outlook for 2014–15
Continue to contribute to economic diplomacy
Austrade will contribute to economic diplomacy by continuing to help Australian businesses to enter new markets and take advantage of new opportunities arising from free trade agreements; by facilitating foreign direct investment into Australia; and by promoting Australia as a destination of choice for international students.
Lead the organisation of the Government’s overseas business missions
Business missions that accompany the Prime Minister and other ministers on overseas visits are a valuable part of Australia’s economic diplomacy agenda. Austrade will continue to take the lead on their organisation, driving a coordinated approach to ensure missions provide value to the Australian business community and deliver commercial outcomes.
Appoint senior investment specialists to strengthen investment expertise
With greater emphasis on attracting foreign direct investment to Australia, the Minister for Trade and Investment requested that Austrade establish a small team of senior investment specialists to boost the capacity of its investment division. The senior investment specialists, to be appointed in the first half of 2014–15, will provide strong advocacy to foreign investors in the investment priority sectors, advance projects across government, and assist in bringing proposed projects by foreign companies to fruition.
Develop a five-year action plan to strengthen Australia’s tourism industry
Austrade will work closely with other Commonwealth departments, state and territory governments and industry stakeholders to develop a 2015–20 tourism action plan. It will support the goals of the Tourism 2020 strategy to increase overnight expenditure to between $115 billion and $140 billion by 2020, and will focus on tackling the supply-side barriers that impede growth in Australia’s tourism sector.
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Export Market Development Grants scheme
The Export Market Development Grants scheme was established on 1 July 1974. This year will mark 40 years of operation of the scheme, which continues to provide incentives to Australian businesses and new exporters to develop export markets. Since its inception, the scheme has assisted tens of thousands of exporters, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, to become sustainable exporters to a wide range of overseas markets.
Establish a new Consulate-General in Houston
Austrade is leading the work to establish a new Consulate-General in Houston, Texas, in 2015. Houston is recognised as the global energy capital, and Texas is the world’s 13th-largest economy by gross domestic product. Establishing a permanent Australian Government presence there will provide Australia with greater access to the two-way trade and investment opportunities of the US energy revolution.