) and investment will lead to increased economic growth and strengthen people-to-people and business-to- business ties. The Australian Embassy continues to work with Indonesian Government partners and the private sector to promote the benefits of IA- CEPA, including through public engagements, business community liaison and traditional and social media outreach.
Case study:The Business Case behind the Umbulan Springs PPP
For decades, there have been numerous attempts to provide a much-needed water supply to Surabaya from nearby Umbulan Springs. Significant progress was made in 2016 and the project has now reached financial close. The contract will deliver a USD200 million Public Private Partnership (PPP) project to build and operate two pumping stations and a 92/km transmission pipe once completed. Australia’s Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative (IndII) prepared a detailed business case for the PPP project, providing vital financial and technical analysis to progress the project and highlight the need for capital support from the Indonesian Government. The team also worked to improve the financial management of water utilities to satisfy the conditions of a government guarantee.
The project will provide an estimated 1.3 million people with piped drinking water. It represents Indonesia’s first regional water PPP and lays the foundations to support privately financed infrastructure in Indonesia. Most importantly, Umbulan Springs gives investors confidence in Indonesia’s PPP financing framework by demonstrating the use of availability payment procurement and viability gap funding by central government.
Case study:Doing business better
Countries with better business regulations grow faster, contributing to global prosperity. World Bank researchers found that moving from the worst to the best quartile for ease of doing business increases annual growth by 2.3 percentage points on average. Australia is assisting the city of Jakarta’s One Stop Shop Agency to pilot a scheme to speed up business licence processing. We are helping to pilot an online system for building permits that will expedite the process from the current 1-2 months to only three days.
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Case study:Wiring and Electrician Training Creates Skills and Jobs for the Future
Australia is helping reduce unemployment in Afghanistan through providing training in in-demand skills. Construction is one of the few growing sectors in the capital, Kabul, and Australia provided direct aid funding to a local charity to establish a training program for wiring and electrical work in the industry.
Thirty students completed the three-month course, which ran for two hours a day, five hours a week. Within a month of completing the training, 43 per cent of participants had found work in the construction sector.
The grant also provided for the development of training materials which can be reused, so that the course can continue to be run. This will allow project benefits to continue for new students.
Recognising the success of the program that links short-courses with in-demand skills in growing industries, the Afghan Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs twice visited the course to see if lessons could be learned for the Ministry’s own training projects.
The course provided participants with a way to earn income and a skill they can use throughout their lives.
Case study:Australia signs Dry Land Farming Strategy with Afghanistan Government
Afghanistan and Australia share strong agriculture sectors and water scarcity challenges. Australia’s support to water scarce communities in Afghanistan is governed by a Dry Land Farming Strategy, which aligns with Afghanistan’s domestic priorities.
On 2 February 2016, the Afghan Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Mr Asadullah Zamir and then-Australian Ambassador Matt Anderson signed the Dry Land Farming Strategy. The Strategy is aimed at ensuring Afghan communities living in water scarce areas benefit from improved agricultural production, productivity, household food security and livelihoods.
Developed through a consultative process, the Strategy involves sub-national, national and international stakeholders. It sets out the first 5-year phase of a long term program of engagement by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock on Dry Land Farming. The plan of action under the strategy was supported by the World Bank’s 2014 Agriculture Sector Review.
The signing of the strategy received widespread coverage on television and in print media. Minister Zamir spoke highly of Australia, acknowledging Australia’s assistance in the design of the Dry Land Farming Strategy and its implementation plan. The event signalled the continued strong partnership between Australia and Afghanistan on what are currently Australia’s largest bilateral development programs in the country.
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Case study:Beacons of hope
From time to time Tirtha Maya and Gyani Maya Magar of Bhoji Bijukot from Ramechhap district in Nepal had wished they were never born but the two sisters now cherish their lives as they make an independent living as successful micro-entrepreneurs.
Orphaned at the early age of seven and raised by their maternal uncle and aunt the two sisters have been visually impaired since birth. However, as the sisters grew with time, their uncle also grew older and the sisters knew they needed find an alternative means to support themselves. Without eyesight, options for employment for both Tirtha Maya and Gyani were limited and they were often reliant on their neighbours for support.
Over a decade ago, their life seemed to take a more positive turn. An organization trained the sisters to make incense sticks. After engaging in the enterprise, Tirtha shared that they were able to make ends meet. However, the tedious process of mixing chemicals, colouring and making sticks was not efficient and the sisters were only able to generate about NRs 3,000 per month.
In order to help them increase their income by identifying a more appropriate enterprise, the Australian Government funded Micro Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP), trained the sisters to produce soap for consumption in the local market. Tirtha Maya and Gyani now earn a combined income of NRs. 16,000 to 24,000 per month. From seeking alms to being able to support themselves, they have been able to move out of poverty, secure a loan of NRs. 60,000 and build a house of their own.
“I don’t think we will ever return to our past life. We have built up a lot of confidence,” Tirtha said. “MEDEP has transformed our lives. We do not have to seek alms. Instead, we can go to a shop and buy groceries with the money we have earned.”
On 25 April and 12 May, 2015, Nepal was struck by earthquakes measuring 7.8 and 6.8 on the Richter scale respectively. The earthquake claimed over 9,000 lives and destroyed 500,000 homes, including Tirtha Maya’s along with the soap making business. As part of the Australian Government’s earthquake early recovery package, the Rapid Enterprise Livelihood Recovery Program (RELRP) has provided assistance to the sisters to revitalize their business through additional support and much needed psycho-social counselling to give them the confidence to begin their lives again.
Now, Tirtha wishes to live longer – and with pride.
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Case study:Strengthening networks and professional development for Australian alumni
The Australian High Commission hosted the Alumni Speaker Series of networking conversations, which featured prominent Australian speakers and successful Malaysian alumni of Australian universities sharing their knowledge with an alumni audience. They provided a new opportunity for the broad and diverse network of Malaysians who have studied in Australia to connect with each other, engage in policy discussions of relevance to the bilateral relationship, and celebrate the success of Malaysian alumni in a range of professional fields. Speakers included Dame Quentin Bryce on women in public life, CSIRO Chief Futurist Dr Stefan Hajkowicz on global megatrends, senior Malaysians in the professional services and tourism sectors, and acclaimed young Malaysian entrepreneurs. The series highlighted Australia’s strengths in the international education sector and promoted Australia’s strong economic engagement in the region through free trade agreements, regional architecture and innovation collaboration.
Case study:Deepening research and education collaboration with Malaysia
The Australian High Commission led a joint research seminar series that invited leading Australian researchers to engage with Malaysian counterparts. The series showcased Australia’s excellence in research and innovation, encouraged new higher education linkages, and highlighted the Australian Government’s science and innovation agenda. Researchers from the University of Queensland, Geoscience Australia, CRC for Bushfires and Natural Hazards, Monash University and Griffith University visited leading Malaysian universities in Kuala Lumpur and in key regional centres. The seminars focussed on policy issues of mutual interest, including biodiversity and conservation ecology, disaster management, and climate change. The visits engaged a broad range of Malaysian government, non-government, business and educational institutions and generated fresh perspectives on strengthening bilateral and regional cooperation in these areas, which can affect sustainable economic growth. The seminar series was an initiative of the Australian Department of Education and Training, in cooperation with the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education and the Australian Academy of Science.
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Case study:Taste of Australia-Australian food promotion
Post partnered with Kuwait’s largest high-end supermarket chain, The Sultan Center, to run a week-long Taste of Australia food campaign to promote Australian food products. The supermarket offered discounts on Australian products and entry into a competition to win flights to Australia. The promotion received significant media attention, through television, print media, and social media and increased sales of Australian products during the January promotion. The number of Australian products in Kuwait has grown steadily and now stands at over 1,000 products. Australia is now The Sultan Center’s third largest source of imported products after the USA and UK.
Case study:Dairy Australia
Dairy Australia visited Kuwait in March 2016. In addition to linking Dairy Australia with local importers and manufacturers, Post organised Dairy Australia’s participation in Taste of Q8, Kuwait’s premier open-air food festival. The event included cooking demonstrations by Dairy Australia’s accompanying chef, Tim Hollands, and Australian dairy tastings. The event received media coverage and exposed retail purchasers to Australian dairy products.
In the Middle East, Kuwait is the third largest export market for Australian dairy products. Imports are in excess of 14 thousand tonnes per year.
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Case study:Australia-Ukraine Nuclear Cooperation Agreement
On 31 March 2016, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Industry Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn. The agreement allows Australia to export uranium to Ukraine for peaceful purposes, helping Ukraine to diversify its energy secure an affordable and consistent energy supply. The agreement will also enhance bilateral cooperation between Australia and Ukraine on nuclear-related activities, including nuclear safeguards, security, safety and science.
The agreement, once operational, will allow for the commercial export of Australian uranium to Ukraine, who is the last of the world’s top ten generators of nuclear power to conclude a nuclear cooperation agreement with Australia. Ukraine has stated that it is looking to conclude commercial agreements for the supply of around 300 to 600 tonnes of uranium ore concentrate per annum (valued at around $23-46 million per annum at current rates). Thanks to the nuclear cooperation agreement, Australian suppliers can now engage in this new market, which will be a major boost for exports and to the bilateral trade relationship.
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Peru and country of accreditation – Bolivia
Case study:Australian entrepreneurship building the 'pillars of civilization'
Peru is a great example of how a country can transform itself thanks to open markets and engaging with the world economy. While mining and energy investment form the backbone of Australia’s economic relationship with Peru, our Embassy in Lima actively promotes Australia as a modern and dynamic partner across a range of services sectors including tourism and gastronomy. Young, innovative Australians are enjoying success in Peru. For example, Sydney-based Chimu Adventures has commissioned a new boutique hotel in Lima and Sydney restauranteur Luke Edwards has established one of Cusco’s finest contemporary restaurants. Canberra’s craft beer brewer Zac Lanham has made solid inroads into the expanding Peruvian artisanal beer market, while Coffs Harbour native Imogen Evans has quickly expanded her organic chocolate business in Arequipa. These are concrete examples of young Australians seeing an opportunity in Peru, taking a calculated risk and now enjoying success.
Case study:Persistence pays off for CSIRO in Peru
Australia’s science and industrial research organisation, CSIRO, will bring expertise in water resource management to Peru, a country that faces similar water challenges to Australia. The $500,000 contract signed in October 2016 by CSIRO with Southern Peru Copper will see the development of a drought management plan for the arid region of Tacna, where Southern Peru Copper has significant operations. The signing caps three years of work by Austrade Lima, which first identified the opportunity at Latin America Water Week in 2013 and brought it to CSIRO’s attention. The project will improve outcomes for business, communities and natural systems in the Tacna region and provide insights to improve practices in Australia. CSIRO sees potential to take its services to other regions of Peru and South America more broadly. CSIRO’s success has had significant ‘head-turning’ value, highlighting Australian capability in water and related sectors in Peru. A proposed bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on water will build on this success by increasing the visibility of Australian expertise among key Peruvian decision-makers.
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Portugal and countries of accreditation – Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, and Guinea-Bissau
Case study:Promoting Australian education abroad
Lisbon Post promoted Australia’s high quality tertiary education services at an International Fair held at the University of Lisbon in October 2016. The fair attracted around 1,000 Portuguese university and higher education students, and informed students about opportunities for studying overseas.
The high youth unemployment rate in Portugal has been driving students overseas to seek to increase their qualifications and experience in order to be more competitive in the world market. Subsequently, the Australian Embassy in Lisbon has been developing tertiary-level education links in order to attract students to Australia. While several other European countries currently send more students to Australian higher education institutions, the high level of interest displayed by students in Australia at the Fair augurs well for the future. The Embassy also welcomed participation by representatives of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, who previously had little contact with Portugal, but were very pleased with the interest shown by students and are keen to return to Lisbon to participate in the 2017 International Fair.
Embassy staff also used the fair to promote the Work and Holiday Visa scheme agreed between Portugal and Australia, to attract young Portuguese to Australia to work in those sectors in need of labour. Their experiences should help to develop a better understanding of modern Australia, which in time can provide a base for further expansion of Australia-Portugal commercial relations.
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Countries of accreditation – United Kingdom
Case study:London Tech Week 2016 – Focus on Australia
London Tech Week calls itself “Europe’s largest festival of technology” and in 2016 attracted more than 40,000 visitors from across the world.
Agencies from across Australia House in London delivered a half-day ‘Tech Australia’ event during London Tech Week in June 2016. Representatives from more than 200 businesses attended the two-panel discussion and a business networking reception with an address given by Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner, Andrew Todd, and a keynote speech from TransferWise, a UK company which invested into Australia this year.
The event showcased Australia’s sophisticated technology sector, focusing on cyber, fintech and big data. It also promoted the strengths of the Australian technology start-up ecosystem to UK investors and stakeholders, the technology market and skills base in Australia.
Panel session speakers were from UK and Australian technology companies and moderated by leading industry commentators. Panellists described how they established their business in Australia, including support and facilitation received from government agencies. They also talked about the opportunities for UK-Australia partnerships in the cyber security and fintech sectors.
Recent examples of Australia-UK technology partnerships that provide opportunities for both Australian and UK-based businesses include:
- A fintech partnership between the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC); and
- A cyber partnership between CSIRO’s Data61, Australia’s largest data innovation group, which is partnering with Cyber London (CyLon), Europe’s first cyber security accelerator and business incubator, to strengthen cyber collaboration with Australia.
Case study:Team Defence Australia (TDA) trade mission to Farnborough Airshow
In July 2016, Australian Defence Staff London supported a trade mission to the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA). FIA 2016 was the biggest aerospace and defence exhibition of the year with over 1,500 exhibitors and 100,000 trade visitors from across the globe. Eleven Australian companies participated in the Team Defence Australia trade mission. Defence staff at Post supported these companies by providing market advice, facilitating access to European defence companies and providing introductions to key European Defence organisations.
Additional activities also arranged included:
- a briefing by seven multinational Defence Original Equipment Manufacturers on how to engage their supply chain and what opportunities may exist for Australian industry
- a joint Australian Department of Defence/UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation SME engagement workshop with 40 representatives from UK SMEs
- nearly 60 meetings between TDA companies and UK aerospace and defence companies
- site visits to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre , Rolls Royce & QinetiQ manufacturing facilities.
Nearly 400 representatives from Government and Industry attended an Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Foundation of Australia (AMDA) Farnborough networking reception at Australia House. As a direct result of attending the FIA 2016 mission, participating Australian companies have reported sales and contracts in excess of $16 million, with the potential for more business leads and export opportunities.
Case study:Tourism Australia’s Waitrose Partnership
In a media first, Tourism Australia (TA) partnered with Waitrose Food magazine in a 37-page takeover of the magazine’s Escape travel section, which is circulated to 700,000 customers of Waitrose, a major UK supermarket chain. The content appeared in the October 2016 issue and included stories on Sydney, the wine regions of South Australia and Western Australia, Uluru, Tasmania, the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Ocean Road, supported by advertising from leading tour operators.
The partnership activity formed part of TA’s Restaurant Australia campaign, which shares stories of Australia’s food and wine experiences, to inspire affluent long haul travellers to holiday in Australia.
TA also ran content online, a holiday competition, and a reader event for 60 readers at Australia House. Over 35,000 readers entered the competition, exceeding the target of 25,000. Partners Etihad Airways and Trailfinders also received the data capture and we exceeded the opt-in target of 15 per cent. The magazine’s editor William Sitwell and wine expert Matthew Jukes hosted the reader event, which was supported by Wine Australia, the South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism WA and the Australian High Commission.
The campaign showcased the key economic diplomacy priority of building on Australia’s reputation as a forward-thinking innovative food and wine destination. It also formed part of TA’s wider work to increase visitor arrivals and leisure spend from UK visitors in 2016-17. For the 12-month period ending September 2016, a near-record 709,800 UK visitors arrived in Australia, representing a 5.1 per cent annual increase.
Case study:Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Visits London
Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo’s visit to London (5-7 September 2016) secured the UK’s agreement to prioritise an ambitious and comprehensive Australia-UK free trade agreement (FTA) and to establish a bilateral trade working group to undertake scoping work. Mr Ciobo’s meetings and media interactions received very high coverage in UK press, radio, television and online and lead BBC news bulletins on 7 September. The visit strongly reinforced British public, political and business perceptions of Australia as an open trade and investment destination and leading like-minded economic partner for post-Brexit Britain.
London Post facilitated several significant media events to leverage intense media interest around trade and Brexit issues: a background briefing with The Economist; interview with London’s Evening Standard newspaper; pic-fac opportunity for Australian correspondents on a bus owned and operated by the Australian company Tower Transit; doorstop for UK and Australian media following official meetings with UK ministerial counterparts; interview with Bloomberg TV; a public speech at Asia House and interviews with the BBC’s flagship Radio 4 Today news programme, ABC AM, ABC TV and Sky News Australia.
In addition to ministerial meetings, DFAT, Austrade and Tourism Australia collaborated to set up a program of business-focused events for Mr Ciobo to reinforce Australia’s credentials as an attractive foreign investment destination.
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Case study:Spanish engineering company Typsa sets up in Australia, attracted by the business opportunities in the transport infrastructure sector
Following two years of support by Post, In 2106, Spanish Engineering company Typsa established a project office in Australia, following the path of the main Spanish construction companies already present in Australia, such as Ferrovial, Acciona and ACS. This is the first Spanish Tier 2 company to have a permanent presence in Australia, its expansion strategy being to partner with other Australian engineering companies in areas where it can add value, such as transport infrastructure and tunnelling, water management and renewable energy as well as urban planning, all related to cities growth. In addition to infrastructure, Typsa also specialises in other areas such as architecture and renewable energy. Typsa is committed to long-term expansion of its construction and engineering capabilities in Australia.
The company is already part of the consortia, also composed of Spanish contractors Ferrovial Agroman and Acciona Infrastructures, for the CBD and South West Sydney Metro, a new 30 km metro line that will have a double tunnel underneath Sydney Harbour. Further, Typsa is involved in the design and planning of the Barcaldine Solar Farm Project, a 25 MW solar photovoltaic plant in Queensland which has been awarded to the Spanish company, Elecnor.
The presence of Typsa in the infrastructure market in Australia has brought additional innovation to in Australia’s engineering sector. Now, other Spanish Tier 2 companies are also looking into the Australian infrastructure market that offers solid opportunities in the sector.
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Case study:Exploring Business Opportunities in Makassar
Since opening in March 2016, the Australian Consulate-General in Makassar has championed second tier cities in Indonesia, such as Makassar, that hold real business opportunities for Australian firms. In October 2016 the Consulate-General had its first official trade mission, a maritime services delegation from Perth, organised by the West Australian Government, assisted by Austrade. The delegation included companies Worley Parsons, Oropesa and South Metropolitan TAFE. Consul-General Richard Mathews accompanied the delegation to the head office of the Indonesian Port Authority for briefings, which included plans to build the Makassar New Port on reclaimed land north of the current port, increasing container capacity fivefold. The delegation also met with other government agencies and a range of local business leaders from the Kalla Group, local shipbuilder PT. IKI and logistics management companies. The delegation reported Makassar as a good fit for their companies’ capabilities and interests, with some promising leads in Makassar’s maritime services sector.
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Case study:Supporting Networks for Australia Businesses
In September 2016, the Ambassador hosted her annual dinner for members of the Australian business community. This is one of many regular Embassy initiatives that provides Australian business with important networking opportunities. Others initiatives include annual events, such as Australia Day and Anzac Day, as well as events throughout the year, such as a Musical Soiree in November. In addition to local business leaders, the Governor of the Central Bank Dr Mario Vella, along with Mr William Wait, the newly appointed Executive Chairman of Malta Enterprise (Malta’s Austrade-equivalent), also attended.
Members of the Australian business community in attendance included the Executive Director of CommBank Europe, and Mr Robert Ward, operator of Manufacturing Management Malta, a company specialising in the disposal of radioactive waste. Following the dinner, the Ambassador was able to arrange a meeting between Mr Ward and the Maltese Minister for the Environment; the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Business; and the University of Malta to present Manufacturing Management Malta’s proposal to meet Malta’s needs to securely store the radioactive waste generated from its medical testing.
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Case study:The Philippine Competition Commission
The lack of competition in the Philippine economy has long been regarded a constraint to the country’s productivity and economic growth. Then-President Aquino signed the Philippine Competition Act in mid- 2015 and in January 2016, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) was created with the appointment of a Chairman and four Commissioners.
The Chairman and Commissioners faced the immediate challenge of bringing themselves up to speed on how to operate a competition agency. Through the development program, Post funded their travel to Australia to meet representatives of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and competition regulators, academics and industry representatives.
Their challenges in the Philippines included developing implementing rules and regulations for the PCC, recruitment and communication. Post’s Philippines/Australia Human Resource and Organisational Development Facility (HRODF) provided the perfect vehicle to tackle these issues. HRODF identified and funded experts to support the PCC as it carried out these important tasks, culminating in a development partner conference.
As a result of Australia’s early and continued support, the PCC has reviewed more than 100 mergers, acquisitions and commenced studies in a range of industry sectors. Building a competition mindset will take time. The PCC’s rapid development and early work program have significantly boosted its profile and objectives.
Australia’s support for the PCC will continue into 2017 and beyond, through Post’s direct efforts, via the ACCC’s Competition Law Implementation Program and through direct contact with Treasury’s competition policy team.
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Mexico and countries of accreditation – Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama
Case study:Australia Mexico Infrastructure Finance Forum a success
In April 2016, Austrade partnered with the Australia-New Zealand-Mexico Business Council to host the inaugural Australia Mexico Infrastructure Finance Forum in Mexico City. Some 65 representatives from the energy, transport, financial services, communications and construction sections attended. Mexico is a highly prospective market offering both growth and yield opportunities for Australian investment funds.
Alongside Australia’s Ambassador and Trade Commissioner, speakers at the forum included the head of Mexico’s pension fund industry body, the head of the national development bank and the Vice-President of Infrastructure at IFM Investors.
The Australia Mexico Infrastructure Finance Forum is part of the Embassy’s broader strategy of engagement on key strategic infrastructure issues. Opportunities in Mexico exist across all major asset classes, including rapid bus transit, energy generation, oil and gas, port development, high frequency rail, freight rail and roads.
Australian companies Macquarie Group and IFM Investors have built sizeable portfolios in the Mexican market since the turn of the decade. The Australian Embassy and Austrade have worked closely with both companies and the broader infrastructure community to foster ties. Other Australian companies succeeding in Mexican infrastructure and infrastructure finance include Lend Lease and WorleyParsons.
Case study:Special Envoy visit to Cuba
In February 2016, Special Envoy for Trade, Andrew Robb, led the first Australian business mission to Havana, Cuba which was organised by the Australian Embassy in Mexico City. A dozen Australian companies from the energy, mining, agriculture, education and tourism sectors participated.
The visit was timed to coincide with the opening up of the Cuban market for the first time since the Revolution in 1959. Cuba’s opening of economic relations with the US is occurring alongside economic reforms to ‘update’ Cuba’s socialist economic model with free market elements.
The Special Trade Envoy’s meetings with the Cuban Ministers for trade, energy, mining and agriculture resulted in the development of an Australian tender for an LNG project and opportunities for co-generation attached to substantial sugar milling operations in Cuba. Australian investment in genetics and other technologies to bolster cattle and dairy production (especially as they relate to sub-tropical and tropical environments) were also a good fit for Cuban needs and have led to a planned visit by key representatives of Cuba’s agriculture sector to Australia. The Special Envoy and Australian business representatives also visited the Port Mariel Special Economic Zone near Havana, which offers foreign investors and commercial entities a gateway into the Cuban market.
Underpinning Cuba’s small economy is a booming tourism sector that saw economic growth of over 4 per cent in 2015. This spurred the creation of the Australia-Cuba Business Council to support Australian companies seeking to take advantage of early opportunities in Cuba.
Case study:Australian METS presence in Sonora mining state, Mexico
Austrade and DFAT have worked closely with Australian mining equipment, technology and services (METS) company Groundprobe to help bring its cutting edge mine safety technology to the Mexican mining sector. In 2016, representatives from Austrade and DFAT visited Sonora and Zacatecas states’ mining clusters, meeting with local officials and inspecting mine sites to help facilitate the technology’s entry into the market.
Australia’s Ambassador to Mexico and Trade Commissioner attended the 2016 Sonoran Mining Convention in the north of Mexico, home to some of the world’s biggest open cut mines, to highlight Australia’s METS credentials.
This included showcasing the University of Queensland’s development of its world class Slope Stability Radar (SSR) technology. The SSR enhances safety in Mexican open-cut mines by continuously scanning and identifying weaknesses in open-cut mine slopes in real time. This allows mining companies to lower fatalities by predicting rock falls. Mines also become more efficient by being able to dig deeper and steeper, whilst increasing output in high-risk areas of open-cut mines.
Thanks in a large part to the Australian Government’s work, the technology is currently being used in Sonora’s Buena Vista del Cobre Mine in the north of Mexico – the largest copper mine in the world.
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Case study:Australian universities capitalise on Russian scholarship opportunities
With support from DFAT’s South East Asian Discretionary Aid program and Dairy Australia, an independent tropical dairy expert Dr Brad Granzin delivered a project entitled Increasing Productivity in Thailand’s Dairy Cooperatives. Dr Granzin visited Thailand from 20-27 June 2016 to take stock of the operations, strengths and weaknesses of three Thai dairy cooperatives. He then made recommendations to assist Thai industry to adapt to increased competition.
The project positioned Australia as a preferred partner to develop Thailand’s dairy industry and meet growing demand in the region.
In addition, the activity was a practical contribution building on the Australian Government’s efforts in trade negotiations to address barriers to Thai imports of Australian dairy products. Under the Thailand Australia Free Trade Agreement, Thailand applies special agricultural safeguard (SSG) provisions for dairy (and beef products). Australia’s position is that the SSGs should be lifted. Many Australian dairy products can complement, rather than compete with Thailand’s local product. With our industries working together, both Australia and Thailand can create new demand and increase exports of value-added dairy products.
Case study:Australian mining opportunities in Russia
Notwithstanding the imposition of sanctions in certain economic fields, interest remains strong in mining opportunities for Australian and Russian companies. Russian companies prize Australian experience in mining services and technology. Australian companies see real opportunities in resource-rich Russia. In 2016, the Australian Government helped unlock immediate commercial opportunities and created durable links between Australian and Russian businesses. Austrade facilitated delegations of Australian executives to visit major mining areas and share expertise. The Australian Ambassador in Moscow hosted a reception and roundtable discussion on Russia-Australia cooperation on mining excellence for 15 Australian and 10 Russian companies. These efforts have facilitated a number of commercial outcomes that are close to realisation.
The Australian Government continues to work to ensure that Australian businesses are able to seize opportunities in what remains a difficult market.
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Kenya and countries of accreditation – Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda
Case study:Pioneer Water Tanks supplying new Two Rivers development
Australia’s Pioneer Water Tanks in partnership with their distributor, Collaboration Engineering Solutions and Products Kenya Limited (CESP), have completed a major project to design and provide a storage facility for water treatment at Nairobi’s new Two Rivers Development Project. The tanks, which have a capacity of
4.2 million litres, will be used to supply one million litres of potable water and store up to one million litres of treated wastewater used for firefighting and irrigation purposes.
Two Rivers, which is due to open early 2017, will be the largest shopping complex in East and Central Africa. The entire development covers one hundred acres of land. The tank project was formally commissioned in June 2016 with Australia’s High Commissioner to Kenya, John Feakes, officiating and local dignitaries attending. Pioneer has since won contracts in the neighbouring county of Kiambu.
As well as market introductions, Austrade in Nairobi organised site visits to Two Rivers in order to showcase Pioneer’s technical capacity in water management. Attending these visits were senior government officials from Kenya’s Ministry of Water and Irrigation as well as private sector investors. Together with the Australian Water Partnership, Post also arranged a visit to Australia by the Nairobi County Government to review water management practices. These programs continue to stimulate interest in Australian water management technology and expertise, creating further opportunities for potential investment and Australian exports to Kenya.
Case study: Reforming Uganda’s artisanal and small-scale mining sector
Australian Awards alumnus Don Binyina Bwesigye is the Executive Director of Africa Centre for Energy and Mineral Policy (ACEMP), which promotes sustainable development of mineral resources in Uganda and the East African Community. Bwesigye, who completed a Masters degree in Mineral and Energy Economics in Australia in 2013, has focused attention on the situation of people working in artisanal and small-scale mining.
ACEMP is establishing a National Artisanal and Small-scale Mining Association (ASM) in Uganda. This will provide a forum for ongoing consultation with government and the private sector on regulatory and policy reform, as well as creating opportunities for training and exchange of information and views on workplace safety and labour law.
By raising awareness of ASM, and clarifying its legal status, ACEMP hopes to reduce the high number of fatalities in the sector, and bring its practitioners into the formal economy. Recognising this unregulated industry will allow access to credit, improve workplace standards and, in time, allow many to lift themselves out of what is now at best a subsistence livelihood. This will have significant implications for employment and financial security. With much of Uganda’s population effectively excluded from the formal economy, such reforms have the potential to lift national growth overall.
Bwesigye credits his experience in Australia with providing not only professional skills, but also a vital network to develop Uganda’s artisanal and small-scale mining sector. He continues to exchange ideas and research with other alumni working in the mining sector in South Africa. He also claims ACEMP’s successful partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development was possible because of good relationships with the many officials trained in Australia.
Case study:Partnering for aflatoxin management in East Africa
The flagship Australian-funded project Capacity and Action for Aflatoxin Reduction in East Africa (CAAREA) is improving food safety for an estimated 16 million Kenyans. The partnership is reducing the risk of aflatoxin contamination in maize, a staple food across Kenya and for more than 300 million people of sub-Saharan Africa.
Highly carcinogenic, aflatoxins are lethal in high doses, with chronic exposure potentially stunting infant development, blocking nutrient absorption and suppressing the immune system.
CAAREA has set up the region’s first regional mycotoxin and nutritional analysis platform in Nairobi, with almost a hundred professional and academic contributors, including scientists from seven African countries. CAAREA has formed a partnership with Kenya’s Cereal Millers Association, to improve aflatoxin analysis and detection for the Association’s ten million customers, including many of the urban poor.
The program is now being extended to include government agencies from five countries in eastern and southern Africa. By creating safer and more marketable crops, the project helps to build a more resilient local economy, and to lift growth and incomes across the region through a revitalised agriculture sector.
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Case study:Indian School of Mines-an Australia-India partnership in the coal capital of India
In 2014, the Prime Ministers of Australia and India agreed to intensify bilateral collaboration on resources in recognition of a shared interest in the development of India’s mining and energy capabilities, and the opportunity to draw on Australia’s mining expertise.
The partnership has now taken shape at the Indian School of Mines (ISM) in Dhanbad – a town known as the coal capital of India. This result is due to the ongoing collaboration between DFAT, Austrade and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi, along with consultations with the Indian Government and industry stakeholders from Australia and India.
Partnership activities to date include MOUs for R&D collaboration between ISM and seven Australian institutions and a scoping study to identify commercial opportunities for Australian providers to deliver executive training at ISM on areas such as mine safety. The ISM is in the process of purchasing a Virtual Mine Safety Training System from SIMTARS Australia, as a centrepiece technology at ISM’s new Centre of Excellence in Mining Technology.
The Australian Government has committed $400,000 over three years to establish a coordinator position at ISM to implement partnership activities and identify new areas of cooperation in this cross-cutting area of economic diplomacy.
Case study:Sydney TAFE training trainers in India
Education is one of the most successful aspects of the India- Australia relationship. In 2015-16, twenty-six per cent of international enrolments were in vocational education and training, generating $3.3 billion in export earnings.
In March 2016, Sydney TAFE delivered a pilot of the International Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Trainer and Assessor courses to 19 senior professors from the Maharashtra State Board of Technical Education (MSBTE) in Mumbai. The International Trainer and Assessor courses (ITAC) are international standard level courses developed by the Australian Government, in consultation with the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) in India, to help meet the global demand for skilled trainers and assessors.
Sydney TAFE is now looking to expand the project across India. Negotiations are continuing for further courses to be delivered in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and New Delhi.
These courses are a good and tangible manifestation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the states of NSW and Maharashtra in 2012 to strengthen their bilateral relations, including in education and training. They demonstrate a joint collaboration between NSW departments and TAFE NSW, working closely with the Australian Consulate-General in Mumbai.
Case study:Making Olympians in India
Prime Minister Modi is keen to boost India’s sporting success, both in the elite arena and at a grass roots level. New Delhi post is working with the Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Sports Commission and Australian universities to pursue opportunities for collaboration.
Through the assistance of Austrade and the New Delhi High Commission, Victoria University has signed a multi-year contract with the State Government of Punjab, India, to redesign the state’s sports policies.
The collaboration, the first of its kind in India, boosts Australia’s visibility as a leading provider of the services surrounding sport. With the business of sport in India valued at a billion dollars and growing, there is considerable untapped potential for Australian business.
Through the program, Victoria University also hopes to boost enrolment numbers in sports related courses. Following a targeted marketing campaign, Deakin University increased its Indian student enrolments in sport from just five to over fifty.
Case study:Alumni helping Indian students with Australian education choices
Education is a bright star in the Australia-India relationship, as more and more Indian students are choosing Australia for their studies. Education-related services are Australia’s largest services export to India and our second largest export by value. They generated $2.15 billion in export earnings in 2015, 25 per cent more than the previous year. In 2015, there were over 53,000 Indian students in Australia, an increase of more than 15 per cent on 2014.
Efforts in India to promote Australia as an education destination have been supported by the creation of a pan-India Australian Alumni Association (AAA), initially in south India and now broadening to other parts of the country. The AAA is helping to implement the Australian Government’s Global Alumni Strategy, by connecting alumni with Australia and with each other, by mobilising alumni to support our bilateral objectives in India, and by celebrating the achievements of high profile alumni.
The Australian Consulate-General in Chennai is working with IDP Education and the AAA throughout South India to engage directly with prospective students at Study in Australia road shows. Our alumni help us by sharing their authentic experiences of studying in Australia and answering questions from students about studying, working, living in Australia and about student safety.
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New York UN
Case study:HIV/AIDS and the Financing Gap
Australia was instrumental in supporting the achievement of an ambitious commitment to ending HIV and AIDS in the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. Closing the financing gap is key to delivering on these commitments, but development assistance will not be able to achieve these commitments alone. Drawing on Australia’s strong reputation for leading on innovative approaches to international development financing, we worked hard to ensure the declaration reflected the range of financing opportunities beyond aid. The Declaration commits to diversify financing by focusing on domestic public resources, domestic and international private business, investment and finance, and international trade. The Declaration also recognises the impact of illicit financial flows in redirecting much needed resources, and commits to working together to stem corruption. With Australia’s support, the Declaration provides a practical roadmap for delivering on our commitments for an AIDS free world, grounded in modern, innovative and flexible approaches to financing and resource mobilisation.
Case study:EnGendering National Economic Growth
The Australian Mission hosted a side event, ‘EnGendering National Economic Growth’, during the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. Held in collaboration with the Office for Women and the Ambassador for Women and Girls, the event focused on the vital contribution of women to economic growth and security. The event examined women’s workforce participation through the lens of the G20 commitment to reduce the gap in women’s workforce participation by 25 per cent by the year 2025, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Discussions canvassed opportunities to bring women into the labour force and the benefits this presents, including significantly increasing global growth and reducing poverty and inequality. The panel focused on the Asia-Pacific region and featured panellists from the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance, the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology, JERA International and Economic Security4Women, and was attended by delegates from around the world. The event demonstrated Australia’s ongoing leadership on women’s economic empowerment and our willingness to share our experiences with others, and to learn from our partners.
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Case study:Water and Energy Research and Management and Infrastructure Projects
The University of South Australia in collaboration with Nireas- International Water Research Center of the University of Cyprus are working with the South Australian Government through the Australian Research Council on a project entitled “Transfer and control of antibiotic resistant bacteria and their genes during wastewater treatment and reuse”. We have been working with Nireas/University of Cyprus and Australian partners to expand this relationship into longer-term research projects and innovative product-creation specific to the field.
We are also working with Australian water and desalination interests, with new Cyprus projects in train, to better link them with the Cypriot Water management authorities and private enterprises, expand their access to tenders and increase awareness of Australian expertise at ministerial level. We are also working to improve cross-industry links with Australian companies and Australian State Government water agencies to make Australian water technology capabilities better understood in advance of an expected surge in Cyprus’ water demands. These continue to outgrow natural collection capacities, and water management, recycling and desalination is becoming an increasingly major part of the water mix.
Additionally, our aim is to ensure that Australian companies are well-positioned to respond to expected major urban re- development projects in north Cyprus should there be a settlement and reunification of Cyprus in 2017.
Case study:CSIRO - Cyprus Institute: Partnership in Heliostat Field Installation and Research
Post continues to enhance collaboration in the field of energy science with the Cyprus Institute. In 2016 Post supported CSIROs research at the Heliostat Field Installation, as well as assist inter-institutional link development. The Cyprus Institute continues its collaboration with CSIRO at the PROTEAS Solar Thermal Energy (STE) Research Facility near Limassol, commissioned in 2015. This innovative and key research project continues to gain attention in the region as part of a solution to the growing need for renewable sources and non-CO2 emitting energy, which will become an increasing part of Cyprus EU-mandated energy mix (25 per cent renewable energy target by 2020 - currently 7 per cent). Additional energy will also be required to drive desalination processes.
In 2016, also as part of improving linkages, we organised for world-famous Solar PV expert, Professor Martin Green, of the University of Sydney, to deliver a presentation on solar energy developments in Australia to a packed house of key Cyprus stakeholders, including researchers, scientists and energy experts at the Cyprus Institute. Cyprus and Australia’s collaboration in the field of energy science, research and innovation will become an increasing pillar of the relationship between the two countries.
Case study:Support for AIPFE Cyprus – Women of Europe, Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies and Business Professional Women – Cyprus
We continue to support various women’s led organisations and gender equality NGOs – including women’s business associations, in particular travel industry activities which look to make linkages in Australian travel businesses. Enhancing the role, and success, of women in various traditionally male-led industries helps economies to grow, develops integrated and inclusive societies and benefits the entire population. Using Australian best practice and encouraging links between Cyprus-based and Australian groups, we hope to forge greater cooperation and best practice sharing between the two countries.
Case study:Monash University Accident Research Centre partnership with REACTION youth NGO
A world leader in its field, Monash University’s Accident Research Centre (MUARC) who run a facility in Italy, hosted Australian-sponsored youth non-government organisation (NGO) ‘REACTION’ in Melbourne as part of their intensive road safety management course. The linkage of Australian road safety experts and the Cypriot NGO has helped to showcase Australian education, innovation and professionalism. Assistant Professor Judith Charlton led REACTION through the course along with other key professionals in the field of road safety. The international cooperation of MUARC and REACTION has helped to share best practice, as well as indirectly (and directly) advertise Australian tertiary institutions. The partnership between MUARC and REACTION has resulted in expanded interest from other Cypriot institutions (including Police/Justice agencies) who have sought Australian excellence in traffic management systems and technologies. This has included a visit to Victoria by a senior Cyprus police officer to look at these elements in Melbourne.
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Case study:Trade workshop-How to do business with Australia
In February 2016, the Australian Consulate-General in Noumea, in partnership with the Government of New Caledonia, Austrade and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, hosted a trade workshop focused on how to do business with Australia. More than 145 participants attended the workshop, which facilitated discussion on exporting and bridging the differences in business culture between the two markets. It also aimed to improve understanding and acceptance of Australia’s biosecurity requirements and associated administrative procedures. Feedback from participants was positive, noting that the workshop met their expectations, and increased their understanding of exporting and trade issues between New Caledonia and Australia.
Case study:Trade workshop on standards in the Pacific
In November 2016, the Australian Consulate-General in Noumea facilitated the attendance of Damian Fisher, Senior International Development Manager at Standards Australia, at a workshop on standards in the Pacific as part of the Pacific Business Forum. Mr Fisher helped to facilitate and lead discussion on standards in the region, bringing his expert knowledge and experience.
As a result of Post and Standards Australia’s engagement with New Caledonia on standards harmonisation, several New Caledonian officials participated in a study visit to Standards Australia in December 2016, which provided insight into Australia’s standards and conformance system.
Updated and harmonised standards across the region could promote greater regional trade, especially in the building and construction industry, and would protect consumers in the Pacific from sub-standard and non-conforming goods and services.
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Case study:Tonga’s National Non Communicable Disease (NCD) Strategy
World Bank modelling shows that economic losses due to NCD mortality in the Pacific will reach between 8.5 and 14.3 per cent of gross domestic product by 2040. In Tonga, the entire adult population (97.6 per cent) is at moderate risk of developing an NCD and the economic losses are projected to reach 12.3 per cent of GDP by 2040. It is clear that, if unaddressed, the NCD crisis will have devastating impacts on growth and prosperity in the Pacific region.
To support Tonga in halting this growing epidemic, the Australian aid program provided financial and technical expertise for the design and implementation of the five year Tongan National NCD Strategy 2015 – 2020. In an innovative first for the Pacific, the Strategy to prevent and control NCDs will be coordinated by a national body and secretariat, The Tonga Health Promotion Foundation.
The first activity launched under the strategy was a targeted anti-smoking public awareness campaign, utilising a holistic range of traditional and new media including TV, radio, newspapers, Facebook and billboards to encourage Tongans to reduce tobacco use. Tobacco consumption among males in Tonga is high at 43 per cent and is the leading behavioural risk factor causing one potentially preventable death worldwide every six seconds. Two Tongan health workers were also trained under a partnership with Quit Victoria to operate Tonga’s first anti-smoking hotline. Many NCDs are avoidable or at the very least, the health and financial costs can be postponed, through good primary and secondary prevention. Australia is proud to support Tonga, as a valued partner, to achieve a healthy and prosperous future.
Case study:Promoting female Tongan farmers
The Australian Government is supporting economic development and rural livelihoods in Tonga through the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) program. Agriculture remains a mainstay of the Tongan economy and support to the sector is critical to create jobs, promote economic prosperity and support regional economic integration.
PHAMA supports government and industry to utilise and improve existing horticultural export opportunities, address infrastructure needs to meet market requirements for compliance and improve export efficiency.
PHAMA also partners with the private sector and community groups to identify and progress viable new market access opportunities.
In Tonga PHAMA is supporting women farmers to grow and supply fruit to meet export opportunities. Utilising a $14,000 Export Development Grant, the women farmers have established a nursery for the raising of Waimanalo papaya (orange flesh) to export to local markets in Australia and New Zealand.
The opening and improvement of export pathways from Tonga will provide opportunities for commercial farmers to increase their export earnings while meeting market demand in the region. The support will also assist subsistence farmers and aspiring commercial farmers to enter the market and generate an income for their families.
Supporting agriculture in Tonga is a valuable way of creating a stable and prosperous future for a valuable partner in the Pacific while also meeting the demand for high quality products in Australian markets.
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Case study:Savour Australia
Wine has long been an important component of Australia’s trade relationship with Canada. Despite its relatively small population, Canada is one of the largest global markets for wine. It is one of the five largest importers of wine in world (valued at C2.3 billion in 2015), and the provincially controlled liquor boards are among the world’s largest purchasers of alcoholic beverages. Canada is Australia’s fourth largest market, with wine exports valued at $190 million for the twelve-month period ending in September 2016. Over that period, the value of exports has grown across most price segments, with some premier wine groupings seeing double-digit growth. Increased global competition and domestic measures favouring local producers, however, creates challenges for Australian wineries seeking entry into the Canadian market. Advocating for non-discriminatory access for Australian wine producers is a key element of the High Commission’s economic outreach. The High Commission in partnership with Wine Australia promotes the Australian wine industry and its products at various public diplomacy events through the country. This year’s signature event was the Savour Australia wine show in May. The High Commission worked with Wine Australia to add Ottawa events to an existing North American roadshow calendar. At these events, seven wine makers from across Australia were able to showcase the quality of their products to about 100 guests representing local buyers, sommeliers, wine critics, as well as senior government officials and business leaders. Several wine reviewers in attendance live tweeted their positive impressions of both the event and the Australian wines on offer. Combined, these reviewers have over 12,000 Twitter followers, greatly expanding the reach for the winemakers within Canada. Reviews also appeared on Canada’s largest wine review website, which has close to 200,000 members, as direct result of the Ottawa events.
Case study:Meet the Australians reception at TIFF 2016
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) ranks among North America’s premier screen industry events. The participation of the Australian screen industry provides an opportunity to showcase Australian creative content, network and serves as a launchpad for theatrical releases and critical recognition. It is a vital platform for an industry, which, as Screen Australia’s Screen Currency report recently found, contributes $3 billion annually and 25,000 jobs to the Australian economy.
The High Commission partnered with Screen Australia to host a function promoting the Australian presence at TIFF, providing a valuable opportunity for Australians to engage with international industry members.
Around 300 guests attended, including LION stars David Wenham and Pallavi Shadra.
Building on strong Australian performances at past festivals, TIFF 2016 featured the world premiere of LION, the international premiere of Joe Cinque’s Consolation and Goldstone, and the North American premiere of Boys in the Trees. These Australian entries received critical and popular acclaim.
LION was runner up in the people’s choice award. For first time feature directors Nicolas Verso (Boys in the Trees) and Sotiris Dounoukos (Joe Cinque’s Consolation), screening their films at Toronto, along with the critical response, attention and relationships they forged, helped to escalate their career trajectory and set them up for their next features. For Sotiris Dounoukos’ it was a very fitting place for his feature to premiere as his short film – A Single Body – won the Short Film award at Toronto in 2014.
Similarly, for Ivan Sen’s latest feature Goldstone and Mirrah Foulke’s short film Trespass with the support of Screen Australia their selection to present their work at TIFF has garnered attention and provided opportunity to further the success of their films and build the support and appetite for their next piece of work.
In addition to these, Australian talent including Joel Edgerton, Naomi Watts, Guy Pearce, Isla Fisher, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett, Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Reid, and Jai Courtney, all headlined international films screening in the Gala and Special Presentations. Australian directors Benedict Andrews and Greg McLean also presented their latest features Una and The Belko Experiment respectively.
Case study:Investors roundtable
Austrade Toronto and the Australian High Commission hosted an infrastructure, resources, and energy roundtable in Montreal in September 2016. The Australian High Commissioner H.E. Tony Negus, Consul- General Portia Maier and Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, briefed Montreal-based companies on developments in Australia, specifically in the infrastructure, resources and energy sectors, project pipelines and opportunities for investment.
The roundtable highlighted Australia’s intellectual capital, commercial focus and collaborative approach, which makes it an ideal partner for business and investment activities. Participants heard about the strong support for research and development (R&D) in Australia, and the numerous opportunities to collaborate with Australian research institutions, invest in or incorporate Australian solutions into existing products, or enter into joint ventures to take them to the global market.
Energy efficiency and renewables are emerging industries with enormous growth potential in Australia. As the country moves to a less carbon–intensive economy, its diverse renewable energy sources and access to innovative R&D provide significant opportunities for international investors. There are also opportunities to invest in providing off-grid solutions, including for Canadian companies operating in energy-intensive industries such as mining and manufacturing.
The investment briefing was highly regarded as informative, useful and insightful. Canadian investors attending the roundtable from energy, finance and technology firms were looking to expand internationally and are now considering Australia as a prospective jurisdiction.
The investment roundtable provided a solid project pipeline to investors and generated quality prospective leads for Austrade Toronto business development managers.
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France and countries of accreditation - Algeria, Chad, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco
Case study: Team Defence attracting interest in Australia's advanced manufacturing
Over 50 Australian maritime industry companies attended one of the world's largest naval trade shows Euronaval in Paris, 17-21 October 2016. Team Defence Australia organised this whole of government engagement in cooperation with the Capability, Acquisition and Sustainment Group (CASG), and the support of Australian Embassy Paris' Defence and Austrade offices. Australia's maritime industry, innovations and advanced manufacturing were showcased to the world. During the week-long trade show, Austrade organised around 100 meetings to discuss Australia's participation in the global value chain. Euronaval was also an occasion to discuss foreign direct investment in Australia with more than 10 exhibitor companies.
Buoyed by the April 2016 announcement of DCNS France as the preferred partner for Australia's future submarine, all companies reported a high level of enquiries and potential business opportunities. Many contacts made are continuing to evolve, with flow-on benefits expected in coming years for Australian business.
Case study: Promoting women in business
Working with the French chapter of Australian Business in Europe (ABIE) and with sponsorship from Servcorp, the embassy hosted a roundtable discussion on women leaders in business in mid- November 2016. Moderated by Paris-based Australian journalist Annette Young, the panel included three prominent women business leaders and a male champion for change. The audience of 80 people, including young professionals and small business owners, listened to an engaging discussion on effective women business leaders, cultural differences at the office between France and Australia, and managing work-life demands.
The Australian Government's commitment to gender equality and the benefits of this to the business community were strongly emphasised.
Case study: Launch of 3D printed jet engine partnership
On 8 November 2016, the Australian Embassy Paris hosted the launch of an innovative partnership between Monash University, its spin-off company Amaero and French company Safran Power Units. The partnership resolves around Monash's world leading technology in 3D printing jet engines. With participation of 50 high level representatives from the French aeronautical, space and defence industries, the embassy displayed Monash's leading edge in this advanced manufacturing area. The CEO of Safran Power Units highlighted the unique technology produced by Amaero and the already productive Franco-Australian collaboration.
Case study: New Australian Embassy to increase bilateral trade
The announcement of a new Australian Embassy in Rabat in 2017-2018 will help to increase bilateral trade between Australia and Morocco. With a population of 33.5 million, Morocco's geographic location is both close to Europe and a business hub for North Africa. Furthermore, with existing exports to Morocco valued at $18 million, the new presence of the Australian Government will grow further trade linkages across our agricultural sector and into new business areas including infrastructure planning, sustainable development, mining and health.
Case study: High quality Australian beef hits Moroccan market
Australian beef exports to Morocco increased considerably in 2016 following a second event introducing the high quality product from Victorian exporting company Meat Tender. Austrade's office in Rabat, organised for chefs from key luxury hotels as well as importers to showcase Australia's best high quality Black Angus and wagyu beef. As a result, Meat Tender was able to increase exports to Morocco to container volumes, with its most recent shipment valued at over $1.5 million. This expansion has also been geographic, with Australian beef now available in six Moroccan cities, an increase from three cities earlier in the year.
Case study: Senior officials talks kick start economic opportunities
The first Australia-Algeria senior officials' talks took place in Algiers on 2 November 2016. On the agenda was expanding our economic relationship, including in relation to trade in goods and services. Of particular interest was Australian expertise in milk production, Australia's exports in cattle and sheep, and our expertise in dry-zone agriculture. The Australian delegation also highlighted the strong potential for collaboration on mining and resources. In 2015-2016, two- way trade between Australia and Algeria was valued at $19 million.
Case study: Showcasing Indigenous art sector to Europe
The largest exhibition of contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art ever shown in continental Europe was held at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco (March-September 2016) under the title 'Taba Naba - Australia, Oceania, Art of the Sea People'. The exhibition received 410,000 visitors from over 78 countries. Carried out under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, it received wide media coverage in Europe and Australia. It explored the unique relationship between Australia's Indigenous peoples and their environment through six monumental site-specific installations. These were commissioned for the exhibition and several will now tour Europe (Paris, Geneva, Greenwich). The exhibition generated â‚¬100,000 of art sales and several subsequent commissions in the pipeline, while the Europe tour will lead to additional commissions with an estimated value of several hundred thousand dollars. The Monaco exhibition provided unprecedented exposure of contemporary Australian Indigenous art to European audiences, having a positive impact on the market for Indigenous art exports in the involved, the exhibition raised Australia's profile in Monaco and reinforced Australia and Monaco's shared interests in the marine environment.
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Case study: Global Response to leak of Panama Papers
Australia's delegation to the OECD has taken the lead in responding to the release by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) of leaked information from tax advisers Mossack Fonseca - the Panama Papers. Under Australia's leadership, 33 countries have worked together to share knowledge, technical capacity and intelligence arising from domestic investigations with the purpose of initiating multilateral action, including possible prosecution of tax advisers and intermediaries who facilitate and enable tax evasion. In addition, members are pooling information on compliance outcomes and undertaking data analysis on tax avoidance.
Australia's Tax Commissioner chairs the Joint International Taskforce on Shared Intelligence and Collaboration - a 37-member group under the OECD's Forum of Tax Administrators, which has taken the lead in developing bilateral and multilateral approaches to dealing with global tax risks. In April 2016, on the back of the release of the Panama Papers, the Commissioner and Post initiated a multilateral response, which included a meeting with stakeholders to establish a project plan and the development of an action plan to respond to the papers. Within 10 days of the release of the papers, the response was completed.
Over the last few years, the OECD and its member countries have worked to develop a new international framework for sharing information and collaborating multilaterally. This work has been central to engagement with the OECD Council and the Committee for Fiscal Affairs on G20 tax matters. The OECD Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, which now has 107 members, is the most comprehensive multilateral instrument available for all forms of tax cooperation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance. The Convention was amended to respond to the call of the G20 at its 2009 London Summit to align it to the international standard on exchange of information on request and to open it to all countries, in particular to ensure that developing countries could benefit from the new, more transparent environment. The Convention underpins the legal framework for sharing information in the Panama Paper Project.
For Australia, the benefit of this project arises from the first systematic attempt by tax administrations to tackle and potentially prosecute the tax advisers and intermediaries who enable and promote tax evasion to the detriment of Australia and other countries. In addition, the experience and knowledge that we build from this project will support other collaborative work including around risk assessment of multinational enterprises and taking joint action on taxpayers avoiding and evading tax through, at this stage, 1,400 audits of companies and individuals.
The particular focus on managing large data from the Panama Papers will also support us in developing our skills and capacity for making effective use of data arising from large G20/OECD initiatives. This includes the sharing of bank information through the Common Reporting Standard, and the sharing of multinational enterprises' jurisdictional profit and tax outcomes through Country-by-Country Reporting.
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Case study: Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications
An estimated 5 million students currently study abroad, an increase of nearly 67per cent since 2005 with an estimated 2.5 million students studying outside their home region. It is projected that 8 million students will be studying abroad by 2025. International education was worth $20.3 billion to Australia in 2015-16. A recent Australian report identified international education as supporting over 130,000 jobs across the Australian economy and delivering substantial indirect benefits to other industries such as tourism and retail.
A global agreement on higher education qualifications would facilitate Australia's further growth in the export of education services and as a destination for international students.
Australia is now leading efforts, at UNESCO, towards a Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications. Following the adoption by the UNESCO General Conference in November 2015 of a resolution requesting UNESCO to continue the process, a drafting group, chaired by an Australian expert from the Commonwealth Department of Education, was brought together to prepare a preliminary draft on higher education qualifications recognition. UNESCO is working towards a Convention by 2019.
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Case study: Promoting Trade in Education Services
The Australian Embassy is seeing more Australian universities interested in expanding in the Cambodian education market. In 2017, Cambodia will be the fifth most popular destination for Australian New Colombo Plan students. The number of Cambodians studying in Australia also continues to rise. In 2016, there were over 1,200 Cambodians studying at Australian universities, schools and vocational institutions, a 19 per cent increase from 2015. Education was also Australia's largest export to Cambodia worth $58 million in 2015- 2016. The education sector, therefore, has been a focus for the Australian Embassy's economic diplomacy agenda in Cambodia.
In 2015, the Embassy carried out a market assessment to identify opportunities to increase trade in the education sector. Based on the findings, the Embassy undertook a series of activities to: 1) boost the profile of Australian education in Cambodia; 2) raise awareness of the Cambodian education market among Australian Universities; and 3) ease barriers to trade in education. The Embassy has leveraged opportunities under the New Colombo Plan, Australia Awards Scholarships program, and the ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Economic Cooperation Support Program (AECSP) to deliver this.
The Embassy maintains regular engagement with Australian University contacts to take forward this agenda to promote opportunities in Cambodia to Australian universities. The Embassy has briefed universities visiting Cambodia, under New Colombo Plan mobility grants, on opportunities in the Cambodian education market. By hosting a reception for the New Colombo Plan, the Embassy introduced Australian university representatives to senior Cambodian ministers, officials, and education contacts. The Embassy also encouraged a G8 Australian University, which runs courses for Cambodian officials under AECSP, to continue exploring the possibility of a research centre in Cambodia.
The Embassy has boosted the profile of Australian education in Cambodia by promoting the Australian Alumni Association of Cambodia (AAA-C), and by hosting numerous high-profile receptions to showcase successful alumni. Through the scholarships program, the Embassy funds a full-time Executive Director to support the AAA-C committee to implement its strategic plan. The AAA-C Executive Director was also appointed to the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia in a board member position to encourage opportunities for alumni to engage with the Australian private sector.
We understand Australian Universities rely on the Australian Department of Education and Training's (DET) Country Education Profile (CEP) for Cambodia to assess the qualifications of Cambodian students. The Embassy advocated to DET to review the CEP for Cambodia to take into account improvements in the Cambodian education sector. DET has agreed to explore this. The Embassy is also working with a local think tank to take stock of courses offered at higher-education institutions in Cambodia. This will assist Australian universities to make informed investment and partnership decisions in Cambodia.
Case study: A Burgeoning Trade in Live Cattle
The start of the Australia-Cambodia live cattle trade in 2016 was an important milestone in the expansion and diversification of our bilateral trading relationship. The Australian Embassy and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) worked to ensure this new aspect of our trading relationship could commence and that risks were effectively managed.
Market access for live cattle was negotiated in August 2014, following an exchange of notes on animal health protocols. However, quality assurances and risk mitigation process were required before trade could commence.
SLN Meat Supplies, the Cambodian importer with a major cattle processing complex in southern Cambodia, applied for Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System (ESCAS) certification in late 2015. The Embassy facilitated communication between Cambodian authorities, SLN Meat Supplies, and DAWR to improve understanding of Australia and Cambodia's licensing regimes. DAWR officials visited SLN Meat Supplies' facilities to ensure it was compliant with ESCAS.
The first shipment of 2,761 Australian live cattle arrived in Cambodia in July 2016. SLN Meat Supplies plan to service demand for high-quality meet in Cambodia and across the region. Embassy and DAWR officials have visited the newly arrived Australian cattle for welfare checks and to ensure ESCAS compliance.
Running at peak output, SLN Meat Supplies is capable of processing up to 3,000 head of cattle per day, providing a market with great potential for Australian exporters. Depending on market demand, jobs at SLN Meat Supplies' complex and related enterprises could grow to 1,000 by 2017. If successfully managed, live cattle could become Australia's largest export to Cambodia.
Case study: Women's Economic Empowerment and Reproductive Health in Garment Factories
Cambodia's garment sector employs almost 500,000 people, the majority of whom are young women from rural areas. Most of the garment factory workers are the first from their households to enter the formal job market. For 75 per cent of these workers, it is their first full-time job. They migrate to work in the cities in order to support families of four to nine people, and often provide financial resources to support their siblings' education. Among these workers, knowledge on general health and sexual reproductive health is usually low.
DFAT's Partnering to Save Lives (PSL) program is working with 18 garment factories in Cambodia to improve access to reproductive health and information for women workers. PSL is improving the capacity of garment factory infirmaries to deliver a wide range of high quality health services and promote positive health behaviour in the workplace.
The particular focus on sexual reproductive health care helps to provide information and services to workers, so they are empowered to plan when and how many children they have. In turn, this can lead to workers being able to manage their family budgets and welfare more effectively. Improving conditions in garment factories also makes it easier for women to maintain employment while caring for their family.
PSL provides benefits to factory owners as well. Following PSL activities, factories have reported fewer employee absences. In one factory, the rate of absenteeism decreased by 80 per cent. Rates of women being hospitalised have also decreased and the number of women using modern contraceptives has increased. This has improved the economic stability and productivity of factories.
Find out more in this video: https://youtube/PRlTMaPhueg
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Mauritius and countries of accreditation - Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros
Case study: Australian technology helps support sustainable fisheries management in remote community in the Indian Ocean
Western Australian company, Octopus Technologies Pty Ltd, is using its "trigger trap technology" to develop a pilot project aimed at establishing sustainable octopus fisheries in Rodrigues, a semi-autonomous outer island of Mauritius. The Australian High Commission in Mauritius is pleased to be supporting the use of this innovative Australian technology and know-how through Australian aid.
With an area of about 100 square kilometres the hilly island of Rodrigues offers little other employment besides small-scale agriculture, tourism and fishing. Overfishing and the traditional fishing method being used by many of the island's octopus fisherwomen, who spear the octopus with long metal poles, is damaging the coral. Octopus Technologies is helping to address these issues and enhance sustainability by replacing these metal poles with trigger pots and by providing training to locals in the harvest, grow out and processing of their octopus.
The trigger traps have been through several design stages and have impressive environmental credentials. It can only catch one octopus, and only an octopus is strong enough to trigger the trap, which also protects it from predation until it is harvested.
This Project showcases innovative Australian fisheries technology, which has also been taken up by a Seychellois fisherman on a commercial basis and is part of a joint venture in South Africa, 'Cape Town Octopus' company.
Case study: Brainstorming Science Cooperation at the heart of the Indian Ocean
Within our economic diplomacy strategy, the Australian High Commission in Port Louis included showcasing Australian innovation, science and technology to regional countries with the goal of facilitating both commercial and Research and Development partnerships in key Ocean Economy sectors.
In November 2016, Dr Mat Vanderklift and Dr Andy Steven, senior scientists of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship and Coastal Research, visited Mauritius and Seychelles to exchange ideas on the opportunities and challenges ahead for island nations in the Indian Ocean, and the role that science can play in building a sound Blue Economy.
Dr Vanderklift and Dr Steven shared their expertise, encouraging ideas for further collaboration and possible partnerships and activities with both the private sector and government. Working sessions and roundtables included scientists, academics, business and NGOs as well as Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Commonwealth Ocean experts
In conjunction with our Australia Alumni Associations, and our partners the Faculty of Ocean Studies of the University of Mauritius, and the Blue Economy Research Institute (BERI) in Seychelles, Dr Vanderklift and Dr Steven also hosted public talks on the role of Australian research in an Indian Ocean Blue Economy. The visit also helped to promote Australian educational opportunities, with Australia Awards short courses offered in priority sectors of ocean governance and agriculture, where Australia has significant expertise and know-how to share.
Concrete outcomes already emerging from the visit include:
- an MOU to be signed between CSIRO and the Mauritius Oceanography Institute
- CSIRO tendering for a Marine Spatial Plan with the Prime Minister's Office of Mauritius; partnerships with IOC and University of Seychelles for a workshop on Ocean Turtle Conservation
- assisting Seychelles and possibly Mauritius with research linked to joining the International Blue Carbon Partnership, including a research voyage of the CSIRO Investigator vessel to assess possibly the world's largest Sea Grass meadow, on the Mascarenes Plateau.
Case study: Australian Alumni promotes the Blue Economy and Women's Economic Empowerment in the Indo-Pacific
As part of the Australian High Commission in Mauritius' alumni engagement strategy, the mission has been encouraging alumni in Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar to help promote priority sectors, support community development and women's economic empowerment in their countries.
Monash alumni, Isabella Hoareau is the Managing Director of SOCOMEP, a fisheries quality and quantity control company based in the Seychelles. The company services commercial tuna fleet calling into Port Victoria as well as regional ports.
Earlier this year, Isabella participated in the India Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Blue economy workshop on processing, post-harvest and storage of seafood products, held in Comoros. During the workshop, Isabella shared her experience in the quality control methods of the fish processing industry.
As a role model for other inspiring women entrepreneurs in a mostly male dominated industry, Isabella is keen to share her experience and help mentor other women in the Indian Ocean region. Recently, she joined the High Commission's Direct Aid Program funded "Coaching and Mentoring Programme for women entrepreneurs in the Indian Ocean" to mentor a Comorian business woman.
To continue to contribute to the development of the blue economy in the region, Isabella has signed her company to be part of the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) Seychelles Blue Economy Internship programme. SYAH is a youth-led NGO, which promotes sustainable development through youth-led projects. Launched in September 2016, their Blue Economy Internship Programme allows young people to understand and experience the breadth of career opportunities within the Blue economy sector and to inspire them to take up a career in this sector. The programme also provides the opportunity to pre-identify potential employees for future recruitment and allow interns to build a relationship with future employers.
Case study: Australia Awards Partnering with IMF's Africa Training Institutes for Cost Savings and Course Synergies
Port Louis' ED strategy includes linking facilities at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s regional training centre in Mauritius with DFAT's Australia Awards, to enable cost-effective partnering for course delivery on extractives economics, an area where both organisations were potentially duplicating efforts on similar subject matter for the region.
The IMF's Africa Training Institute has agreed in principle with DFATâ€”through Palladium, which manages The Australia Awards in Africa, to hold a short (three week) course on 'Macroeconomic management in resource rich countries'. This course will provide participants with analytical skills to study the challenges faced by resource-rich countries and the policy responses. The skills developed during the course will allow participants to understand and develop a wide range of macroeconomic policies. The course will cover factors affecting economic growth and inequality in resource-rich countries and will give the opportunity to discuss in depth a number of case studies of natural resource-rich countries.
Following post's introduction and advocacy, the Australia Awards short courses on Ocean Governance and sustainable fisheries are likely to be delivered at ATI's facility, enabling access to local Ocean Economy researchers, port and fisheries field trips and observation of other local elements such as Australian-linked coral Conservation Eco-tourism and Carnegie Wave Energy's pilot project.
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Case study: Bridges project boosts economic development in Oro Province
In 2007, Cyclone Guba caused major damage to infrastructure in Oro Province. Bridges were washed away, cutting off access to markets and income-generating opportunities. Through Australia's Transport Sector Support Program, six bridges along the Kokoda and Northern Highways valued at PGK139 million ($60 million) have been rebuilt. This has transformed the region's growth prospects by reducing travel times, enabling safer crossings and reconnecting businesses and 97,000 people.
Reliability of road access is vital to economic growth. The Kokoda and Northern Highways serve as a key economic artery for the transport of crops, including coffee, cocoa and oil palm. Oil palm in particular is a time sensitive crop. Harvested every 13-14 days, fruit must be at the mill for processing within 24 hours of harvesting to avoid spoilage. These new bridges will support a more reliable all-weather supply chain for local smallholders and agro-industry.
There are early indications that bus drivers have reduced fares from Oro Bay to Kokoda by 10 - 25 per cent and are investing in new vehicles because of the improved road conditions.
The bridges are also a boon for the region's vibrant tourism industry, playing a key role in connecting Australian trekkers from the main provincial airport to the start of the Kokoda Track. They are symbolic of the strong and growing economic partnership between Australia and PNG.
Case study: Chocolate Diplomacy
With up to 85 per cent of Papua New Guineans relying on agriculture for their livelihoods, Australian support to the sector is an important part of our maturing economic partnership with PNG. Cocoa is one of PNG's most important cash crops, bringing in around PGK300 million annually and has particular growth potential.
Australia has sponsored some exciting collaborations in cocoa in 2016. In October, high-end cocoa buyers from the US, France, UK and Belgium toured PNG in search of premium beans. The Australian-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program sponsored the visit. Buyers noted the unique flavour, which could see PNG become a global supplier of premium "single origin" chocolate and enable high-quality PNG cocoa producers to secure increased returns by supplying specialty buyers.
The Autonomous Region of Bougainville is one part of PNG where the cocoa industry is starting to boom. Before Bougainville's Crisis from 1989-1998, which caused widespread destruction, it was PNG's leading cocoa producer, with a reputation for world class cocoa. Australia is working with the PNG Government, Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), farmers and entrepreneurs to rebuild that reputation and boost production. Cocoa presents excellent grassroots income-earning opportunities, which helps to bolster stability and livelihoods.
In July, Australia and the ABG held the first ever Bougainville Chocolate Festival as a way to showcase Bougainville to international chocolatiers and foster new export market links. Australian cocoa buyers participated in the event, which also raised farmer awareness about agriculture extension services. Festival activities included business and development project showcases focusing on agriculture and trade links, and culminated in a chocolate competition, in which an international panel appraised chocolate made from local Bougainville cocoa.
Competition winners are already supplying beans to chocolatiers who attended the event. The excitement generated was such that following the festival, nurseries across south and central Bougainville sold out of seedlings. The festival, set to be an annual event, ties in to broader economic support in Bougainville to agriculture, the investment climate, trade and the enabling environment.
Case study: Supporting Papua New Guinea's growing cruise tourism industry
Australia supports private sector development in PNG as part of its broader economic partnership with the PNG Government. This includes efforts to boost trade and stimulate investment.
Under this partnership, Australia has been working with stakeholders to promote growth of PNG's cruise tourism industry. This has included a comprehensive Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruise Tourism to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, undertaken with the International Finance Corporation. Carnival Australia, one of Australia's key private sector partners in the Pacific, provided financial and in-kind support for the study.
Analysing tourist spending by category and comparing findings to established markets provides valuable information for PNG's tourism sector. The study found that, in 2015, the direct economic impact of cruise tourism for PNG was $5.7 million. Despite a relatively undeveloped tourism industry, cruise tourists in PNG also spend a significant amount at each port they visit. Cruise visitors to Rabaul, for example, spent an average of $76 per passenger. This is comparable to the $96 spent per passenger at the more established cruise stop of Port Vila, Vanuatu.
More than 200 PNG jobs are already directly associated with the cruise tourism industry and there is scope to create more. The study suggests that enhancing PNG's port services and facilities, promoting sales of handicrafts and staging cultural performances will improve returns to local businesses and generate additional economic activity.
By enhancing the overall passenger experience, visitors will better enjoy their time in PNG and make a greater contribution to the nation's economic growth.
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Case study: Growing Vanuatu's trade
Through our Governance for Growth Program, we have provided assistance to the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business to second one of its officers, Donald Pelam, to the Australian office of Pacific Trade and Invest as the Vanuatu Trade Commissioner. Growing Vanuatu's exports in goods and services and increasing the flow of investment are essential to Vanuatu's economic development.
During his placement, Mr Pelam has concentrated on finding niche markets in Australia for Vanuatu's value- added products. He has helped connect Australian distributors with manufacturers from Vanuatu. For the first time, four businesses from Vanuatu showcased their products at the trade-only expo Fine Food Australia in Melbourne, as part of the Pacific Trade and Invest stand. Participation in the expo gave these producers - Vanuatu Brewing Limited, Lapita Café, Vanuatu Direct and Epi Oil - direct access to Australian and international buyers.
The Trade Commissioner has also facilitated contact between Australian employers and Seasonal Worker Program (SWP) agents in Vanuatu. This has helped strengthen links between existing employers and SWP agents in Vanuatu and to cultivate new relationships with potential employers. The work undertaken by Mr Pelam resulted in the employment of an additional 100 ni-Vanuatu on farms in Australia. Vanuatu is the second largest Pacific labour-sending country in the SWP.
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South Africa and countries of accreditation - Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland
Case study: Australian Volunteers help shape African trade and integration efforts
In 2016, two Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) Ashly and Tarik Oguz worked with one of Africa's most influential international trade policy organisations, the Trade Law Centre, Tralac, based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, to build capacity and rules-based trade governance in Africa.
Tralac is a trusted partner across Africa and is influential in Africa's Regional Economic Communities, providing capacity building assistance and advice to the African Union, Southern African Customs Union, Southern African Development Community, East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, with reach across policy makers, media, academia and students to mention just a few.
With expertise in financial services and information and communications technology, Hope and Oguz have supported African economies to liberalise services markets driving economic growth through improved regulatory conditions across transparency, certainty and consistency.
Oguz and Hope have undertaken research and engaged with southern African governments and regional organisations. Hope has assisted the Lesotho Central Bank develop its financial sector development strategy, and presented at the African Union on trade regulation as well as at UNCTAD on financial regulation in trade.
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Saudi Arabia and countries of accreditation - Bahrain Oman and Yemen
Case study: Aviation Australia delivers job-ready Saudi graduates
Aviation Australia Riyadh College's first cohort of students recently graduated. The Australian-owned company caters to a growing demand for work-ready Saudi aviation engineering and maintenance graduates. Austrade Riyadh introduced Aviation Australia to the Saudi Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC), which enabled it to open a Riyadh Campus and qualify as a Saudi College of Excellence (CoE) in 2014.
Since then, the Former Minister for International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, and successive Australian Ambassadors have offered their support to the high-tech College.
In mid-2016, Aviation Australia Riyadh College hosted an inaugural graduation event attended by the TVTC Secretary General, the Australian Ambassador, Airbus Saudi Arabia CEO and the Austrade Riyadh team, in mid-2016. Graduates will join Airbus Defence and Space Industries in Saudi Arabia.
The College boasts over 800 students and has the lowest student attrition rate amongst the 23 CoEs. It is on track to be the single provider of aviation engineering graduates in Saudi Arabia.
With high employment and income expectations among the 70 per cent of Saudis under 30 years of age, the growth of training and employment in non-oil sectors is critical to Saudi Arabia's long-term prosperity. The Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Plan both allocate substantial funds to support VET. The primary focus is on the automotive, petrochemicals, hospitality and aviation sectors.
Case study: Australian nursing's new health partnership in Saudi Arabia
Supported by the Federal Government's Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR), Federation University Australia will partner with the biggest rehabilitation centre in the Middle East to advance nursing and allied health expertise in both organisations.
Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is a not-for-profit rehabilitation hospital with a commitment to meeting the highest international standards.
"We are delighted to partner Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Humanitarian City in Riyadh in this joint campaign," Professor Penny Paliadelis, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, said.
"Both organisations have a shared emphasis on the development of nursing and allied-health care workers for the advancement of patient-centred care," Professor Paliadelis said.
The joint project aims to raise cross-cultural awareness between the institutions and involves hosting educational sessions in 'Best Practice' and 'Leadership-Building in Healthcare' at Federation University Australia, with reciprocal 'Evidence-Based Practice' training in Riyadh.
The institutional partners are planning to make their project sustainable using a 'train the trainer' approach, and formalising student/educator exchange opportunities.
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Italy and countries of accreditation - Albania and Libya
Case study: Ansett Aviation Training's new flight simulator facility at Malpensa airport in Milan
In March 2016, Ansett Aviation Training (AAT) signed an agreement to set up a new state of the art training facility for pilots at Milan Malpensa airport. The agreement was made with SEA, the company that manages the airport.
AAT is one of the leading independent providers of flight simulator training services globally, with centres in Australia, Taiwan, and now Italy. AAT provides simulator training services to a host of airlines globally.
An area of around 3,000 sqm at Malpensa airport has been selected for the construction of the centre, which involves the construction of a building that will house up to four flight simulators. Construction has started and the opening is scheduled for the second half of 2017. Ansett is partnering with the Vigili del Fuoco (Emergency Services) to operate a first of its kind Simulator for the CL-415 fleet of firefighting aircraft used throughout Europe.The project may entail expansion by doubling the building to accommodate four additional simulators.
In October 2016, Post organized a conference on Australian investment in Italy at which AAT was one of the three Australian companies that spoke of their experience of investing in Italy, the others being Westfield and Macquarie. The event offered the opportunity for AAT to present its project to Italian Under-secretary Ivan Scalfarotto from the Ministry of Economic Development, who is responsible for foreign investment.
Under-secretary Scalfarotto was present at the event and gave the closing speech.
AAT's choice of Italy as the location for its first investment in Europe is a significant boost to Australia's profile as a potential supplier of hi-tech solutions to Italy. This is an important signal at a time of increasing investment flows between the two countries. Much of the new investment is focusing on hi-tech opportunities, which traditionally has had a relatively minor role in the bilateral trade and investment relationship.
AAT's investment also re-emphasises the importance of the Lombardy region for the Italian economy and the area will benefit from Australia's most significant investment in Italy.
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Chile and countries of accreditation - Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela
Case study: Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum
From 5-6 December 2016, Melbourne hosted the second Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum (ACELF) - a two-day conference aimed at building economic and trade links between our two countries and exploring new ways to deepen and broaden the bilateral relationship. Building on the successful first forum held in Santiago in 2014, the second ACELF attracted around 130 high-level government and business leaders from Australia and Chile, including former Chilean President and Special Envoy for the Asia-Pacific, Eduardo Frei, and Chilean Minister for Mining, Aurora Williams.
As like-minded countries on either side of the Pacific, Australia and Chile share many challenges and opportunities. Whether it be optimising the efficient use of scarce water resources or making mining more efficient and productive through innovative technologies, Australia and Chile have much to offer one another through increased trade, investment and cooperation.
The Melbourne forum identified priorities for expanding the economic relationship, including working together to increase productivity in the mining sector, strengthening education (for example, through vocational training, joint research and collaboration) and people-to-people links, and promoting public- private partnerships for infrastructure development.
The Australia-Chile forums have assisted in expanding our bilateral agenda and have already advanced opportunities for Australian companies in sectors, such as transport and logistics, infrastructure development, agriculture, and water management.
With the success of the Melbourne event, the ACELF has become an important biennial feature in Australia's ongoing bilateral engagement with Chile and the region. The next forum will be held in Chile in 2018.
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Case study: KOGAS investment in Australia
Seoul Post has been working closely with Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) over many years to promote investment in Australian energy and resource projects. These efforts strengthened when the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement entered into force in December 2014, eliminating the 3 per cent tariff on Australian LNG exports to Korea.
Today KOGAS, the largest single LNG importer globally, has significant investments in two flagship LNG projects in Australia. KOGAS has a 15 per cent interest in the $18.5 billion Gladstone LNG facility, which commenced exports in late 2015. This project has created thousands of jobs in regional Queensland.
KOGAS also has a 10 per cent stake in the Prelude Floating LNG facility, the world's first floating LNG facility, the construction of which is nearing completion in Korea. This facility will be moored off the northwest coast of Western Australia and will allow access to gas fields previously uneconomic to develop.
Case study: Jin Air direct flights to Cairns Seoul to Cairns #economicdiplomacy
In June 2016, Jin Air, Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) and Tourism Australia (TA) signed an MOU to support a new direct scheduled service between Seoul and Cairns. The MOU aims to promote visits to Australia and Queensland, particularly to Cairns and surrounding areas, in order to create demand for Jin Air services flying into Australia for the first time. Jin Air's entry into the Australian market is significant as increased airline capacity to Australia from Korea is a key requirement to achieving the Tourism 2020 goals. The Jin Air service, which commences from December 2016 through to February 2017, adds 5000 seats to Australia with an estimated visitor spend potential of $31 million.
Promotional activities under the MOU began in August 2016, which included three familiarisation visits to Cairns and Port Douglas for media, travel trade VIP's and product specialists. There have also been large PR, media and direct-to-consumer marketing campaigns combining contributions from all partners.
Case study: Services Sector Promotion Forum
The Embassy hosted the third Korea-Australia Services Sector Promotion Forum (SSPF) in Seoul on 17 October 2016. The SSPF builds links between the Korean and Australian services sectors, identifies new opportunities for cooperation, and promotes regulatory reform in order to maximise the benefits for business of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA).
This year was the largest SSPF so far, with around 50 key Australian and Korean service sector representatives in attendance. Discussions focused on financial services, legal services and smart cities. One of the highlights was the establishment of a Seoul Chapter of the Law Council of Australia in recognition of the growing number of Australian trained lawyers now working in Korea.
Strengthening bilateral trade in services and investment is a major priority for both the Australian and Korean governments. Competitive services industries are central to ensuring that our economies continue to grow. Australia's world-class services firms are a natural partner for Korea, as it seeks to make the transition from its traditional reliance on manufacturing and heavy industry towards a 'creative economy'.
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Case study: Accelerating the Innovation Partnership
In 2016, Australia and Singapore agreed to a new level of cooperation on innovation and science. Both advanced economies in terms of technology, skills and research, the Australian High Commission helped broker an agreement that commits Australia and Singapore to enhance collaboration, exchanges and government-to-government innovation engagement. Ranking seventh in the world as the most innovative country, Singapore is home to around 3,600 tech start-ups. It's strengths in commercialisation and industry buy-in are complementary to Australia's strengths in innovation and creativity. Part of this partnership involves the launch of an innovation 'Landing Pad' for Aussie start-ups at BASH www.sginnovate.com, Singapore's largest integrated start-up space. Over the 90-day acceleration programs, the Landing Pad will enable start-ups to fine-tune their pitch, commercialise their offering, identify partners, customers and investors, and access markets throughout Asia. More specifically, it will also help Australian entrepreneurs tap into Singapore's lucrative innovation ecosystem.
Case study: Upgrading the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement
Already enjoying a very close economic relationship, in 2016 Singapore and Australia signed an upgrade to the Singapore and Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA). While Singapore is a very free market for goods, it is not so free for services. The SAFTA upgrade focussed on providing new opportunities for Australian services firms, enhancing opportunities for professionals through increased recognition of qualifications, and making it easier to provide cross-border financial services, to make SAFTA a truly 21st-century agreement.
Through extensive consultation and advocacy, the Australian High Commission worked hard to ensure the final results were relevant, useful and easy to access for Australian businesses looking for a hub in Singapore. The result on labour mobility, in particular, was the best deal signed by Singapore with any country.
Case study: Flying high to the nation's capital
After years of patient advocacy, roadshows, events, visits and the odd Aussie BBQ, in 2016 the city of Canberra secured direct flights to both Wellington and Singapore via Singapore Airlines - the first regularly scheduled international flights to the nation's capital. With SQ291 landing on 21 September 2016, Singaporean and overseas visitors were able to arrive in Canberra without the need for connecting flights. The Australian High Commission worked closely with the ACT Government and the Canberra Airport Group to secure Singapore Airlines' interest and agreement. We continue to work to ensure the planes remain full, in terms of both passengers and goods for export. Promoting Canberra as a tourism centre and a source of gourmet food and wine remains an important part of our advocacy.
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Sweden and countries of accreditation - Estonia, Finland and Latvia
Case study: Innovation Debate with
In March 2016, NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer Mary O'Kane was keynote speaker at the "Down Under System Practices for Up North" Innovation Debate in Stockholm. Hosted by Swedish Forum for Innovation the event had the support of the Swedish state innovation agency VINNOVA Forum. The Australian Embassy and Austrade gathered a broad range of participants including members of the Swedish Parliament, representatives of the Swedish Innovation Council, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Swedish Incubators & Science Parks. Also in attendance was the Knowledge Foundation, professors from Lund University, the Embassy of Israel in Sweden and Swedish policy research institutes.
In her presentation, O'Kane gave an overview of the Australian innovation architecture, highlighting key industry sectors, strengths and opportunities. She addressed innovation structure and strategy, innovation rankings and the importance of fertile eco-systems, particularly for start-ups and clusters.
The activity contributed to Post's economic diplomacy objectives, providing a platform for stimulating discussion and exchange on Australia as an innovation destination. Further, it generated significant interest from participants for future high-level visits of Swedish delegations to Australia to examine innovation collaboration and investment opportunities.
Case study: Europe and Australian Business Council delegation to Finland
With the support of the Australian Embassy, a European Australian Business Council (EABC) delegation visited Finland in June 2016 to build on the Governor-General's historic visit to Helsinki earlier in the year and broaden high-level exchange on economic and public policy issues with European political leaders, senior officials, diplomats, peak business organisations, innovation-focused institutions and industry representatives.
The mission was led by EABC Chairman the Hon Nick Greiner AC and included the CEO of Austrade, Bruce Gosper, and senior executives representing Australia's largest companies from banking, finance, legal, energy, resources, pharmaceuticals, construction, property and retail sectors. Innovation, entrepreneurship and bio-economy solutions were key themes for discussions, highlighting the Nordic region as a pioneer and frontrunner in these fields with its vibrant start-up and innovation ecosystem.
During the visit, Former Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and current Vice President Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Optus, David Epstein, underlined the opportunities for further Australia-Finland cooperation in innovation, with Finland being a resource-based economy now transforming into a digital economy and with top rankings on innovation. As Australia moves to strengthen the role of innovation in its economy, the visit provided an invaluable opportunity for leaders within the Australian business community to learn of Finnish best-practice and establish contacts for future exchange.
The EABC delegation visits the Arctia HQ in Helsinki Harbour. Arctia's fleet of icebreakers ensure the reliability and safety of shipping lanes throughout Scandinavia and the Baltics during the region's the harsh winter months, facilitating trade year-round.
Case study: Internet of Things delegation from Australia to Sweden
An Australian Internet-of-Things (IoT) delegation visited Sweden in June 2016 to learn about new trends and developments in global connectivity and explore avenues for future cooperation. The delegation, headed by Professor Göran Roos from the Economic Development Board of South Australia, and Stephen Myatt, Director of Australian Industry Group, comprised 18 delegates, including the heads of Textor Technologies, Sage Automation, Seeley, and Data61/CSIRO.
With help from the Australian Embassy, a site visit to the headquarters of global telecommunications giant Ericsson in Stockholm provided an opportunity for company executives to share their vision of the 'networked society' of tomorrow and their extensive collaboration with Telstra, highlighting shared efforts to pioneer a range of 'global first solutions', such as trialling of 5G for new and innovative solutions to keep pace with the anticipated 12-fold growth in smartphone traffic between 2015-2021. During the visit, research group Swedish ICT and the Kista Science City cluster presented on new demo projects and visions.
Australia's Ambassador hosted a networking event during the delegation's visit to facilitate contacts between Australian and Swedish manufacturing companies and encourage thinking on deeper cooperation.
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Case study: Fiji Infrastructure Mission
The Fiji Government is in the midst of a major national infrastructure development agenda. Devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Winston in February 2016 added to the impetus of Fiji's extensive plans to upgrade transport, water and energy infrastructure.
As well as extensive Fiji Government funding, donors such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank are investing well over $400 million in Fiji's infrastructure improvement drive.
However, Fiji lacks the private sector means to implement all of the work. Australian firms have strong capabilities to deliver a range of infrastructure development projects in roads, energy and water. Other Australian firms are an ideal source of the kinds of material and services that large infrastructure projects require. In addition, Australia has a long trading relationship with Fiji with more than 2,800 Australian companies exporting to Fiji. The potential for Australian firms to win contracts to contribute to Fiji's infrastructure development is clear.
To seize this opportunity, Austrade together with DFAT, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest and Investment Fiji organised an Infrastructure Mission to Fiji in April 2016. The mission brought 32 Australian businesses to Fiji to meet with Fiji Government representatives, donors and business stakeholders in the infrastructure sector to explore opportunities.
The Australian businesses were briefed by DFAT, welcomed by Fiji's Permanent Secretary of Trade and received presentations from Fiji Government officials on projects relating to roads and transportation, ports, energy, water, housing and wastewater. The mission covered the needs for the rebuilding projects after Tropical Cyclone Winston. The ADB briefed the Australian businesses on its investment pipeline. At the end of the week Australia's High Commissioner to Fiji, Margaret Twomey, hosted a networking event with guests from Fiji's public and private sectors.
Since the mission, participants have held further meetings with companies in Fiji and made several tender submissions, some successful, offering technology transfer and capacity building for Fijian institutions and employees. One company is now looking to establish representation in Fiji.
Case study: Building and Construction Mission to Fiji
With more than 750,000 tourists visiting Fiji each year, approximately half of which are Australian investment in new resorts and resort refurbishment is critical to the sustainability of the tourism industry, Fiji's largest export.
Fiji's tropical environment and often-extreme weather events place great strain to constantly maintain Fiji's resorts, airports and ports. Australian companies can alleviate these pressures and are well-placed to provide building and construction materials, equipment and technologies into this large and growing nearby market. Supply chain depth and ability to provide supplies faster than most international competitors are also strategic advantages for Australian companies operating in Fiji's building and construction sector.
To maintain and grow Australia's stake in this market, Austrade and DFAT organised a Building and Construction Mission to Fiji in September 2016. Ten Australian Companies visited Fiji to understand business opportunities in the resort building and maintenance sector. The delegation had roundtable meetings and site visits to a number of resorts in Nadi, Suva and along the Coral Coast to demonstrate their capability and understand local challenges.
The delegation met with key hardware chains to understand market demands and procurement challenges. The Australian companies gave presentations, exposing Fijian resorts and hardware companies to Australian technology and products, which could raise standards and meet evolving consumer demands.
Australia's High Commissioner to Fiji, Margaret Twomey, presented insights about Australian Government engagement in Fiji and Australia's efforts to support the reconstruction of schools and health centres across the country in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Winston. Fiji's Permanent Secretary of Trade discussed the trading relationship with Australia and the importance of Australian firms engaging in the Fijian market.
Following on from the mission some of the delegates attended the Australia New Zealand Business Council Forum in Pacific Harbour where Australia's Minister for International Development and the Pacific outlined the depth and breadth of Australia's ongoing commitment to the relationship with Fiji.
Since the mission, a number of firms that participated in the mission have been in touch with Fijian resorts and hardware companies with specialised service proposals, such as desalination, fuel storage and maintenance.
Developing Australian export markets in this way provides for new markets and job creation opportunities for Australian businesses working in the relatively shallow market of the Pacific.
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Case study: Taiwan training for success-MOU on Vocational Education and Training signed as VET commencements triple
On 2 November 2016, the Australian Office, Taipei and Taiwan's Workforce Development Agency (WDA) renewed the MOU on Vocational Education and Training (VET) cooperation, which provides the framework for ongoing joint work between TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) and WDA. First signed in 2011, the MOU was extended in 2013, and again in 2016 for a further two years to 2018.
Under the VET MOU framework, Taiwan has commenced introducing Australia's model of occupational standards, VET courses and assessment guidelines. This not only supports Taiwan to improve its skills training, but also provides opportunities for Australian VET training providers, both in Australia and Taiwan.
The VET relationship more broadly is expanding fast. Between 2013 and 2016, the number of Taiwanese students who had commenced studying with Australian VET providers tripled, from 1,361 to 4,040 students. Many of these had converted to student visas from working holiday visas, showing that increased VET student numbers boosts tourism, builds people-to-people links, assists employers to source the skills they need, and can support bilateral business links as students move into the workforce. Ongoing work under the MOU, with the eventual goal of mutual skills recognition, will also enhance opportunities for Australians with VET qualifications to travel and work in Taiwan.
Case study: Living La Lychee Loca-cooperation between Taiwan and Queensland set to boost Lychee research outcomes and export growth
Queensland farmers will have access to new lychee varieties developed in Taiwan under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on 6 July 2016 between Queensland and Taiwan. Under the MOU, six specially developed varieties will be made available to Queensland farmers for testing in their orchards. If successful, these varieties could boost productivity and create further export opportunities for Queensland farmers in Taiwan and other regional markets. Queensland and Taiwan share counter-seasonal complementarities, similar climates, research expertise and mutual export interests, which will support further collaboration.
Taiwan is Queensland's sixth largest export market.
The Trade and Investment Queensland office in Taipei, Austrade, the Taiwan Institute for Economic Research the Australian Office Taipei, and the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources supported the processes involved in the preparation and signing of the MOU.
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Case study: Austrade Office re-opened at the Australian Embassy in Tehran
On 28 September 2016, Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo officially re-opened the Austrade office at the Australian Embassy in Tehran, which had been shut since 2009.
Addressing an expectant audience including Embassy staff, members of an accompanying business delegation, and travelling media, Mr Ciobo highlighted the crucial role the newly established Austrade office would play in helping Australian businesses navigate both the opportunities and challenges presented by the re-emerging Iranian market.
After many years of difficulty caused by the effects of nuclear-related sanctions, the re-opening of the Austrade office represented an essential step in Australia's efforts to revive trade and commercial ties with Iran which have been hampered for many years by the effects of nuclear-related sanctions.
In the weeks since its formal unveiling by the Minister, the Austrade office, with strong support from the rest of the Embassy team, has been working hard to help Australian businesses find openings in the Iranian market and promote closer commercial linkages between Australia and Iran.
Most recently, Austrade supported the visit to Tehran by a delegation of Australian meat producers and traders, which helped to introduce its members to key players in the local industry. Austrade officials also accompanied a large Iranian delegation to the annual International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne.
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Case study: Israeli companies listing on the ASX
Australia was increasingly on the radar for Israeli businesses and investors throughout 2016. The Australian Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) garnered significant attention in Israel, not least because one of the first Australian Innovation Landing Pads opened in Tel Aviv in June 2016.
One feature of the growing interest in Australia was a rise in enquiries about listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). In order to capitalise on this interest and translate it into tangible economic activity, Tel Aviv connected the ASX to the large number of Israeli companies seeking to list in Australia. Our engagement with the ASX culminated in the provision of assistance to the ASX General Manager for listings during his visit to Israel in September 2016.
Facilitating Israeli listings on the ASX has a number of advantages. It enhances the international reputation of the ASX, particularly for small-to-medium technology companies, which are not yet large enough to list on the NASDAQ. They increase the trading volume of the ASX, provide more diverse opportunities for Australian investors, and potentially attract more foreign capital to the ASX, as well as providing more business for Australian service providers throughout the Initial Public Offering process. More significantly, the presence of increasing numbers of start-ups in Australia will help build critical mass in the nascent Australian innovation ecosystem, supporting other policy initiatives contained in the NISA.
By the end of 2016 there were nine Israeli or Israel-related companies trading on the ASX, one of which intends to move most of its research and development activities to Australia.
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Case study: Dutch Royal Visit and Trade Delegation to Australia
Throughout 2015-2016, The Hague embassy and Austrade worked closely with the Netherlands Government and business contacts to encourage and capitalise on the utility of the Dutch State Visit to Australia, which took place from October-November 2016. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima led a large Dutch trade delegation of over 120 people representing more than 90 Dutch businesses. As a direct result of the trade mission, over â‚¬125 million ($180 million) worth of deals were created, including 11 contracts and cooperation agreements across many sectors. We expect that these new commercial links established between Dutch and Australian companies will foster greater competitiveness in the Australian market and further productive investments in Australia by Dutch businesses. The Netherlands is currently Australia's fourth largest investor, accounting for over $44 billion of foreign direct investment stocks in 2015.
Case study: NewCold establishes its Asia-Pacific HQ in Melbourne
In June 2016, Dutch company NewCold, an integrated service provider for cold chain logistics, announced plans to establish its first Asia-Pacific headquarters and a major automated cold storage warehouse in Melbourne. Set to open in 2017, this new investment will create 127 new jobs in Victoria, including in IT, engineering, software development and management. NewCold's project will also bring new technology to Victoria, such as fire safety technology and state-of-the-art cold storage systems to significantly lower electricity consumption. Austrade is working closely with NewCold to help identify further commercial opportunities in Australia.
Case study: 'Doing Business in Australia' Seminar in the Netherlands
In April 2016, Australia's Ambassador to the Netherlands Brett Mason and Austrade's Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Western Europe, David Campbell, met with over 100 Dutch business representatives on Doing Business in Australia. Dutch government and business sector speakers, including from Rabobank, Vopak, Boon Edam and Deltares, also attended. The seminar and discussions focused on the potential benefits of an Australian-EU FTA, operating businesses in Australia, and opportunities for Dutch businesses in Australia - both in our domestic market and the Asia-Pacific region. Austrade also held individual meetings with business representatives to identify new investment prospects. The seminar also helped to generate interest in the Dutch trade delegation visit to Australia in late 2016.
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Case study: Trade workshop-How to do business
In March 2016, Professor Caroline McMillen, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle, visited Japan to strengthen institutional collaboration and awareness of Australia as a partner of choice for Japan in science education, research and development. She met with Japan's research funding agency, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, representatives of leading universities and Hitachi, a prominent Japanese company engaged in research and development in Australia.
Professor McMillen's visit coincided with International Women's Day, which was organised around the theme "Women in Science". Her speaking engagements helped raise awareness of the importance of careers for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) as part of Australia's broader commitment to gender equity in research and innovation, and provided a platform for the Embassy's promotion of Australia's National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Case study: JAEPA Taste of Australia Menu Competition
Prime Minister Turnbull launched Austrade Japan's "JAEPA Taste of Australia Menu Competition" in December 2015, kicking off a six-month promotion of Australian ingredients and wine designed to lift awareness and drive demand for premium products in Japan's large and lucrative market.
The Menu Competition leveraged the popularity of Japanese Chef and Sommelier icons as VIP judges to attract the participation of 51 establishments, including large hotel chains and Michelin star restaurants from across Japan. The winners travelled to Australia to explore Australian produce, work with Australian chefs and to become Ambassadors for Australian food and wine.
Conceived and developed in tight collaboration with industry stakeholders, this program used national celebrities, up-and-coming chefs, food service sector distributors and media, together with the Prime Minister and Ambassador, to boost Japanese awareness and utilisation of the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. The extended program created exceptional value for Australian exporters and industry associations as they deepen their business links with Japanese importers and take advantage of Japan's first FTA with an agricultural exporting country.
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Case study: Go Where the Growth Is, Upper Austria trade mission, February 2016
In line with our 2016 short-term economic diplomacy goals, Vienna UN worked with Austrade Frankfurt to support a visit by the Chamber of Commerce for Upper Austria (WKOOE) to Sydney and Melbourne from 3- 12 February 2016.
The visit raised Australia's profile as an attractive business and investment destination in a region that is strong on industrial production, exports and innovation. Around 25 per cent of all of Austria's industrial production and global exports, including to Australia, originate from this region. Its industries include iron and steel, machines, vehicles, plastics, medical engineering, environmental technology, food and pharmaceuticals.
The visit provided strong opportunities for highlighting Australia's trade and investment agenda, in particular on free trade, and existing business relations. The meetings with DFAT and Austrade, NSW and Victoria state representatives, with finance, business and legal bodies, the Austrian trade office in Sydney and subsidiaries of Upper Austrian companies, provided effective platforms for setting out Australia's economic strengths and business opportunities.
The visit received strong Austrian media coverage regionally and some nationally. A digest was compiled by the Chamber consisting of 95 pages of articles that demonstrated that the positive messages about Australia's economic agenda was heard by audiences. Under headlines such as "Australia: Market of the future: 'We have to go where growth is'", articles focussed on Australia's 25 years of uninterrupted growth, dynamic market, and promising business opportunities. The positive effects of migration on economic growth were emphasised, including recognition of Australia's managed migration program, as being a good model for Austria.
Post received positive feedback following the visit, including appreciation for advice on public perceptions and misconceptions about FTAs, the ChAFTA Myths versus Realities document and the AUSFTA. In light of the generally negative sentiment towards free trade in Austria, the visit and associated media will continue to help position Australia ahead of EU-FTA discussions.
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Case study: Australia delivering financial services for the poor in Laos
The Australian Embassy, Vientiane, has been working closely with the Bank of Lao PDR to expand financial services to rural Laos. Australia's access to finance program has, over the past three years, helped increase access to loans and assisted rural families to manage their income and expenses more effectively, through development of village banks and the provision of financial literacy training in poor villages across three southern provinces of Laos (Savannakhet, Champasak and Saravan). The program has given birth to a large number of village-level businesses that otherwise would not have been developed. Access to finance remains a major impediment to SME development in Laos.
To date, Australia has established more than 190 village banks with 37,000 members and over 23,000 accounts. The total value of members' savings is now over USD4 million. Women have opened more than half the individual bank accounts, and make up more than 30 per cent of the village bank committee members. Underserved or excluded from formal financial systems in Laos, women are a key target for broader policy reform. Australia is supporting the Bank of Lao with this much-needed reform through financial inclusion measures, as well as piloting a digital payment initiative, which will target micro and very small businesses owned and managed by Lao women.
Case study: Giving start-ups a leg-up: The Mekong Angel Investors Network
Young Lao entrepreneurs received a boost in early September when Prime Minister Turnbull launched the local chapter of the Mekong Angel Investor Network at an informal networking event in Vientiane with Lao start-ups and participating investors.
Established by the Australian Government-supported Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), the Mekong Angel Investor Network connects start-up businesses in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to experienced ASEAN, Australian and other international investors, and fosters private sector development in the Mekong region. The project has funding of $1.8 million for 2016-2017, of a total MBI budget of $13.2 million (2013-18). Already launched in Vietnam and Cambodia, 10 start-ups have successfully attracted investment, with half of these businesses run by women.
The new Lao chapter is helping a talented group of young entrepreneurs to clarify their business vision to attract local and international investment. For example, an Australian investor is mentoring a start-up called bookdelivery.la, which procures and delivers books all over Laos. As Prime Minister Turnbull said at the launch, 'successful economies are built on ideas and the initiative of people. But all entrepreneurs also need investors - a backer, someone who will give you that initial foot in the door.'
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Poland and countries of accreditation - Czech Republic and Lithuania
Case study: Toasting Poland's Café Society
Warsaw post has doubled its activities in support of the Australian wine industry through a series of wine tastings and wine education events. With an adult population of over 31 million and wine consumption one of the lowest in Europe, Poland offers an exciting long-term opportunity for Australian wine exporters.
There is a visible shift towards 'café society' culture among younger Poles and growing interest in wine. However, it is a highly competitive market with budget-conscious consumers courted by better-known and entrenched exporters from Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.
Led by Austrade, Post supported Wine Australia's major Warsaw tasting event in April, which brought together over 40 Australian producers with a few hundred interested Polish traders, restauranteurs and wine enthusiasts. The event included an oversubscribed Australian Wine Master Class for Polish sommeliers and wine critics. In September, Post used the Polish Parliament's Asia-Pacific Day as an opportunity to showcase Australian wine to national parliamentarians.
The Ambassador became the face of Australian wine promotion in Poland, appearing as a special guest at the annual meeting of the Polish Wine Council (peak industry organisations of wine producers and importers), which received wide coverage by specialist Polish agricultural and hospitality media. The Ambassador hosted and participated in a number of new wine events, including a high-profile tasting lunch with visiting Australian wine maker John Angove, Polish critics and wine writers in June, and a Taste of Australia event in September. The Ambassador was also a guest at the Polish annual wine festival in Zielona Gora to promote Australian wine, as well as wine technology and education. The Zielona Gora region is where Australia's early German-speaking wine pioneers came from in the 1830s.
Case study: From the coal face...
Over the past few years, Warsaw Post has seen the fruit of its work increase opportunities for Australian investors in the struggling but potentially lucrative Polish coal-mining sector. Post, led by Austrade, continued to support Australia's major investor, Perth-based Prairie Mining, in its efforts to open the first new coal mine in Poland since the 1980s. This included support during a period of government change in Poland in late 2015 and early 2016 by highlighting the economic benefit to Poland of Australian investment.
Targeted, Ambassador-led, advocacy to key players in the new Polish government resulted in increasing recognition of the important role foreign investors can play in the development of the Polish coal mining sector. This has contributed to a relatively more open environment for Australian companies and some significant acquisitions this year. Such investment brings in Australian technology and mining know-how to Poland, while providing Australia with an opportunity to take part in the attractive European energy sector at a time of reduced mining investment opportunities in Australia.
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Case study: G'Day USA Promoting Australian Innovation in LA
G'Day USA, the Australian Government's largest public and economic diplomacy program in the United States, held the inaugural G'Day USA Emerging Innovators Xchange in Los Angeles in April 2016. The full-day Xchange included Tedx-style talks, an innovation panel, two live segments of the YouTube series 'The Tomorrow Show', a science and tech showcase and a keynote speech by former White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Chris Vein. Los Angeles is a major US centre for innovation and technology, ranking as the third best city in the world for start-ups behind Silicon Valley and Tel Aviv.
Presented in collaboration with Northrop Grumman with support from the Australian National University, AECOM and the State Governments of NSW and Victoria, the Xchange was part of a series of events delivered by the Consulate-General in Los Angeles aimed at identifying and establishing strategic partnerships to promote the Australian National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). The event also highlighted significant Australian breakthroughs in innovation to senior US business, investment and government officials as well as students and academics. The G'Day USA Innovators Xchange forms an integral part of Australia's economic diplomacy agenda by helping to promote commercial links and research exchange between Australia and the United States.
Case study: San Francisco Landing Pad Delivering on Australia's Innovation Agenda
As an innovation superpower, the United States is a key partner for Australia as it builds on the momentum created by the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). In February 2016, Austrade San Francisco Office launched the first of five Australian Landing Pads, part of NISA's $36 million Global Innovation Strategy. Landing Pads have also opened in Berlin, Shanghai, Singapore and Tel Aviv. In delivering the Landing Pad, Austrade has partnered with the highly regarded tech accelerator RocketSpace to provide selected Australian start-ups with a 90-day residency to give them a solid foothold in the Bay Area, and the broader USA, innovation ecosystems. Two cohorts of start-ups have been through the program with a third currently under selection.
The partnership with RocketSpace enables Australian start-ups to build a network with successful American start-ups and better understand the intricacies of doing business in the US. In parallel, Austrade leverages its networks to provide introductions to potential partners and customers and hosts advisory roundtables on topics of importance to each cohort.
Austrade San Francisco is also working to strengthen linkages between Australian and western USA innovation ecosystems in other hotspots in the region including Seattle, Washington; Denver and Boulder, Colorado; and Boise, Idaho.
In connecting the Landing Pad, the Australian expat community, visiting delegations and local partners and experts, Austrade provides a platform through which the Australian innovation community can connect, learn and grow.
Case study: Texas Medical Center Bio-Bridge Initiative
Texas Medical Center (TMC) is the world's largest medical centre, featuring 21 hospitals and a multitude of research, academic and support institutions. Over the past year, the Australian Consulate in Houston has worked closely with TMC leadership to identify opportunities for collaboration, particularly in the medical technology field.
TMC leadership visited Australia twice in 2016 to see firsthand the expertise Australia holds in research and clinical trials, as well as to identify common challenges and explore innovative solutions. TMC is currently focused on enhancing the TMC Innovation Institute (TMCx) and is excited to work with Australia as it seeks to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the life sciences sector. This led to the formal announcement on 7 December 2016 of the Bio-Bridge Initiative between Australia and TMC.
The Bio-Bridge Initiative is a partnership between TMC and Australia's medical technology sector aimed at fostering collaboration across commercialisation, innovation, capital, international research, disruptive technologies, industry exchange fellowships, clinical trial networks, research incubator hubs and biomedical translation. Its design is to create a two-way flow of capital and resources, combined with expertise and knowledge. Aligning with the Government's National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) and the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities, the Initiative will take a national approach to linking regional innovation hubs throughout Australia to TMC.
As a priority, and to address existing gaps, the initial program will focus on sharing TMC expertise in the commercialisation of innovative solutions in the health sector. TMC will offer a small number of places to Australian companies at TMCx. This is a four-month program where industry advisors take companies through a health care-focused curriculum with an emphasis on commercialisation. The program will allow companies to experience the start-up methodology, and return to home institutions and pass on expertise.
Case study: Australia-US Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership
Australia and the United States have signed an agreement to renew their science, technology and innovation cooperation. The agreement was signed in Washington DC on 29 November 2016 by Australian Ambassador to the United States, the Hon Joe Hockey, and US Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, Catherine Novelli. The agreement underpins Australia's long-standing science and technology (S&T) relationship with the United States, our largest S&T collaborator. The agreement will enable US and Australian government agencies, and government and private sector researchers, to exchange scientific data and results, protect intellectual property rights, and establish partnerships.
The agreement also provides the framework for ongoing S&T collaboration under the Australia-United States Joint Committee Meeting (JCM), which has facilitated dialogue and collaboration between the two countries in a number of areas, consistent with the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA). For example, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) have collaborated on enabling technologies, allowing researchers from both countries to undertake joint projects in areas of smart sensing, smart biophysics and materials sciences, and to leverage significant funding through the relationship.
Research and development (R&D) activities have a significant impact on the Australian economy. A 2015 report published by Australia's Chief Scientist showed that research in the advanced physical and mathematical sciences directly contributes around $145 billion, or 11 per cent of GDP, to the Australian economy each year. Exports associated with the advanced physical and mathematical science activities are worth around $74 billion a year, being 28 per cent of Australia's goods exports. These statistics reinforce the value of R&D, and highlight the importance of Australia pursuing international R&D collaboration opportunities, such as those enabled by the renewed agreement relating to science, technology and innovation cooperation
Case study: Australia-US Research Agreement on Fundamental Particle Physics
A ground-breaking 10-year research and development (R&D) partnership agreement was signed on 28 October 2016 between Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), the United States' premier fundamental physics laboratory, and the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Particle Physics (CoEPP), in the presence of then Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon Greg Hunt MP. Facilitated by the Chicago Consulate-General, the International Cooperative Research and Development Agreement for Basic Science Cooperation (I-CRADA), is the first of its kind and will be used as a template by US national laboratories for all future international agreements. The agreement strengthens Australia-US collaboration in fundamental particle physics research by integrating Australian scientists into a global network of particle physics research, and will help strengthen Australian expertise in science, technology, engineering and maths.
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New Zealand and countries of accreditation - Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau
Case study: Reinvigorating the Single
Wellington and Auckland posts have worked closely with the industry group Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and New Zealand agencies to establish an Australia New Zealand Infrastructure Pipeline.
The Pipeline is a web portal, which provides a detailed picture of prospective infrastructure projects across all jurisdictions in Australia and New Zealand. Combining the Australian states and New Zealand into a single pipeline increases the scale and attractiveness of both markets. As part of the Single Economic Market agenda, the next step is to consider options to further streamline the infrastructure market between Australia and New Zealand to create a more seamless operating environment for investors and construction firms.
We have already received positive feedback from Australian firms such as AMP Capital and Macquarie on the utility of the pipeline for showcasing Australia's investment offering. All DFAT and Austrade posts have been tasked to use the resource for promoting inward investment.
Case study: Collaboration on science and innovation
At their 2016 Leaders' Meeting,Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key committed to the development of a bilateral agreement on science and innovation.
This commitment provided impetus for extensive trans-Tasman exchange to determine the most useful areas for collaboration. Meetings between the two countries' Chief Scientists and visits by CSIRO Chairman David Thodey and Innovation and Science Australia's Chair, Bill Ferris, have contributed technical input and ballast for discussions between officials. Post has expanded our network of contacts in this field and worked closely with the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum's Innovation Working Group to cross-fertilise ideas and encourage useful industry contributions to the governments' agenda. We have promoted heavily Australia's National Innovation and Science Agenda, including at our annual Trans-Tasman Dinner at which the Chief Scientists delivered keynote addresses.
The bilateral agreement, which is to be signed at the February 2017 Leaders' Meeting, will put in place the conditions for achieving the Prime Ministers' objective of a trans-Tasman innovation ecosystem. All areas of science, research and innovation will be candidates for enhanced cooperation under the agreement, with an ongoing work programme to reflect priorities of the day. Strengthening our collaboration in this way should provide greater commercial opportunities for both countries and improve our competitiveness.
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Case study: Improving Investment Climate and Competitiveness in Myanmar
With Australia's support, Myanmar's economic reforms are advancing. On 18 October 2016, the President of Myanmar approved a new consolidated Investment Law. Australia supported the preparation of the law through the Myanmar Investment Climate and Competitiveness Program (ICCP), and work is under way on the investment rules and regulations to bring the law into effect. The new law provides a level playing field for local and foreign investors; significantly reduced procedures; increased property rights protection; and a robust grievance mechanism.
In June 2015, Australia committed up to $20 million over six years to the ICCP. This program is streamlining business regulation; improving the investment policy framework and corporate governance; and supporting economic integration by improving connectivity, strengthening trade policy, and making trade more inclusive. The expected impact of the ICCP includes annual savings in compliance costs for business of over USD24 million by the third year of the program and an increase of 2 per cent in private sector investment (with a value of USD500 million) by 2021.
The ICCP will increase opportunities for Australian businesses by creating a friendlier and more reliable investment climate. It will help Myanmar businesses by creating a much improved businesses enabling environment. This in turn will assist Australian businesses looking for Myanmar investment and trading partners. It will help Myanmar increase its flows of foreign direct investment, ensuring economic growth and funding for social reforms. The program will also assist Myanmar gain access to global markets, and maximise its key strategic location through regional trade agreements and increased connectivity. The ICCP will also reinforce Australia's close trade and investment links with ASEAN member countries.
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Case study: Croatian and Australian Women in STEM
In a departure from the standard concept of a "round table", the Embassy broke from the norm and hosted a "square table" discussion forum focussing on the importance of women in what is considered a still male dominated realm. The event was entitled "Women in STEM - WiSTEM". This Australian initiative, organised in cooperation with the Croatian Association of Employers (HUP), caught the attention of the Croatian President, who took part in the event.
The Embassy brought together eight inspirational women from across the fields of physics, astrophysics, IT, robotics and marine science. Members of the panel spoke of their passion for their chosen fields and the challenges they encountered in pursuing a career in STEM in Croatia. All were recipients of Australian education scholarships, including Endeavour Awards and the Group of Eight European Research Fellowship program. Each of them have enjoyed successful careers due to hard work, natural ability, and the support of their families, teachers and colleagues. All speakers spoke of the existence of stereotypes and misconceptions encountered by women working in science and technology around the globe.
The event, which was widely reported in all Croatian media outlets, ignited public discourse in Croatia on why women are still underrepresented in STEM fields and how society can encourage young women to consider careers in STEM. Australia has taken up this challenge and has invested immensely both at home and abroad to empower women and girls, including in STEM. Through this event, the Embassy promoted Australia's position on gender equality, noting it was one of Australia's key pillars in its campaign to join the UN Human Rights Council for 2018-20. Both the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic and Australian Ambassador Susan Cox called not only for more opportunities for women but also for women to play greater leadership roles in STEM.
The "square table" event is an invaluable foundation in shaping our Embassy's future economic diplomacy activities, in which we will continue to promote Australian innovation. It also provides a deeper insight into the challenges of the business environment in Croatia. With subsequent events, we aim to achieve the goal of raising Australia's presence in the Croatian market.
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State and Territory Offices 2016 Case Studies
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New South Wales
Case study: NSW Office sponsors new export award: Celebrating international development work of the Pacific Legal Network
In 2016, the NSW State Office sponsored the newly established NSW International Development Award, as part of the Premier's NSW Export Awards. This award celebrates outstanding success in assisting developing countries boost trade and investment, encourage economic growth and build labour capacity.
The Pacific Legal Network is a leading provider of legal and business advisory services in multiple countries across the Pacific. In addition to assisting clients ranging from ASX listed entities to donors, the Network also supports pro-bono community projects throughout the region.
Case study: Australia to host 'Space
Olympics' and major international business events
Hosting international business conferences in Australia contributes over $23 billion to our economy annually, with international business visitors spending nearly 6.5 times that of leisure tourists. These events also showcase our professional capabilities and tourism assets, and develop further trade and investment relationships that contribute to future economic prosperity. This should increase with the opening of the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) in December 2016. ICC Sydney's convention facilities are capable of hosting three major events concurrently, with an 8,000 seat plenary.
The DFAT NSW State Office and Australian Embassies play an active role in supporting Business Events Sydney (BESydney), heavily supported by the NSW Government, to secure international conferences in Sydney. Support from the DFAT network at critical junctions in the bidding process has played a decisive role in winning bids. Spanning multiple years, markets and sectors, advocacy by Australia's Ambassadors and High Commissioners demonstrates high-level support from the Australian Government, facilitates introductions and increases the profile of bids through media channels.
Examples of successful bids assisted by DFAT (for events taking place in Sydney) include:
- The 'Space Olympics': Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) in 2020. The largest global space-related scientific meeting, attracting over 2,200 space scientists over seven days, injecting an estimated $9.5 million into the economy
- Swift International Banking Operations Society (Sibos) in 2018, the world's premier financial services event. This will inject an estimated $37.8 million into the economy and attract over 6,000 delegates from around the world
- International Congress and Executive Council Meeting of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) in 2020, the most important global congress on sustainable development of irrigated agriculture. It will attract over 1,000 delegates worth an estimated $5.6 million
- FIGO World Congress of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in 2021, which will bring to Australia over 7,000 delegates, and will inject an estimated $26.2 million into the economy.
- These conferences will bring global business leaders and senior government officials to Sydney, and help expand Australia's trade, investment, education, research and tourism interests.
Case study: Empowering women on International Women's Day
To mark International Women's Day 2016, the DFAT NSW State Office invited Australia Award recipients in Sydney to attend the Westpac International Women's Day Lunch. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop addressed the audience, underlining the importance of women's empowerment as a vehicle to building economic prosperity. The Australia Award recipients took the opportunity to learn from and build networks amongst the 1,300 executive and board members attending the luncheon.
The Australia Awards provide opportunities for students from developing countries, particularly those located in the Indo-Pacific region, to undertake undergraduate or postgraduate study in Australia. Courses undertaken include medicine, accounting, engineering and environmental sciences. The program enables students to increase their educational qualifications and build capacity and skills, and contribute to their country's economic development upon their return home.
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Case study: You Don't Know What You Don't Know
The Seasonal Worker Programme aims to provide opportunities for persons from participating countries to gain paid work experience and provides Australian businesses with seasonal workers who help to fill labour gaps in the local market.
DFAT's Northern Territory Office initiated and led stakeholder engagement with Federal and NT Government agencies, industry peak bodies and businesses to raise awareness of and engagement in the Seasonal Worker Programme in the Northern Territory.
The Northern Territory Office's initiative helped grow seasonal worker numbers in the NT by 33 per cent (year-on-year - figures supplied by the NT Farmers Association), helping NT employers to meet their seasonal worker needs.
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Case study: Improving higher and vocational education linkages with Indonesia
The international education sector is a significant contributor to Australia's economy. Both the Federal Government, through the National Strategy for International Education 2025 and the Queensland Government through the International Education and Training Strategy to Advance Queensland 2016-2026, have prioritised growth of the sector.
Indonesia is a large and geographically close international education market and Australia has long been one of the destinations of choice for Indonesians to study abroad. Nonetheless, with the bilateral relationship entering an active and productive phase and the Indonesian economy projected to be a top ten global economy by 2030, there is scope to grow the education relationship.
Queensland State Office in partnership with Austrade, Trade and Investment Queensland, universities and VET providers, supported the effort to foster stronger educational linkages with Indonesia through a series of engagement and support activities throughout 2016. This included facilitating a roundtable in Brisbane for Indonesian Vice Finance Minister Mardiasmo (responsible for the national scholarships program), supporting the visit of the Queensland Deputy Premier to Indonesia with an education sector delegation, briefing universities on opportunities in Indonesia and hosting Indonesian students studying in Queensland, encouraging them to become ambassadors for Australia through alumni links.
Case study: Special Visit Program for the PNG Energy Minister, the Hon Nixon Duban
Building strong links with Papua New Guinean leadership strengthens our bilateral relationship and provides avenues for partnership in areas that matter to both Australia and PNG. High-level visits can also result in investment opportunities for Australian business. The special visit program for PNG's Energy Minister, the Hon Nixon Duban, supported by the Queensland State Office (QSO), connected Minister Duban with senior figures in the Australian energy and agricultural sectors in Brisbane and Townsville.
PNG has an objective of increasing electrification of the country to 70 per cent by 2030. QSO brought together Energy Queensland, Origin Energy, ExxonMobil PNG, the University of Queensland and Trade and Investment Queensland to brief Minister Duban on options for meeting PNG's energy needs. Minister Duban learned about off-grid investments, including in renewables that could reduce PNG's system inefficiencies and provide opportunities for electrification of remote areas at affordable rates. Queensland businesses gained insights into National Energy Policy through their exposure to Minister Duban. It was agreed Queensland companies would be prepared to assist PNG with a mapping exercise to better shape its development of national energy targets in the future.
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Case study: Seminar on innovation in agriculture
On 15 June 2016, the South Australia State Office hosted a lunch-time seminar titled "Innovation in Agriculture; Beyond the Buzzword" on using innovation to improve development outcomes in agriculture, with a particular focus on the role of innovation in the aid program. Around 45 people attended the seminar, drawn from the South Australian Government, private sector, universities, development specialists, Australia Award scholars and returned volunteers.
Tristan Armstrong, from DFAT's Agriculture and Food Branch, delivered the keynote presentation on how innovation could assist to tackle the global food security challenge. The presentation placed agriculture in the context of Australia's aid program, outlining how DFAT has used innovative approaches in aid investments in the agriculture sector, including through creating multi-stakeholder partnership platforms for innovation and scale, and through working in partnership with the private sector.
A discussion by a panel of experts drawn from the University of Adelaide's Centre for Global Food and Resource, Coffey International, and the South Australian Research and Development Institute. Participants answered questions on the most straightforward ways to increase agricultural productivity, how to improve access to markets and increase trade, as well as how private sector operators could work with government partners on international agricultural development.
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Case study: Tasmania - Australia's Island State
In 2016, Tasmania became a focus for the Department's domestic diplomacy as Australia's only island state, when in April 2016 the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop hosted the Diplomatic Corps for a two-day economic diplomacy program to the North and South of the state. During this visit over 80 Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Charge D'Affaires received an in-depth insight into some of Tasmania's key international and trade oriented sectors. What emerged during the visit was a story of economic, cultural, technological and social innovation in sectors including the Antarctic, agribusiness, tourism, international education, and maritime advanced manufacturing.
This year the Tasmania State Office has also continued to work with key thought leaders in gender equality and women's economic empowerment, which has led to the establishment of the new information resource for empowering women and girls in India - Girls Gotta Know India. This project, funded by the Australia-India Council was based on the very successful Girls Gotta Know Australia website (girlsgottaknow.com.au) pioneered by the Women's Legal Service of Tasmania.
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Case study: Innovation in Victoria Consular Corps Tour
In 2016, DFAT Victoria hosted foreign diplomats on a tour to showcase Australia's sophisticated and dynamic economy, promote Victoria's capabilities in innovation and facilitate partnerships and inward investment.
Diplomats visited world-leading projects in biotech innovation and health research and care, including the new $1 billion Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, and some of Melbourne's most successful co- working spaces, accelerator programs and start-up initiatives.
Site visits in Ballarat and Geelong highlighted innovation in frontier materials, carbon fibres and virtual reality, and underscored how targeted investment in education can support a culture of entrepreneurship and research commercialisation. The tour promoted Australia's capacity for economic re-invention, as regional cities move away from traditional industries to a new economy of information and creativity.
Tour participants reported the emergence of several new partnerships in areas of virtual reality, cyber security and strategic urban planning. DFAT also provided attendees with a report and promotional video to relay key messages and opportunities to their governments and promote future collaboration.
DFAT worked with Victorian stakeholders to design the tour, strengthening priority relationships and DFAT's knowledge-base of local industry to promote targeted future engagement and growth opportunities.
Case study: Supporting the Australia-Indonesia relationship in Melbourne
DFAT Victoria organised and leveraged targeted events to promote the Australia-Indonesia relationship with Victorian-based business, government and educational institutions. We supported a visit by Indonesian emerging political leaders showcasing Melbourne's strengths and linking them to key Victorian contacts. We supported the Indonesian Trade Minister's visit, including the signing of a financial services cooperation agreement with Indonesia's Financial Services Authority, OJK, and a follow up Victoria-Indonesia Leadership Program for financial services leaders from both countries.
We participated in this year's Indonesia-Australia Investment Forum, Monash University's Australia- Indonesia Business Forum alongside Indonesia's Minister of Finance and Victoria's Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, and a Melbourne University event with Indonesia's Minister for National Development Planning where we highlighted potential for closer cooperation.
We hosted a wide-ranging roundtable discussion with Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia and leading Victorian Government, business, culture, sports and education representatives. We facilitated a Business Process Group forum on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) for stakeholders and outreach to the Victorian Government by Australia's Chief Negotiator on the IA-CEPA. We also addressed Australia Awards graduates completing their studies on malaria prevention and treatment in Melbourne.
In partnership with the Indonesian Consulate General, DFAT Victoria hosted a series of Bahasa Indonesia language courses for Melbourne's business, arts and culture communities and Victorian Government over eight weeks. The course was designed to facilitate linkages and equip participants with essential language skills and cultural knowledge to conduct business and expand their networks in Indonesia.
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Case study: Site visit to HMAS Stirling and the Australian Marine Complex by WA Consular Corps
In July 2016, the DFAT Western Australia State Office hosted the WA Consular Corps, including the Consuls-Generals of China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, on site visits to HMAS Stirling and the
Australian Marine Complex (AMC). HMAS Stirling is Australia's largest naval base and the home of the Royal Australian Navy's submarine fleet. The AMC, a public-private partnership, accommodates 150 businesses servicing the marine, defence and resource industries. Since opening in 2003, it has generated in excess of
$2.3 billion for the local economy, creating more than 37,500 jobs. By showcasing both Australia's excellence in marine manufacturing, fabrication and technology and the Royal Australia Navy's significant presence, the DFAT WA State Office deepened the WA Consul Corps understanding of Blue Economy commercial and investment opportunities in Western Australia.
Case study: Outreach to WA
As part of DFAT's community outreach, DFAT Western Australia State Office Director Andrea Gleason presented to around 100 economics and commerce teachers at the Economic Teachers' Association of WA annual conference in Perth in November 2016. Andrea explained the Australian Government's trade agenda; including the process of negotiating trade agreements, and discussed the importance of open markets and foreign investment for a trading nation such as Australia.
Case study: Ballet diplomacy - Promoting WA's people-to-people links with Indonesia
During the Perth visit of Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, the DFAT WA State Office brought together New Colombo Plan alumni, Australia-Indonesia Business Council Young Professionals and Australia Awards scholars from Indonesia for a preview of the West Australian Ballet's Indonesia tour.
Hosted by the Ballet at its stunning Art Deco home in Maylands, the preview was attended by the WA Minister for the Arts, the Hon John Day, the Indonesian Consul-General and his wife, and business leaders. The evening was a wonderful success in promoting the West Australian Ballet's Indonesia tour and WA's vibrant arts sector. In addition, it highlighted the New Colombo Plan (NCP) and Australia Awards (AA) programs and their role in linking the youth of Australia and the Indo-Pacific.