Advance Australia’s trade, investment and education promotion interests through information, advice and services to business, the education sector and governments.
Programme 1.1: Trade, education and investment promotion
Austrade will advance Australian trade, investment and international education interests by identifying and presenting international opportunities and delivering practical in-market support, advice and insights to Australian businesses and education institutions.
Deliverables and key performance indicators
|Deliverable||Achieved||Section and page reference|
|Australia’s trade and economic interests are maximised through:|
Developing international markets for Australian businesses
Attracting productive foreign direct investment to Australia
Note: A new set of priorities were agreed at the inaugural Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting in February 2014.
For more information, see page 60.
Attracting productive foreign direct investment to Australia
Attracting productive foreign direct investment to Australia
Promoting Australian education and training internationally
Promoting Australia internationally—see page 70.
Developing international markets for Australian businesses
Contributing to whole-of-government policy development
|Deliverable||Achieved||Outcome and page reference|
High-level satisfaction by ministers, the Australian business community and education institutions with Austrade’s services.
Conducted the annual service improvement study—see page 27.
Provided support for ministerial visits—see page 81.
Provided ministerial speeches—see page 71.
Provided ministerial submissions and briefs—see page 80.
Provided education and training market research and intelligence—see page 54.
Provision of valued, practical, market-focused services, advice and information to Australian businesses and education institutions.
Provided services to internationally ready firms—see page 25.
Assessed applications for income tax exemption under section 23AF of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936—see page 31.
Provided services online—see page 70.
Provided referrals for eligible Australian businesses to professional in-market service providers—see page 26.
Identification and distribution of opportunities to Australian businesses and education institutions.
Identified and distributed trade opportunities—see page 26.
Identified and distributed education and training opportunities
Provided direct assistance to Australian businesses
Effective promotion of Australia as a destination for productive foreign direct investment; a source of competitive high-quality goods and services; and a world-class international education destination and supplier of education and training services.
Continued to use and promote Australia’s nation brand
Continued to use and promote the Future Unlimited education brand—see page 49.
Enhanced the Study in Australia website and Market Information Package—see page 49.
Significantly contributed to 72 inward investments to Australia in 2013–14—see page 61.
Promoted Australia through media and social media—see page 7.
Co-presented the 51st Australian Export Awards—see page 72.
Achievement of agreed inward investment objectives for priority areas in target markets, by working in conjunction with Commonwealth, state and territory government agencies.
Worked with state and territory governments to achieve results on shared priorities—see page 60.
Promoted and attracted foreign direct investment by sharing investment leads and supporting site visits and leads from Austrade’s international network—see page 60.
Provided commercial investment insights—see page 61.
Effective contribution to whole-of-government policy development using Austrade’s global, commercial perspective on export, investment and international education.
Contributed to government policy initiatives—see page 76.
Engaged with state and territory governments through Austrade’s state and territory directors’ unit—see page 76.
Administered attached agency agreements—see page 79.
Appeared before, or provided input to, parliamentary inquiries and briefings—see page 79.
Supported Australian ministers abroad and visits to Australia by foreign government representatives—see page 81.
Developing international markets for Australian businesses
While the total value of global trade now exceeds its pre–global financial crisis levels, world trade growth has remained relatively sluggish in the aftermath of the crisis. Prior to the crisis, the volume of world trade in goods and services rose at an annual rate of around 7 per cent. But in 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that the volume of world trade only grew by about 3 per cent. While it is expected to strengthen over the next two years in line with improving global GDP growth, official forecasters like the IMF still think that growth in world trade volumes is only likely to run at around 4 or 5 per cent over this period. World Trade Organization trade forecasts are similarly cautious.2
Australia’s exporter community
In 2012–13, there were around 45,000 exporters in Australia, which together accounted for some $300 billion of exports of goods and services.3 This total included around 43,000 exporters of goods worth $247 billion, and around 3,000 exporters of services valued at $53 billion.4 As is the case for many of the world’s economies, a relatively small number of exporters accounted for the bulk of total exports by value.
Almost 90 per cent of all goods exports were exported by just 405 Australian businesses, which each had exports greater than $50 million in value. These large firms accounted for about 1 per cent of the total number of goods exporters. A large degree of export concentration is not unusual, although Australia’s ratio is well above the international average. According to one study across countries, the top 1 per cent of exporters accounts for about 53 per cent of exports on average. The degree of concentration also tends to increase in line with the level of economic development. In the case of the United States, for example, the top 1 per cent of exporters accounts for about 79 per cent of exports.5
More than 8,700 exporters, or about 20 per cent of the total, each had exports worth between $250,000 and $50 million. This group accounted for almost $27 billion of exports in 2012–13, or about 11 per cent of total goods exports by value.
Almost 34,000 exporters, or about 79 per cent of the total, each had exports worth less than $250,000. This largest group of exporters was responsible for about $1.5 billion of exports, or less than 1 per cent of total goods exports for the year.
Figure 4: Australian goods exporters, 2012–13
Note: Totals may not add up to 100 per cent due to rounding.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Characteristics of Australian exporters, 2012–13, cat. no. 5368.0.55.006.
Figure 5: Australian services exporters, 2012–13
Note: Total services exports were $52.8 billion. For $33.1 billion (63 per cent) of exports, a breakdown by size and number of exporters is not available.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Characteristics of Australian exporters, 2012–13, cat. no. 5368.0.55.006.
Australia’s exports of services exhibit the same kind of relationship between size of exporter and contribution to total exports as its exports of goods. In 2012–13, there were 81 exporters, or about 2 per cent of the total, each with exports worth more than $50 million. This group was responsible for about 65 per cent of the total value of services exports attributed to individual exporters.6 Ninety-eight per cent of services exporters, each with exports worth less than $50 million, were responsible for the remaining 35 per cent of total services exports.
2. International Monetary Fund 2014, World Economic Outlook update, July.
3. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Characteristics of Australian exporters, 2012–13, cat. no. 5368.0.55.006.
4. The Australian Bureau of Statistics count excludes businesses that supply goods and services to foreign tourists and students domestically, sales of goods and services by Australian businesses to other Australian businesses for subsequent export, and exports of goods consignments with a value less than $2,000. Around 1,000 firms in the count export both goods and services.
5. Caroline Freund 2014, ‘Rethinking the national export initiative’, Policy Brief 14-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics, February.
6. Due to the exclusions outlined in note 4, the Australian Bureau of Statistics does not produce a breakdown by size and number for services exporters accounting for $33 billion or 63 per cent of the total.
Research into Australia’s international business community
Austrade, along with the Export Council of Australia, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and the University of Sydney, has produced a major new piece of economic analysis called Australia’s International Business Survey: 2014 report. It was one of the most comprehensive investigations into Australian international business in more than a decade. The survey, released in March 2014, captured data from more than 1,600 Australian businesses operating in more than 120 international markets and in a wide range of industries.
The survey found that Australia’s international business engagement now extends well beyond the export of goods. While 67 per cent of survey respondents reported that they derived international revenue from the sale of products, less than half said this was their only source of revenue. Around 46 per cent said they gained international revenue from services, and 14 per cent said they benefited from sales of intellectual property (Figure 6).
In addition, almost four in five respondents said they were also involved in other forms of international activity, including importing and outsourcing (about 60 per cent), outward foreign direct investment or offshore production (40 per cent), participation in international supply chains (24 per cent), or some form of international research and development with an overseas partner (about 26 per cent).
Figure 6: Sources of international revenue for Australian businesses
IP = intellectual property
Note: Two per cent of survey participants said they derived international revenues from ‘other’. Total does not add up to 100 per cent due to rounding.
Source: University of Sydney and Export Council of Australia 2014, Australia’s International Business Survey: 2014 report.
Survey respondents were relatively optimistic about their economic outlook—74 per cent said they planned to expand into two or more new markets during the next two years. A total of 81 countries were nominated as important future markets. The top five (in descending order) were China, the United States, India, the United Kingdom and Indonesia.
The report also provided information on the kinds of barriers Australian businesses face when attempting to access overseas markets (Figure 7). The survey found that information gaps in some markets were the biggest impediment. Survey participants cited lack of knowledge about local culture, business practices, language and consumers, as well as lack of information on local regulations and tariffs, as the most difficult problems to overcome. It is in these areas where Austrade provides the most value to Australian exporters.
Figure 7: Top five barriers to doing business internationally
Note: Percentage of surveyed Australian firms that ranked these barriers as important. Multiple responses were possible.
Source: University of Sydney and Export Council of Australia 2014, Australia’s International Business Survey: 2014 report.
Australia’s export profile
In 2013, Australia exported a total of $318.5 billion of goods and services, comprising $263.5 billion of goods and $55.1 billion of services.7 Total exports were up about 6 per cent on the previous year, with goods exports rising by almost 6 per cent, while exports of services were up by more than 7 per cent.
Northeast Asia continued to dominate Australia’s export profile, receiving 58 per cent of Australia’s total exports. More than 30 per cent of all exports of goods and services went to China, followed by Japan (16 per cent), Korea (7 per cent), Taiwan (3 per cent) and Hong Kong (1 per cent) (Figure 8).
Australia’s exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) accounted for a further $34 billion, or around 11 per cent of total exports. Total Australian exports of goods and services to East Asia in 2013 were worth more than $218 billion, or just over two-thirds of all export earnings.
Exports to the European Union nations were around 7 per cent of total exports, while exports to the United States, which is Australia’s sixth-largest export market, were around 5 per cent of total exports.
7. The data in this section are from Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2014, Australia’s trade in goods and services 2013, available at www.dfat.gov.au/publications/tgs/index.html, accessed June 2014. Additional details are available at www.dfat.gov.au/publications/statistics.html.
Figure 8: Australia’s top 10 export destinations, 2013
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2014, Australia’s trade in goods and services 2013.
Exports of minerals and fuels accounted for almost half of total Australian goods and services exports in 2013, and exports of food and other primary products accounted for almost 13 per cent. Exports of manufactures had a 13 per cent share of total exports, while exports of other goods, including gold, accounted for 7 per cent. Services exports made up 17 per cent of the total.
Australia’s top 10 exports in 2013 are shown in Figure 9. The top five were iron ore and concentrates (22 per cent), coal (12 per cent), education-related travel services (5 per cent), natural gas (5 per cent) and gold (4 per cent).
Figure 10 shows Australia’s composition of trade in 2012–13, breaking out the services sector in more detail. Austrade supports the international operations of many of these sectors.
Figure 9: Australia’s top 10 exports, 2013
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2014, Australia’s trade in goods and services 2013.
Figure 10: Composition of exports by sector, 2012–13
Note: Totals may not add up to 100 per cent due to rounding.
Sources: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2014, ‘Trade data by trade import and export classification 2012–13’, unpublished; Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, International trade in services by country, by state and by detailed services category, financial year, 2012–13, cat. no. 5368.
Mark Thirlwell | Chief Economist, Sydney
Mark oversees the delivery of Austrade’s economic analysis, which covers the broad macroeconomic trends in Australia and the international economy that shape Austrade’s operating environment. ‘The main focus here is on trends in, and drivers of, trade and investment flows’, Mark said.
Mark and his small team provide a top–down perspective on Australian trade and investment, including the composition of the Australian exporter community. They also conduct research on special topics that are relevant to Austrade’s mandate and provide general economic support to colleagues in Austrade, through briefings, presentations, participation in training programmes, and input into speeches and analysis.
Mark’s formal training includes economics degrees from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and he has worked as an economist at the Bank of England, J.P. Morgan and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation. Before joining Austrade, Mark was the director of the International Economy programme at the Lowy Institute, Australia’s leading international policy think-tank.
Austrade supports Australian success in aerospace global value chains
Ferra Engineering specialises in the design, manufacture, assembly and testing of aerospace structures and subsystems. Through its commitment to advanced hi-tech facilities, and research and development, the Brisbane-based company has become a leading value chain partner to a large number of global aerospace original equipment manufacturers. Its customers include Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems, GE Aviation, Goodrich, Lockheed Martin, Thales, Marvin Engineering, Northrop Grumman, Parker and Rolls Royce.
Ferra has signed a number of long-term agreements to supply components for a range of Boeing fixed-wing aircraft, both military and commercial, as well as securing contracts to supply components for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet.
Ferra derives more than 70 per cent of its business from exports. Austrade has provided assistance through overseas market briefings, support at trade events like the Singapore Air Show, and introductions to potential Polish aviation customers at the 2013 Paris Air Show. Ferra has also received support from Austrade through the Export Market Development Grants scheme.
Ferra was named Boeing Supplier of the Year in 2011 in the International Category, out of a pool of more than 13,500 suppliers, and has earned a platinum supplier status award from Northrop Grumman, a US-based aerospace and defence technology company.
Global value chains
Global value chains are now widely recognised as a defining feature of globalisation and a critical part of global trade and production. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), multinational corporation–coordinated global value chains accounted for about 80 per cent of global trade in 2010.8 Hence, national economic integration is often heavily influenced by a country’s degree of participation in global value chains. Based on data assembled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Australia’s participation is at the low end of the spectrum for OECD members.9 According to the OECD, this reflects Australia’s distance from global markets.
8. UNCTAD 2013, World Investment Report 2013—Global value chains: Investment and trade for development.
9. OECD 2013, Interconnected economies: Benefiting from global value chains.
Austrade is working to increase this participation through:
- working in partnership with the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, the Department of Industry, peak industry associations and state and territory governments to develop global supply chain roadmaps that profile selected industry sectors
- establishing a programme to test global supply chain roadmaps in collaboration with partners and capable Australian exporters
- targeting key multinational corporations that exert an influence on global value chains and priority markets, connecting Australian services and manufacturing companies with decision-makers and key suppliers
- working with governments, collaborative centres of excellence, education institutes, bilateral chambers and global service providers to support international capability development of relevant industries.
How Austrade assists exporters
Austrade contributes to Australia’s economic prosperity by helping internationally ready Australian businesses as they develop overseas markets.
Austrade focuses on Asian markets, and other growth and emerging markets that offer commercial potential and opportunities aligned with Australia’s capability. Austrade’s resources are concentrated in areas where there is a clear role for government assistance.Back to top
Austrade’s services to internationally ready firms
Austrade provides internationally ready firms with information, opportunities, advice and services. It administers the Export Market Development Grants scheme (see page 85) and the TradeStart programme (see page 31 and Appendix B).
Austrade’s suite of services helps internationally ready Australian businesses by reducing the costs, time and risks of engaging in international markets. Businesses can use Austrade’s International Readiness Indicator online tool to assess whether they are internationally ready. If they are not internationally ready, the tool gives them a good understanding of what they need to address. Austrade also refers businesses that are not yet internationally ready to alternative enterprise development programmes.
Through Austrade’s network of advisers, both offshore and in Australia, Austrade helps internationally ready Australian businesses by:
- delivering market insight and intelligence
- providing advice on how to do business in prospective markets
- providing access to networks of key decision-makers, customers and contacts in overseas markets
- identifying and assessing business opportunities in international markets, and helping Australian businesses capture them
- providing badge-of-government assistance in-market and helping firms with behind-the-border barriers to trade and investment.
Austrade also provides exporters with tailored services that suit their individual needs, such as:
- market or country research to assist with the selection of new export markets, including information on barriers and regulations, market trends and specific market insights
- identification of potential partners and customers, including introducing potential partners, service providers and customers for a product or service
- appointments during a market visit to maximise overseas business trips by setting up meetings with potential partners and customers. In some markets, Austrade can also join meetings to provide language and cultural support
- market promotions, including assistance to attend overseas trade shows or join trade missions to launch products or services in overseas markets
- targeted representation using Austrade’s status as a government organisation to facilitate strategic introductions overseas.
Austrade also refers internationally ready Australian businesses, and potential foreign investors, to service providers with the specialist expertise to help them navigate complex international markets or seek assistance in Australia. Professional service providers can register for Austrade’s referral database at www.austrade.gov.au.
In 2013–14, Austrade provided 15,026 services to 6,608 businesses and education institutions (compared to 11,698 services to 4,867 businesses and education institutions in 2012–13). This year, Austrade also delivered more than 500 qualified trade opportunities to Australian businesses across all industry sectors.
Austrade maximises the opportunities for Australian businesses to access international markets by working with partners to build collective international trade knowledge, enhance coordination and minimise duplication. In particular, Austrade works closely with Commonwealth, state and territory governments, industry associations, chambers of commerce and industry, and professional services firms.
Following extensive market analysis in 2013, Austrade identified eight high-level global demand and growth trade areas in which it now focuses its services:
- food and consumer—focusing on promoting premium processed foods, wine, meat, dairy, horticulture and seafood, and leveraging Australia’s credentials for clean, green, ethical and safe foods
- agribusiness—focusing on building the international success of the firms that make Australia’s own agricultural production safe, sustainable and productive, in areas of deep capability such as dairy and seafood production
- resources and energy—focusing on mining equipment, technology and services, including mining software and specialised technologies, mineral processing, and mining education, training and research, as well as oil and gas technologies, including engineering and technology solutions and training, research and occupational health and safety
- health, aged care and biotechnology—focusing on disruptive technologies and health services, including health information technology and software, medical devices, aged care and senior living, biotechnology research, clinical trials and pharmaceuticals
- advanced manufacturing innovation—focusing on aerospace, defence, marine and automotive components and aftermarket technologies, and helping businesses to access global value chains
- infrastructure—focusing on sustainable urban development, rail, road, aviation and port infrastructure, including technology, equipment, skills development and services, as well as major infrastructure finance and delivery
- environment, water and energy efficiency—focusing on water and waste management, environment protection and remediation solutions, energy efficiency technologies and energy management solutions
- advanced services—focusing on financial services, ICT, professional business advisory services, creative industries and Australia’s capability in the delivery of major sporting events.
Achieving high standards of service
Each year, Austrade undertakes a comprehensive service improvement study to assess its service delivery and identify areas for improvement in its services to businesses.
The results for 2013–14 found that 89 per cent of Austrade’s clients were satisfied with their dealings with Austrade during the past 12 months (Figure 11). This result marks a return to satisfaction levels that the agency received prior to the implementation of reforms arising from the review of Austrade in 2011.
The survey also collected more detailed information and feedback. For example:
- 79 per cent of clients rated Austrade’s paid services as representing good value for money
- 79 per cent said Austrade made a positive contribution to their business
- 73 per cent said they achieved a commercial outcome as a result of working with Austrade.
The results also demonstrate the success of a number of corporate-wide service improvement initiatives introduced after the 2012–13 survey. These initiatives sought to reinforce service standards and consistent business practice across Austrade’s global network, including:
- ensuring effective qualification of all new organisations that seek Austrade’s assistance
- responding to all enquiries within two working days, as required by Austrade’s Service Charter
- providing swift and satisfactory complaint resolution
- undertaking planned follow-up to all service delivery
- providing referrals to professional service providers in line with Austrade’s policy
- keeping accurate and up-to-date records in Austrade’s database.
Austrade’s service improvement agenda was supported by a team of 40 business practice advisers in Austrade offices in Australia and overseas.
During the year, a number of service policies and procedures were updated to help staff deliver consistent levels of service across Austrade’s dispersed network. Staff can access a range of online tools to help them provide the highest quality service when working with other organisations.
At any time, organisations engaging with Austrade can provide formal compliments and complaints to the Austrade Services Manager. Feedback is reviewed monthly and used to improve service delivery in Australia and overseas. It also helps Austrade to identify issues that are important to its stakeholders. Austrade’s Service Charter is at Appendix C.
Figure 11: Client ratings of Austrade’s service, 2010 to 2014
Note: Totals may not add up to 100 per cent due to rounding
80th anniversary of the Trade Commissioner Service
In February 2014, Austrade celebrated 80 years of the Trade Commissioner Service with a dinner at Old Parliament House in Canberra.
The Trade Commissioner Service began when the Trade Commissioners Act 1933 came into force, providing for the appointment of trade commissioners for the Commonwealth of Australia.
Since then, generations of trade commissioners have contributed to Australia’s economic diplomacy in international trade, while navigating the challenges of finding new trade opportunities, building export successes and working in demanding environments.
Trade commissioners with service dating back to 1957 attended the event, as well as dignitaries from current and former governments.
The inaugural Beryl Wilson Austrade Scholarship for Women in International Business, named after Australia’s first female Trade Commissioner, was announced at the event and was awarded to Louise Clunies-Ross (see page 33).
Working with stakeholders
Engagement with stakeholders is an important part of the way that Austrade helps Australian businesses, complementing the direct assistance the agency provides.
Austrade’s external stakeholders include Commonwealth departments and agencies, state and territory governments, industry associations, chambers of commerce and industry and professional services firms. Austrade has a formal partnership in place with the Department of Industry for work on whole-of-government trade, investment and international education priorities.
In 2013–14, Austrade led three meetings of the Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group and three meetings of the National Investment Advisory Board. Austrade chairs and delivers the secretariat function for the board.
Austrade also collaborates on its business planning with key external stakeholders. It works closely with state and territory governments in order to complement their market and industry priorities. Working with industry associations gives Austrade access to in-depth industry knowledge, and helps these bodies to identify opportunities through Austrade’s offshore network. Austrade’s work is informed by, and builds on, research and analysis by banks and professional services firms, including legal and business advisory firms.
In 2013–14, Austrade worked with Meat & Livestock Australia, Dairy Australia and Wine Australia on improving their coordination and collaboration in international markets and increasing the value of the Australian brand across food and wine. These organisations have agreed to look for opportunities to collaborate with Austrade on specific events in key growth markets like China to generate opportunities for Australian companies.
In March 2014, Austrade hosted a breakfast forum in Melbourne, in partnership with the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and the Australian Industry Group, to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for Australian companies seeking to grow their businesses in international markets. Called ‘Competing internationally—do you need to follow your customer?’, it featured eight successful Australian manufacturing and services businesses that shared their experiences in building innovative, globally competitive businesses, including accessing global value chains.
Austrade also worked in partnership with the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, the Export Council of Australia and the University of Sydney to deliver the Australia’s International Business Survey: 2014 report (see page 20).
In other areas, Austrade continued its work with the Australian Water Association and Water Australia on assisting businesses to access opportunities in ASEAN, China and Latin America. Austrade’s collaboration agreement with Aviation–Aerospace Australia has resulted in a map of industry capabilities that assists businesses to access global value chains in that area.
Austrade assists Australian provider to secure rail training opportunity
Rail Skills Australasia is a not-for-profit membership-based organisation established in 2011 to represent and support vocational education and training, higher education and specialised skills development for the Australian rail industry.
The organisation initially had a domestic market focus, but international exposure came in 2012 when Austrade included it in an industry capability marketing publication that was promoted through Austrade’s overseas network. The publication demonstrated Australia’s world-class expertise in heavy-haul and freight rail.
Austrade’s office in Abu Dhabi identified an opportunity for Rail Skills Australasia and its network of education and training partners to participate in Etihad Rail’s US$15 billion, 1,200-kilometre greenfield freight railway project.
With high-level support from the Australian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, the Queensland Government and Austrade, a Rail Skills Australasia–led consortium (including the Centre for Excellence in Rail Training and two leading rail industry academics from the Queensland University of Technology) was awarded an initial contract in October 2013. The contract was to design, develop and deliver two five-day training courses for 50 Etihad Rail workers in Abu Dhabi. Rail Skills Australasia is currently working with Etihad Rail on future deliveries of the same programmes, scheduled in 2014.
Austrade, through its global rail expertise network, continues to assist Rail Skills Australasia and its network of education and training partners to identify and pursue opportunities in other markets, including Saudi Arabia, Thailand and India. The work of Austrade and Rail Skills Australasia is not only showing Australian education and training providers the high global demand for their expertise and skills, but also highlighting specific international opportunities created by that demand.
In 2013–14, Austrade’s TradeStart network of 31 trade offices operating in metropolitan and regional Australia broadened the reach of the agency’s trade and education promotion services. The programme extends the services Austrade provides to internationally ready Australian businesses and institutions through partnerships with state, territory and local governments, business chambers and industry bodies.
The four-year TradeStart contracts ended on 30 June 2014. Austrade conducted a competitive tender process between February and June 2014 to determine the partner organisations for the 2014–18 period, with the successful organisations to be announced in the first quarter of 2014–15. TradeStart locations and partner organisations for 2013–14 are listed in Appendix B.
Section 23AF of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
Since 1996, Austrade has had the delegation to determine and grant approved project status under section 23AF of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. Section 23AF exempts individuals from Australian income tax if they work overseas on an approved project for a continuous period of at least 91 days.
The exemption typically applies to projects in countries where individuals do not pay income tax, or where income tax is not levied on foreign workers because the project is funded by an international development agency (such as the World Bank). Austrade works with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to implement section 23AF and exemptions are contingent on satisfying ATO information requirements.
In 2013–14, Austrade granted 114 approvals in response to 119 applications from 24 applicants.10 This compares to 149 approvals, 151 applications and 33 applicants in 2012–13, continuing a trend of decreasing applications since 2009–10. The decrease appears to be due to prolonged effects of the global economic downturn and changes in business strategy by individual applicants. However, there was a notable upturn in applications in the second half of the year.
Approved projects were located in the following regions:
- Middle East – 48 (42 per cent)
- Indo-Pacific – 38 (33 per cent)
- Africa – 17 (15 per cent)
- Central Asia – 10 (9 per cent)
- Americas – 1 (1 per cent).
In 2013–14, 64 approved projects (56 per cent) were commercially funded; the remaining 50 (44 per cent) were funded by international development agencies.
10. Section 23AF applicants can submit multiple applications for approval.
In 2014, Austrade launched the Match Australia—International Sports Business programme for the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup and the Cricket World Cup, both of which Australia is hosting in 2015.
Match Australia will use these events as a platform to promote Australian capabilities across trade, investment, education and tourism. The tournaments also provide an opportunity to highlight the expertise of Australian firms that specialise in developing and managing major sporting events.
The programme is being delivered as part of the activities of a whole-of-government major events taskforce, led by the Office for Sport. The taskforce’s focus is on ensuring that the tournaments deliver a positive legacy for Australia.
In March 2014, Bruce Gosper, Austrade CEO, launched the Match Australia programme for the Asian Cup, along with the then NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, former Socceroo, Brett Emerton, and Frank Lowy AC, Chairman of Football Federation Australia.
Since then, Austrade has delivered a number of activities offshore to encourage high-level government and business delegations to visit Australia during the tournaments. This has included targeted networking and media outreach events in the United Arab Emirates, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Jordan, with others planned in Japan, Korea, China, South Africa and England.
During the tournaments, a range of business-matching programmes will be offered to programme participants, in partnership with state and territory governments.
Women in Global Business
The Women in Global Business (WIGB) programme, supported by Austrade, is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments. Its objective is to increase female participation in international trade and investment, and as a result deliver increased economic benefits and job creation in Australia.
The second year of the joint WIGB–University of Melbourne five-year longitudinal study of Australian businesswomen engaging in international markets was launched in October 2013. This was followed in April 2014 by the delivery across Australia of skills and capability development workshops on access to capital and finance for women business owners. WIGB worked in association with ANZ Bank, Grant Thornton, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and venture capital organisations on the workshops. Feedback from the longitudinal study and the workshops indicated that the vast majority of women business owners fund international growth from personal savings. In terms of ongoing sources of capital, the majority of women business owners rely on reinvested profit, while funds from banks were the primary source of funding for only around 20 per cent of organisations. The lack of working capital is acting as a major hindrance in developing international business.
Also in October 2013, WIGB partnered with ANZ Global Wealth to deliver the Engaging with Asia Speaker Series 2013, which attracted more than 800 people from across all capital cities. Speakers from Austrade and the Chinese business community gave keynote presentations on doing business in China. Attendees reported that the speaker series provided them with the confidence to export. In November 2013, WIGB held workshops on building the public relations and marketing skills that are essential for growing business internationally.
WIGB mentoring continues to increase in popularity each year. With two intakes per year, businesswomen are matched with seasoned mentors with international business experience, who can assist them to meet the challenges they face in international markets. More than 112 participants have joined the initiative to date.
WIGB undertakes numerous international engagement activities with businesswomen from around the world. Events in 2013–14 included the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women and the Economy forum, held in May 2014 in Beijing, and the APEC Access to Capital forum, held in September 2013 in Bali. WIGB also provided advice to UK Trade & Investment on establishing a similar entity.
Beryl Wilson Austrade Scholarship
Louise Clunies-Ross was the inaugural winner of the Beryl Wilson Austrade Scholarship for Women in International Business. Louise, who lives in Perth, has a background in international business development in the pharmaceutical industry in China and Malaysia. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and Malay.
The scholarship honours Beryl Wilson, who became a pioneer of Australian women in international business when she was appointed as Australia’s first female trade commissioner in 1963.
Austrade founded the scholarship on the 50th anniversary of Ms Wilson’s appointment to encourage the participation of women in international business.
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, said Louise ‘will make an excellent ambassador for women in international business and honour the legacy of Ms Wilson’.
Louise was inspired to learn about the scholarship’s namesake as she hopes one day to also become a trade commissioner. ‘I have heard about the obstacles Beryl had to go through to become the first female trade commissioner’, she said. ‘It’s a great achievement and I think she set the scene for women to walk in her footsteps.’
The scholarship will help Louise complete her final year of full-time study for a Master of Business Administration at the University of Western Australia.
Louise is honoured to be the inaugural scholarship recipient and knows the acknowledgement will open doors to more opportunities in the international business field.
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Austrade’s international network
Austrade’s contribution to advancing Australia’s economic prosperity is grounded in the provision of market information and insights; the promotion of Australian capability; making business connections; and providing advice and service at a firm and institutional level. Austrade’s work in overseas markets spans trade, investment and the international education and training sector.
Austrade’s teams on the ground focus on advising firms on how to do business in prospective markets; providing access to networks of key decision-makers, customers and contacts in overseas markets; identifying and assessing business opportunities in international markets, and helping Australian businesses capture them; providing badge-of-government assistance to firms in-market; and helping firms with behind-the-border barriers to trade and investment.
Using its network of connections and contacts in local markets with businesses, industry associations, governments and authorities, Austrade seeks to identify and communicate significant or emerging international business opportunities that align with the areas in which Australia has a comparative advantage. These areas include agribusiness and food; services (including wealth management and education and training); advanced manufacturing; mining and gas equipment, technology and services; and knowledge-based and other innovative industries.
The work of Austrade’s international network involves extensive firm-level interaction and underpins its understanding of exporter demographics. This work complements the broader macro perspective and responsibilities of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Austrade’s network extends—and sometimes leads—the reach of the Australian Government presence in international markets. This is the case for the consulates established in Bogota, Colombia, and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in the past two years.
At 30 June 2014, Austrade’s network had 82 overseas offices in 48 markets, 37 of which were in cities in which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not have an embassy, consulate or high commission. Examples of Austrade’s work and its outcomes in a number of different markets are provided on the following pages.
Grayson Perry | Trade Commissioner, New Delhi
Grayson leads a team in New Delhi whose work focuses on identifying commercial opportunities for Australian companies in South Asia. ‘We also work on engaging with other government agencies to ensure a whole-of-government approach to trade, investment, and education development, and to advance economic diplomacy in this market’, Grayson said.
Grayson also leads the transport infrastructure team in the South Asia region, focusing on identifying opportunities for Australian companies in the rail and road sectors. One of his achievements at Austrade has been working with the public and private sectors in India to implement a long-term road safety programme, bringing Australian commercial capability and road safety expertise to India. ‘This includes measures around policy, regulation, enforcement tools, road design, safety products and trauma care expertise in hospitals’, he said.
Grayson came to Austrade with considerable economic development experience. He assisted many Australian companies to access markets and opportunities in Asia, the United States and the Middle East when he managed the international trade and investment programme for the City of Gold Coast municipality.
China is Australia’s largest trading partner and export market, the largest source of foreign students and the most valuable tourism market. It is also an emerging source of foreign direct investment and Australia’s largest agricultural goods market.11
In 2013, Australia’s exports to China were valued at $102 billion, an increase of $22 billion or 28 per cent on 2012, and made up almost a third of Australia’s total goods and services exports. China accounted for almost one-quarter of Australia’s total trade in 2013. It was also Australia’s major export market for services, valued at $7 billion in 2013 (up 9 per cent on 2012). The main driver was travel services, comprising education-related travel services at $4 billion and recreational travel services at $2 billion.12
Income levels in China are continuing to increase, and more workers are transitioning from rural to urban living. These trends are creating opportunities for Australian businesses as Chinese populations expect improved housing, more liveable cities, a higher protein diet, a cleaner environment, better education, the opportunity to travel, and a more sophisticated choice of financial service products. China’s demand for premium food and beverages from Australia continues to rise. At the end of 2013, China accounted for 17 per cent of Australia’s red meat exports, at almost 257,000 tonnes.13 China has also emerged as Australia’s fastest-growing market for dairy exports. Austrade is working to ensure that Australian industry is aware of opportunities in China, and is assisting Australian companies to develop strategies to approach this challenging market.
In 2013–14, Austrade conducted pilot promotional programmes with online platforms, including Yihaodian and JD.com, which helped to increase market awareness as well as sales outcomes for Australian products. The Yihaodian promotion, held in December 2013, featured more than 400 Australian products, including established brands such as Devondale, Blackmores and Leggo’s, and brands new to China, including Beechworth Honey, Cripps Newbake and Jonesy’s Farm Milk. The success of the pilots bodes well for further promotional campaigns in 2014–15.
Opportunities for service and technology providers are expanding as the needs of businesses and consumers evolve. Australian company, RayGen Resources, has signed a $60 million investment and distribution deal to supply its cutting-edge solar power generation technology to China. The signing of a deal, with ZhuoZhou Intense Solar, was attended in April 2014 by the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, in Shanghai as part of the Australia Week in China business mission (see page 38).
In China’s vibrant tourism sector, Argyle Hotel Group has signed management contracts with 53 properties in China, 16 of which were concluded during the past 12 months. Austrade continues to work with Argyle Hotel Group and other Australian architecture, design and property management companies to introduce new project opportunities across China.
China remains the largest source country of international students, both globally and in Australia. In 2013, Chinese students made up 29 per cent of Australia’s international student population.14 From July 2013 to March 2014, there was a 20.1 per cent increase in the number of Australian student visa applications lodged offshore from mainland China, with growth mostly in higher education visa subclass 573.15 The first quarter of 2014 recorded an increase of 12.8 per cent in year-to-date commencements of Chinese students compared to the same period in 2013.16
In November 2013, Austrade hosted an ‘Understanding Talent Recruitment in China’ tour in Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou. The tour provided the opportunity to strengthen connections between career advisers, academics and international engagement staff from 18 Australian universities, corporate representatives and local governments across China.
The investment dimension of the Australia–China relationship is growing rapidly. China has now overtaken Switzerland and Canada to become the sixth-largest foreign direct investor in Australia, with a total stock of investment of almost $21 billion. This represents a 29 per cent increase between 2012 and 2013.17
11. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International trade in goods and services, Australia, May 2014, cat. no. 5368.0.
12. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, International trade in services by country, by state and by detailed services category, cat. no. 5368.0.55.004.
13. Meat & Livestock Australia 2014, ‘Australian red meat exports to China in 2013 accounted for 17% of total exports’, market news, 21 January. See www.mla.com.au/Prices-and-markets/Market-news/Australian-red-meat-exports-to-China-in-2013-accounted-for-17-of-total-exports.
14. Department of Education 2014, ‘Research snapshot: International student numbers’, April.
15. Department of Immigration and Border Protection 2014, ‘Student visa programme quarterly report’, quarter ending at 31 March 2014.
16. Department of Education, International student data series (2002 onwards).
17. Austrade 2014, ‘Australia’s inward FDI stock exceeds A$600 billion in 2013’, Austrade investor data note, 6 May.
Austrade delivers a unique opportunity for Australian food and beverage exporters
In late 2013, Austrade provided assistance to China-based Kangaroo Liaoning Business Chain Co. Ltd, which was in need of Australian food and beverage partners for a new chain of concept stores trading under the distinctive name ‘Australian Golden Kangaroo’.
The chain’s stores stock only the best premium food and beverages from Australian suppliers, including premium South Australian wines, Tasmanian honey and NSW bakery mixes. The range caters to China’s high-income-earning consumer. Six stores are now open in China’s northern city of Dalian.
Austrade worked with Australian Golden Kangaroo’s Melbourne office to carefully source the right products for its stores. Through Austrade’s recommendations and introductions, recent product additions to the range include Red Tractor oats, Get Farmed muesli and snack bars, and Boundary Bend olive oil.
During 2013–14, Austrade supported six major investment outcomes from China, four of which were in tourism infrastructure. They included Fullshare’s acquisition of the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas in Queensland, KCC Real Estate Development Company’s redevelopment of Willow Creek Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, and Shanghai Greenland’s boutique hotel proposal in the Greenland Centre in Sydney. Austrade also supported China Merchant Group’s investment in the Port of Newcastle, and investment by the world’s largest wind turbine producer, Goldwind, in the Gullen Range Wind Farm, both in New South Wales. Austrade provided qualified investment opportunities in its priority sectors, introduced relevant state and territory contacts, and facilitated site visits to achieve these successes. For more information on Austrade’s outcomes in foreign direct investment, see page 59.
Austrade has 85 staff and 11 offices in mainland China—in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Shenzhen and Wuhan.
Peter Mackey | Trade Manager, Services
Peter has held a number of positions at Austrade. Currently, he manages a team of five trade advisers who work with companies and key industry stakeholders in the services sector, including financial services, ICT, professional business services and creative industries. He also manages Austrade’s international business programme to leverage major international sporting events as business opportunities.
Peter has also held the roles of Trade Commissioner in Hanoi (2010–12) and Singapore (2012–13). He was also the Education Commissioner in the ASEAN markets during that period. He said one of his biggest achievements at Austrade was ‘establishing a multi-year, multi-market initiative to undertake research on the workforce development needs of the emerging markets in ASEAN, and identifying commercial opportunities for Australian education and training providers’.
Peter’s background is primarily in the education and training and ICT sectors, including various roles in the secondary, higher education and ELICOS sectors, as well as the private sector. Before joining Austrade, Peter spent nine years with an export-oriented educational software business, Planet Learning, which originated from the University of New South Wales, ultimately holding the role of general manager of the business.
Australia Week in China 2014
The inaugural Australia Week in China, held in April 2014, was one of the largest and most ambitious business missions ever undertaken by an Australian government. The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, and the Hon Bruce Billson MP, Minister for Small Business, led a business mission of 723 representatives from more than 550 organisations. During the week, more than 100 events were held in cities across China. The programme was organised by Austrade with the support of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Tourism Australia, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and other government agencies and industry associations.
The Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, visited China during the week, accompanied by a delegation that included the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; five state premiers and the Chief Minister of the ACT; and 36 of Australia’s most senior business and community leaders.
Australia Week in China demonstrated Australia’s strengths to 2,400 Chinese guests across 10 sectoral-based programmes, including mining and environmental equipment and technology; education and training; health and senior living; tourism; agribusiness; food, beverage and consumer goods; financial services; and the built environment.
Events were held in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Beijing and Shanghai. They included seminars, investment roundtables for major investors, site visits, formal and informal networking functions, commercial signings, product showcases, a tourism business showcase and a premium wine roadshow. Austrade facilitated introductions and business networking opportunities for Australian delegates and Chinese customers who had complementary business interests.
Australia Week in China also featured a major consumer activation campaign led by Tourism Australia, including a significant media promotion of Australia as a preferred tourist destination for China’s growing number of independent travellers.
Australia Week in China culminated in a gala lunch in Shanghai for 1,800 guests, including Yang Xiong, Mayor of Shanghai. The Government’s message, ‘Australia—open for business’, was the centrepiece of Mr Abbott’s keynote address to the attendees.
Initial outcomes from the Australia Week in China business mission included:
- the signing of 21 deals, estimated to generate sales of around $894 million, with the potential for more as other agreements reach fruition
- bilateral tertiary education cooperation
- several foreign direct investment deals under negotiation
- significant media coverage in Australia and China.
Australia Week in China was a high-impact event. It succeeded in sending a very powerful message about Australia’s commitment to deeper trade, investment, education and tourism engagement with China, as well as showcasing Australian businesses and institutions and their comparative advantage. Feedback from mission delegates and Chinese customers has been overwhelmingly positive and the Government has committed to a second Australia Week in China event in 2016.
Austrade finds Australian companies positive about China
In October 2013, Austrade conducted the second Australia–China Business Perceptions Survey, in conjunction with Australian chambers of commerce in China. More than 80 Australian companies operating in China participated. The survey found that 83 per cent of respondents had a positive outlook for 2014 and expected their operations in China to continue growing.
Three in four businesses indicated that they were likely to expand their China operations in the next five years, and two-thirds of those said they expected to expand within the next two years. Beijing and Shanghai topped the list of places where expansion was most likely to occur, followed by Guangdong and Hong Kong. The inland western regions of Chongqing and Sichuan—where the Chinese Government has actively promoted investment and growth—were seen as more likely locations for expansion than the traditional eastern coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu.
Key competitive advantages for Australian companies operating in China included high-quality products and services, good client relationships, and a wide range of innovative products. Four in five of the businesses surveyed said competition had increased in the last year, most strongly from local competitors and foreign-owned firms. Key obstacles to growth were a shortage of skilled staff, lack of transparency in organisational practices and an unclear regulatory environment.
Susan Corbisiero | Trade Commissioner, Beijing
Susan’s industry focus in China is promoting Australian capabilities in the premium food, wine, agribusiness and consumer sectors. She works with individual Australian companies to help them enter the Chinese market.
Susan leads a team of six in northern China—four in Beijing and two in Shenyang—who work across numerous sectors. ‘Beijing is a busy post with lots of visiting federal, state and territory ministers and business delegations’, Susan said. ‘I also work closely with other Australian Government agencies on issues affecting the Australia–China trade relationship. This includes providing briefings to visiting Australian delegations, as well as representing the Australian Government at various events.’
She believes her background in relationship management and working across culturally and geographically diverse teams helps her to achieve results in her current role. ‘Having worked previously in China in the highly competitive automotive industry for a decade, my direct experience in production, building relationships and negotiating supply and contractual terms means I intimately understand the operational realities of the Chinese market.’
Austrade helps to rebuild Japan’s oyster industry
Three years ago, the oyster industry in Tohoku, Japan, was decimated by a tsunami. Most of the industry’s infrastructure was destroyed. In response to the disaster, the Japanese Government started initiatives to help the recovery of aquaculture infrastructure in the area.
Austrade is assisting the rebuild by introducing world-class Australian expertise and technology in the region. For a year, Austrade consulted with local farmers, fishery associations and related organisations to identify what Australia could contribute to the reconstruction. This research culminated in an Australian oyster culture technology seminar held in February 2014 in Tohoku, attended by 100 local oyster farmers and related professionals.
Austrade invited a number of Australian companies, including SEAPA Pty Ltd, to present their oyster culture technologies to a targeted audience. Seminars were also held in Tokyo and Hiroshima, attended by 220 industry participants. The two companies also visited local farms to deepen understanding of their needs and local conditions.
The visit was an excellent launch for SEAPA into the Japanese market. The company specialises in plastic aquaculture products, particularly oyster baskets that are purpose-built to simplify and increase the efficiency of subtidal and intertidal oyster farming.
Austrade raised awareness of SEAPA’s specialised capabilities with potential commercial buyers, and assisted SEAPA to secure a distribution agreement and its first sales in Japan. Garry Thompson, Managing Director of SEAPA, said the company ‘looks forward to further dealings with Austrade as we continue to develop the potential of our products into Japan’.
This Austrade initiative has benefited the Japanese oyster industry by providing more durable and efficient oyster-growing systems, and has established Australia’s strong aquaculture credentials.
Following this success, a delegation of 12 Japanese oyster farmers and industry representatives visited Tasmania in June 2014 and inspected farms and production facilities there.
The Philippines, a country of more than 7,000 islands with a population of about 100 million people, has been the second-fastest-growing economy in Asia (after China) for the past two years.18 The country’s well-educated and English-speaking population, significant natural resource endowments, fertile lands and proximity to major shipping lanes give it the potential for further growth.
The current Philippine Government has made fighting corruption and improving transparency its top priorities. Government spending on infrastructure and the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the areas devastated by the recent strong earthquake and typhoons continues, and private investment in offices, malls, housing and residential condominiums remains strong.
In February 2014, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, and the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, attended the Philippines–Australia Ministerial Meeting with their Philippine Government counterparts to discuss trade and economic issues of mutual interest. Mr Robb was accompanied by a mission of senior executives from 20 Australian companies. They represented a wide range of industries, including shipbuilding; agribusiness; mining, oil and gas; business process outsourcing; education and training; financial services; architectural design services; and engineering. In addition, both ministers also had the opportunity to address senior representatives of the Philippine private sector during an infrastructure breakfast forum organised by Austrade and a joint membership meeting of the Makati Business Club.
Australian architectural design firms offering specialised services have found a niche in the Philippine building and construction sector. Populous Australia, an architectural firm known for designing cultural precincts and venues around the world, was commissioned to design the 50,000-seat Philippine Arena, which will be the world’s largest indoor domed arena when it is completed in July 2014. Representatives from Populous participated in the business mission led by Mr Robb to the Philippines–Australia Ministerial Meeting and Austrade continues to work with Populous to identify other opportunities in the Philippines.
The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing markets for Australian education and training. The sector has experienced significant and uninterrupted growth during the last five years. In 2012–13, enrolments increased by around 35 per cent, with a total of 5,274 student visas granted. Vocational education and training accounts for more than 45 per cent of student enrolments and higher education accounts for 38 per cent.19 There are also around 30 active transnational education and training partnerships in fields such as business, tourism and hospitality, health, heavy industries and automotive technology. Factors contributing to this growth include an increase in promotion of Australian education and training; the large Filipino diaspora in Australia who attract relatives or friends to study here; the perception of Australian education as ‘value for money’; an increase in the number of credible and competent agents; and a higher profile due to the significant number of Australian qualifications delivered in the market.
Austrade has helped several Australian education and training providers to enter the Philippine market. In 2013–14, Austrade assisted the Chisholm Institute of TAFE to secure an agreement with Toyota’s Philippines School of Technology to provide automotive training. This was an opportunity that Austrade provided to the vocational education sector through its Market Information Package. Chisholm was selected by Toyota following a series of one-on-one briefings conducted by Austrade’s Philippines team with interested providers by videoconference.
Austrade’s office in the Philippines, with a team of 11, also has responsibility for Guam and Micronesia.
18. National Economic Development Authority of the Philippines 2014, statement by Arsenio M Balisacan, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary, at the press conference on the fourth quarter and annual performance of the Philippine economy in 2013, 30 January 2014.
19. Department of Immigration and Citizenship 2013, ‘Student visa program quarterly report’, quarter ending 30 June 2013.
Austrade assists Telstra in joint venture with Telkom Indonesia
Australian telecommunications firm, Telstra, entered into a memorandum of understanding with Telkom Indonesia in January 2014 to create a joint venture providing network applications and services to Indonesian enterprises and multinationals operating in the market.
Indonesia is a fast-growing market. A partnership with Telkom Indonesia, the leading telecommunications company in Indonesia, gives Telstra greater access to the Indonesian market and an ability to leverage its expertise in enterprise solutions. The joint venture will deliver managed network and security services to customers as well as cloud and unified communications services.
Austrade assisted Telstra to expand its strategic networks in the Indonesian market, following participation by Telstra’s chairman in a business delegation led by the Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia. The mission involved a series of high-level discussions in Jakarta, followed by further discussions between Telstra and Indonesia’s vice president in Melbourne in October 2013.
In April 2014, Austrade facilitated participation by Telstra, alongside other key stakeholders, at a reception in Jakarta that demonstrated Australia’s telecommunications capabilities and provided valuable introductions to government and Indonesian enterprises.
Peru is an emerging market. It has won praise for prudent macroeconomic policy implementation and a far-reaching structural reform agenda. It has achieved strong growth with a stable exchange rate and low inflation. Peru’s economy grew by 5 per cent in 201320 and has achieved an annual average growth rate of approximately 6 per cent during the past 14 years. The International Monetary Fund expects Peru to be one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America in 2014.21 The Peruvian Government places huge importance on the continuation of an open and supportive environment for foreign investment in Peru.
Peru has extensive mineral deposits and possesses some of the largest precious and base metal mines in the world. It is among the top five global producers of copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc and tin. Mining dominates the economy (the mining investment pipeline is projected at US$59.5 billion in the next five years) and provides 57 per cent of Peru’s annual exports.22
There are opportunities for Australian firms in mining equipment technology services, human capital, and energy, water and infrastructure. In September 2013, Austrade managed the Australian presence at Peru’s major biennial mining exhibition, Extemin. Twenty-seven Australian companies, including two education institutions, attended. Two ‘new to market’ mining services companies, Wearx and Waterex, have since established offices in Lima for their Latin American operations.
20. International Monetary Fund 2014, World Economic Outlook: Recovery strengthens, remains uneven, April.
21. International Monetary Fund 2014, World Economic Outlook: Recovery strengthens, remains uneven, April.
22. Business Monitor International 2014, Peru oil and gas report, Q2 2014.
Daniel Havas | Trade Commissioner, Peru
Based in Lima, Daniel works closely with the Australian Ambassador to Peru and other partners to promote Australian capabilities in sectors such as mining and resources, education, oil and gas, and water. Daniel said customer development and building business networks in Peru are two of his key roles. ‘The badge of government is highly regarded in the Peruvian market and Austrade assists Australian companies to navigate through government channels and to deal with the challenges they face during their market entry and investment lifecycle.’
Daniel came to Austrade with considerable international business expertise, including market entry strategy, customer and opportunity development, and investment (inward to Australia as well as outward to developing markets). ‘I headed the inward investment arm of Brisbane Marketing for five years, attracting productive foreign investment from key markets, including Europe, North Asia, Canada and the United States, along with leading the agency’s corporate partnership programmes’, he said.
In April 2014, as part of a strategy to assist mining equipment, technology and services companies to expand their presence across Latin America, Austrade facilitated a visit to Lima by 18 Australian companies already operating in Chile. Comprehensive visit programmes were developed so the companies could meet major Peruvian and international organisations and explore opportunities in Peru.
Peru’s government is focused on economic diversification and developing the country’s potential in its hydrocarbon and energy sectors. Austrade is exploring significant opportunities in oil and gas through policy advocacy and research and is providing support to Australian companies like Karoon Gas and Woodside that are already active in the sector.
Austrade has a team of seven in Lima. The team also assists Australian companies in Ecuador and Bolivia.
Austrade puts Australian mining expertise on show in Africa
Mining Indaba is Africa’s most important mining conference and one of the largest mining events of its type in the world. Austrade’s 2014 Australia Lounge trade stand, in its ninth year at Mining Indaba, facilitated the participation of an Australian delegation of 63 organisations, representing miners; mining equipment, technology and services companies; education providers; and professional services firms.
JKTech, an Australian company that participated in the event, delivers products and services in ore characterisation and process improvement, including geology, mining, mineral processing and sustainability solutions. The company already had an office in Johannesburg, and was invited by Austrade to participate in the Australia Lounge to access the associated professional networking events, get advice from Austrade’s trade commissioners and business development managers, and leverage the Australian national brand by being part of the delegation.
The Australia Lounge also provided JKTech with a space to hold client meetings and discussions. The company used the space to host a Green Line Mining forum, featuring discussion of best practice, which was well received by a diverse range of industry and government attendees.
Lee Ewing, Africa Branch Manager at JKTech, said, ‘Austrade played an integral part in providing a networking platform where JKTech could establish new contacts, which have led to further discussions regarding our products and services, and the opportunity to build relationships. The meetings and events were informative and gave insight into the growth of the mining sector, not just in South Africa but also across continental Africa.’
George Nkonsah | Business Development Manager, Accra
George is part of a team of four based in Austrade’s office in Accra, Ghana. His main role is to support Australian companies that visit West Africa, where Austrade’s focus is on identifying opportunities for Australian firms in the mining and international education sectors. George’s work includes coordinating visit programmes, providing market research and information, and engaging with other government agencies to deliver trade, investment and education outcomes for Australia.
Before joining Austrade, George gained extensive marketing and business development experience in a variety of supply chain roles for two large, fast-moving consumer goods companies, Nestle and Beiersdorf. ‘I have a deep understanding of end-to-end supply chains, marketing and sales, which is very helpful to Australian companies that are interested in this market’, George said.
George said the detailed understanding of West Africa he has gained from working in various countries gives him an in-depth understanding of opportunities in the region. ‘My technical knowledge in product management and sales ensures that I appreciate business needs. My readily available business networks in the region allow me to easily connect our clients with the right people’, he said.
Gulf Cooperation Council markets
The Middle East and North Africa region has a population of approximately 355 million23 and is an $8 billion market24 for Australia’s merchandise exports, dominated by agricultural commodities, manufactures and services. Australia’s merchandise exports to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, which include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have steadily risen since 2009–10.25 The United Arab Emirates is now Australia’s largest trading partner in the region26 and ranks as Australia’s 16th-largest export destination. Austrade focuses on the GCC countries because that is where the agency can offer the most value and impact for Australian businesses and institutions.
Economic diversification is a pivotal consideration for GCC countries, and these economies are attempting to drive investment in non-oil opportunities, particularly in services, manufacturing and logistics. They typically have relatively greater stability and faster growth, and a deep trading relationship with Australia. There are also many similarities in the physical environment. Australia is therefore well placed to become a trusted partner with the GCC countries by sharing expertise in best practice and innovative technologies to help those countries manage challenges relating to food, water and energy security.
In April 2014, Austrade hosted a series of events to promote the bilateral trade, investment and cultural ties that exist between Australia and the Middle East and North Africa region. The Australia Unlimited MENA 2014 programme included water resource management and food safety forums, education and training seminars under the Future Unlimited brand, and infrastructure and investment roundtables, held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Muscat, Kuwait and Rabat. The objective was to reinforce the Australian Government’s commitment to forging stronger trade, investment, and education and training relationships with the GCC countries and Morocco. Australia’s capabilities in food security, sustainability, economic diversity, human capital, and research and development were promoted, as well as Austrade’s suite of services available to businesses interested in trade and investment with Australia. The opportunities for Australian businesses, including key areas of potential collaboration between Australia and the GCC, were demonstrated across a number of sectors, including education and research, water resource management, food safety, agribusiness, infrastructure investment and construction.
23. World Bank 2014, Middle East and North Africa overview, March.
24. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2013, Composition of trade Australia 2012–13, December.
25. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2013, Composition of trade Australia 2012–13, December.
26. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2013, Country brief—United Arab Emirates, September.
Elena Kirillova | Senior Trade Commissioner, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Moscow
Elena manages a team of eight in Austrade’s Moscow and Vladivostok offices. The team supports Australian companies exporting to Russia and education institutions establishing links in the market. They also assist with site visits and other business trips to Australia. In the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), for example in Kazakhstan, Elena and her team focus on opportunities for Australian exporters in agribusiness, mining and energy, as well as promoting Australia as an international education destination.
Before joining Austrade, Elena, a solicitor, had two decades of legal experience in the Russian and CIS markets, and is a native Russian speaker. She points out that her past experience has allowed her ‘to develop an understanding not only of the legal systems and business practices, but also of the risks inherent in the changing political and economic landscape of the region’.
One of her most important tasks since taking up her role in Moscow has been to maintain team spirit and refocus Austrade’s work following Australian Government sanctions against Russia as a result of the Ukraine crisis. ‘We have ceased general promotional activities and are dedicating our time to supporting Australian companies in the uncertain and rapidly changing trade and investment environment’, she said.
Austrade supports Australian cherry exports to Myanmar
In 2013, Austrade re-established its office in Myanmar after an absence of several decades. Myanmar has great potential as a market for speciality food products, and Australian cherry suppliers have already had success with the country’s biggest supermarket operator, City Mart, placing its first order in January 2014.
The arrival of the initial Australian cherry shipment was the culmination of six months of work by Austrade, including a programme of engagement with major companies in key industry sectors. While City Mart was already importing packaged and processed foods from Australia, it was interested in expanding its Australian range to include fresh produce, particularly cherries, for the Lunar New Year holiday season.
After the country’s many years of international isolation, there were no specific arrangements in place for Australian suppliers to export horticultural products to Myanmar. Austrade held discussions with Myanmar’s Ministry of Agriculture to clarify its import requirements, and then conveyed the information to the Australian Department of Agriculture so that it could update its register of importing country requirements—an essential step if Australian horticultural exports to Myanmar were to be permitted.
Austrade distributed information about the City Mart opportunity to Australian cherry growers and traders, and a list of interested suppliers was provided to City Mart. After negotiations on price, product specifications and timing, City Mart selected BGP Global Pty Ltd as the preferred supplier and placed its initial order.
The Australian cherries were a huge hit with local consumers, and the entire shipment sold out within 10 days. City Mart was delighted with the outcome and is planning to significantly expand its cherry imports from Australia during the 2014–15 growing season.
Promoting Australian education and training internationally
In 2013–14, there were more than 568,000 international student enrolments across Australia’s higher education, vocational education and training, English-language and schools sectors. The higher education sector was the largest, accounting for almost 43 per cent of all international student enrolments in 2013–14.27
International education was worth $15 billion to the Australian economy in 2013, making it the third-largest of Australia’s exports (after iron ore and coal) and the largest services export.28
Australia’s international student enrolments by education sector are shown in Figure 12.
Austrade supports Australia’s international education sector by promoting Australia as an international education destination and a provider of high-quality education services; helping to grow demand for Australian education and training; and contributing to the development of a sustainable international education sector.
Austrade works to achieve these three goals by:
- improving perceptions of Australia’s international education sector through the Future Unlimited brand and the provision of accurate information to potential international students through the Study in Australia website
- identifying and qualifying opportunities for Australian international education providers, including cross-industry and transnational education opportunities, especially in Asia and other emerging markets
- executing an effective engagement strategy with offshore education agents
- delivering high-quality and timely market research, intelligence and services to the international education sector
- engaging effectively with key government and non-government organisations and individual institutions onshore and offshore.
27. Department of Education 2013, statistics, December.
28. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International trade in goods and services, Australia, April 2014, cat. no. 5368.0.
Figure 12: Student enrolments by sector, 2013
VET = vocational education and training
ELICOS = English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students
Source: Department of Education.
Improving perceptions of Australia’s international education sector
Austrade administers the Study in Australia website, which has been endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments as the official source of information for international students.
In September 2013, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, launched the ‘Win your Future Unlimited’ competition, which was developed by Austrade to increase awareness and use of the website and engage students through the Future Unlimited brand. The competition brought Australia’s international education sector, leading corporations and the Australian Government together in a global digital campaign to creatively engage genuine prospective international students, increase consideration of an Australian education, and build the association between an Australian education and future success.
During the seven weeks of the campaign, the competition’s website received 835,000 visits and 37,000 entries from 172 countries. The competition resulted in an increase in engagement with social media, with the number of Study in Australia Facebook fans growing 81 per cent from 57,000 to 103,000.
Austrade also continued to expand the reach of the Future Unlimited brand during 2013–14 through brand licensing. The number of Future Unlimited brand licensees increased from 285 at 30 June 2013 to 315 current licensees at 30 June 2014. This includes 234 Australian institutions and 81 international stakeholders and education agents. The licensed Australian education institutions accounted for around 74 per cent of international student enrolments (around 336,852) in the top 200 Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students providers in Australia in 2013.
Additional electronic marketing material, such as a map of universities in Australia and infographics, were also developed to support the promotional activities of Australian education institutions.
Identifying opportunities for Australian international education and training providers
Austrade supports the marketing activities of Australian education and training providers to attract international students to study in Australia. The agency uses its network across its 82 overseas offices in 48 markets to identify opportunities for Australian education and training providers, helping them to expand their services globally. In 2013–14, Austrade published 249 of these opportunities through its online subscriber-based Market Information Package—up 8 per cent from 2012–13.
During the year, Austrade also focused on long-term offshore education market initiatives in four markets—ASEAN, China, Japan and Brazil.
Eliza Chui | Education Commissioner and Consul Education, North Asia, Shanghai
Eliza works with Austrade’s education teams in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Mongolia to promote the Australian education and training sector. ‘Our major target audiences include students and families who are considering study abroad, as well as local education organisations that are interested in international collaboration’, she said.
Austrade’s work in each market involves promoting Australia’s high-quality education and training offerings and promoting the Australian education brand, Future Unlimited. Austrade also identifies potential partnerships and provides informed advice to students to encourage them to select Australia as their study destination.
Eliza has an exceptionally strong background in education, including more than 20 years’ experience in Australian universities and institutions in Hong Kong and Macau. She has worked in a wide range of portfolios, including executive secretariat management, research policy and performance analysis, international admissions and marketing. She said, ‘This past experience really gave me a solid understanding of the thinking behind the Australian education system. This is particularly useful in appreciating the differing needs and aspirations of education providers from the different subsectors and regions.’
ASEAN workforce skills development market initiative
In October 2013, Austrade led a two-week programme in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar aimed at increasing Australia’s transnational education delivery in Southeast Asia. Thirteen Australian education and training providers participated across the various stages of the programme, including public TAFE institutes, private training providers, universities and private consulting firms. The programme focused on the needs of specific sectors in each market, including mining, resources, oil and gas, infrastructure, hospitality, food safety, tourism, food processing, IT business process management, automotive, advanced manufacturing and infrastructure.
Employer surveys were conducted in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia to identify skills gaps and subsequent opportunities for providers. The survey results have been made available through Austrade’s Market Information Package.
China schools initiative
Austrade’s China schools initiative aims to increase Australia’s share of the China schools market and capitalise on the trend in China for parents to send their children to study overseas at an early age. In 2013–14, Austrade’s activities under the initiative included:
- providing regular updates to interested Australian schools and key stakeholders on the progress of the initiative and upcoming activities
- publishing a booklet in Chinese highlighting the distinct advantages of an Australian school education and success stories of Chinese students on their Australian journey. The booklet is distributed to students, parents and education agents in China and can also be downloaded from the Study in Australia (China) website
- delivering an Australian schools promotional campaign through the Austrade China social media platform of Future Unlimited from January to April 2014
- delivering school-specific marketing events in eight cities, which were run by Austrade or in collaboration with education agents and stakeholders
- strengthening market intelligence through sector-specific analysis of source provinces and cities of student visa applicants
- identifying and facilitating opportunities for collaboration between Australian and Chinese schools.
In February 2014, the Australian Government announced a reduction in the age requirement from Year 10 to Year 7 for students obtaining student visas in Australia. This will further support the long-term development and sustainability of the China schools market.
Japan global human capital initiative
Austrade continues to work with Australian education providers engaged in the Japan global human capital initiative. The initiative aims to capitalise on Japan’s need to develop the skills of its executives to achieve English-language competency and use that competency in a business setting, along with cross-cultural understanding and an ability to adapt to different environments, display global leadership skills and transfer know-how to local staff.
Austrade’s engagement in the initiative contributed to the development of a global human capital programme between the Nishi-Nippon City Bank and the University of New South Wales. Following negotiations about training concepts and potential programme options, the university’s Institute of Languages was selected to provide a tailored global human capital course for a delegation from the Nishi-Nippon City Bank’s Kyushu branch, including selected in-house senior staff and senior executives from its customer base.
The programme included a combination of homestay, study and business experiences—all in a 24-hour English-language setting. The programme has generated strong interest from other banks and financial institutions in Japan, as well as major industry bodies such as the Kyushu Economic Federation.
Brazil higher education initiative
The Brazil higher education initiative helps to position Australia as a high-quality education destination for Brazilian students and aims to expand Australia’s market share beyond the ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) and vocational education and training sectors into Brazil’s higher education market.
In 2013–14, Austrade helped to strengthen bilateral research ties by facilitating a new joint research agreement between the Australian Technology Network and FAPESP, the Sao Paulo Research Foundation. The agreement, worth $1 million over five years, opens the way for research collaboration between the network’s member universities and Sao Paulo state universities.
Austrade also continued to focus on developing opportunities available through the Brazilian Government’s Science without Borders programme, which aims to send 100,000 Brazilian students and researchers to study abroad by 2014. Austrade assisted Australian universities to enter into agreements with the Brazilian Government’s scholarships agencies, which resulted in 4,168 students being placed in universities in Australia since the programme began in 2012.
Engagement with offshore education agents
Education agents are responsible for directly recruiting international students to education institutions and they play a critical role in promoting Australia as a high-quality international education destination to prospective international students and their parents. Austrade maintains strong relationships with a wide network of education agents through specialised newsletters and regular seminars and events held across its international network as well as in Australia.
Austrade’s engagement activity helps to keep education agents and their associations up to date with the ongoing implementation of the recommendations of the 2011 review of the student visa programme (the Knight Review). It also assists education agents’ understanding of the latest rules and policies that directly affect potential and current international students, such as the streamlining of visa processing for higher education applicants and changes to the student visa assessment levels.
The annual Future Unlimited Australian Education Training Programme, held in Bangkok in May 2014, provided Austrade with the opportunity to engage with more than 100 influential Thai education agents who were seeking to enhance their expertise and knowledge to best promote Australian education to students and parents. At the event, education agents received detailed market briefings from Austrade and policy updates from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Department of Education. Guest speakers at the event provided a briefing on the Australian education system, and spoke about specific issues for Thai students studying in Australia, tips for planning successful communications strategies, and skills demands and career paths for Thai students.
In Australia, Austrade supplemented its offshore activities by addressing the annual Australia New Zealand Agent Workshop, held in Sydney in April 2014, which attracted more than 400 participants representing around 300 organisations from 52 countries.
Education agents also play a key role in the ongoing expansion of the Future Unlimited brand. By negotiating with a number of reputable education agents and their associations in key markets, Austrade has been able to expand the global reach of the Future Unlimited brand through its brand licensing programme. As a result, the number of international education agents and associations licensed to use the brand increased from 80 to 123 in 2013–14, covering 61 countries.Back to top
Market research and intelligence
Austrade provides up-to-date market intelligence on issues that can affect Australia’s international education sector or create opportunities for the sector. The information is provided through the subscriber-based Market Information Package (MIP) service on the Austrade website and through in-market briefings to the sector.
The MIP service, which is accessed by more than 280 subscribing organisations, delivers market intelligence, market opportunities, publications, reports and event information to the international education sector. In 2013–14, 550 articles were published through the service and the number of subscribing organisations increased by 41 per cent. Austrade also produces a free e-newsletter for the international education sector called MIP Weekly. In 2013–14, the number of recipients of MIP Weekly increased by 18 per cent.
Extensive work was undertaken in 2013–14 to enhance the MIP service. This work included the redevelopment of education website pages with refreshed content and improved usability and search functionality; the adoption of a new approach to content publication outside the subscription paywall; and the use of Twitter to publicise new MIP articles, which was introduced in October 2013.
These initiatives, combined with the MIP e-newsletter changing from a fortnightly to weekly publication, resulted in an increase of 180 per cent in traffic on the education pages of the Austrade website, and a record 412,757 unique website visitors.
In April 2014, Austrade ran its second MIP readership survey, which was designed to benchmark progress achieved since the original survey in 2011, and identify potential for further improvements in the service. The key findings from the 2014 survey are discussed on page 55.
Austrade’s offshore network also continued to deliver valuable in-country briefings and market updates for education providers and tailored market research to individual education institutions online through webinars, including an ASEAN skills development briefing and a West Africa education briefing.
Austrade also produced 14 education market snapshots, which included the emerging markets of Myanmar, South Africa and Nigeria, along with education-focused capability statements.
In 2013–14, Austrade published six reports based on the outcomes of an employer survey conducted as part of the ASEAN workforce skills development market initiative. Employers in six ASEAN markets were interviewed about their skills needs, their current training arrangements and the extent of their engagement with local and international providers. The survey aimed to identify and understand:
- trends, similarities and differences in the demand for training solutions by industry in ASEAN to address skills gaps in the countries’ workforces
- skill sets or technical areas where training is required
- current and preferred modes of delivery and models of partnership for industry with local or foreign training providers.
Reports for five markets were published through Austrade’s Market Information Package and were downloaded 683 times.
Austrade also published Unlocking India’s potential: commercially successful vocational education and training, which reported on research on the challenges and risks involved in engaging locally in India’s vocational training market—which is valued at around $1.8 billion and estimated to be growing by 25 per cent each year. The research was done by Austrade and Sannam S4, a local consultancy firm in India.
The research paper discussed ways to structure a business model to overcome challenges and risks, and featured three successful models of vocational education and training delivery as case studies. Since its publication in September 2013, the paper has been downloaded 300 times.
Market Information Package survey
In April 2014, Austrade commissioned Colmar Brunton to survey the 4,200-plus users of its Market Information Package (MIP) service, which provides valuable and timely market intelligence, analysis, opportunities and data to support Australia’s international education and training sector. The survey results provide direction for the future development of the MIP service’s content, delivery medium and subscription model, and associated pricing. It followed a similar survey conducted in 2011 (the recommendations of which have now been fully implemented).
The 2014 survey found that in the three years since the 2011 survey, the MIP service’s net promoter score had increased from +13 per cent to +38 per cent. The survey also revealed that 86 per cent of subscribers had accessed information from the MIP service and 75 per cent of website subscribers had followed up on opportunities provided through the service. Nearly 80 per cent of subscribers indicated that they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the MIP.
To further enhance the product, Austrade will continue to develop the MIP by:
- introducing data visualisation functionality
- creating the ability for users to customise website content and the frequency of email notifications
- publishing timely, high-level strategic analysis research papers to enable MIP users to be more responsive to changing market conditions and assist Australian education providers to develop their product offerings and marketing strategies.
Engagement with education stakeholders and organisations
Engagement with Australian education stakeholders and state and territory government agencies is critical to the successful international marketing and promotion of Australian education and training.
In 2013–14, Austrade engaged with peak bodies through a variety of forums, as well as through individual projects and events. Activities and events that Austrade delivered in collaboration with the education sector included:
- the ‘Win your Future Unlimited’ competition, with the support of 26 sponsors, including 22 education providers and four corporate organisations
- facilitating participation by Australian education and training providers in offshore business missions, such as the Australia Week in China education programme, which attracted 68 education delegates (see page 38), and the workforce skills development mission to ASEAN
- a range of Australian education promotions, including Future Unlimited education exhibitions in Australia and roadshows in Korea, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates and Mongolia
- hosting alumni awards and engagement activities in a number of markets, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Singapore and Malaysia
- speaking at major conferences, forums and events hosted by English Australia, Universities Australia, the Australian Council for Private Education and Training, the United States National Association of Foreign Student Advisers, the European Association for International Education, and the International Education Association of Australia
- hosting Australia-based education events to support student outcomes in conjunction with Australian education providers, such as the Australia China Careers Fair held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in September 2013
- providing tailored services to individual education and training clients in offshore markets
- assisting with missions by stakeholders, such as the Australian Council for Private Education and Training’s missions to China, Indonesia and India
- facilitating overseas customer visits to Australia, including visits by the Qatar National Command Centre, Qatar Ministry of Interior representatives and Brazilian industry training groups SENAI and SENAC
- delivering country-focused seminars and webinars on markets such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, Japan and West Africa.
In addition to its work with the sector, Austrade also engages with other Australian and state and territory government agencies. In 2013–14, Austrade participated in the quarterly State Marketing Forum, which aims to inform government promotion of the international education sector, and a Digital Content Working Group established to coordinate and enhance the provision of digital information to international students. Austrade also participated in the Education Visa Consultative Committee, which is chaired by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
‘Win your Future Unlimited’ digital postcard competition
Austrade developed the ‘Win your Future Unlimited’ digital postcard competition as part of a campaign to promote Australia as a high-quality education destination and to strengthen the association between a quality Australian education and future success.
The dedicated competition website, www.futureunlimited.com.au, invited prospective international students to create a digital postcard that illustrated their aspirations for the future and describe how an Australian education could take them there.
Over seven weeks, from 1 October to 18 November 2013, the competition offered weekly finalists a two-week study tour around Australia. Finalists were then interviewed by a panel of three international education representatives for the chance to win a year of study in Australia, including flights, tuition, accommodation, a $15,000 stipend and additional prizes.
The competition received strong financial and in-kind sponsorship totalling just under $500,000, from five gold sponsors—ETS TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), National Australia Bank, Qantas, Telstra and the University of New South Wales—and another 21 of Australia’s tertiary education and training providers.
Austrade used its offshore network to promote the competition through a targeted online advertising campaign and other activities in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. The competition was also promoted by the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, sponsors and key stakeholders.
The overall competition winner, Uttam Kumar from India, was announced by Mr Robb at an event in Sydney in December 2013. Mr Kumar impressed the judges with the clarity, honesty and creativity with which he made his case to study in Australia. He has since chosen to undertake his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of New South Wales and will blog about his experiences in Australia over a 12-month period from July 2014. The blog can be found at www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/uttams-blog.
More information about the competition is available at www.futureunlimited.com.au and the wrap-up video can be seen on YouTube.
School partnerships forged between Australia and China
In late 2011, an opportunity was published through Austrade’s Market Information Package on school partnerships sought by the Government of Taizhou in the Zhejiang Province of China.
Kambrya College, a government school in Victoria with little prior experience in China, responded to this opportunity to develop its international programme.
As a result, in May 2012, the college joined Austrade’s Australian Schools Mission to Taizhou, together with others from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
Since taking part in the mission, Kambrya College has been able to build on its international programme in China through a number of initiatives, including:
- signing a memorandum of understanding for collaboration with two schools in Taizhou
- conducting annual study tours between Australia and China for staff and students, which began in August 2012
- offering Chinese language classes to its Australian students
- setting up an intensive English language programme for its international students
- developing a Chinese website for college promotion
- participating in Austrade’s Australia pavilion at the China International Education Exhibition Tour in 2013 and 2014
- increasing its Chinese student numbers from zero in 2013 to six in 2014.
The college is actively working to expand its presence in China, and is steadily developing its international programme with the objective of recruiting 40 to 50 international students during the next few years. Following its successful work in China, which was supported by Austrade, Kambrya College is now seeking similar collaborations in other markets.
Attracting productive foreign direct investment to Australia
Like global trade flows, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have also been influenced by the softer environment following the global financial crisis. According to UNCTAD, after peaking at just over US$2 trillion in 2007, global FDI inflows fell sharply during the global financial crisis. By 2013, they had recovered to be worth about US$1.45 trillion. UNCTAD forecasts these flows to rise to US$1.6 trillion in 2014; US$1.75 trillion in 2015; and US$1.85 trillion in 2016, but this will still leave them below their pre-crisis high.29
In 2014, as Australia entered its 23rd year of uninterrupted annual economic growth, the total stock of foreign investment in Australia—that is, FDI and other investment—reached $2.5 trillion.30 Both FDI and other investment (including portfolio investment) have recorded strong growth, up 8.3 per cent and 10 per cent each year respectively since 1993.31 Australia’s value of total foreign investment stock has now firmed up to over 160 per cent of gross domestic product, rising from less than 90 per cent two decades ago.
The United States, the United Kingdom and Japan remain Australia’s three largest investors, with total FDI stock values accounting for 24 per cent, 14 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. FDI from the United States and the United Kingdom was robust, rising 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively in 2013, building on the increase from the previous year. Japan also performed well, growing by 2 per cent in 2013 to $63 billion, which is double 2007 (pre–global financial crisis) levels.
In recent years, there has been a solid increase in capital inflows from other major Asian economies, a trend reflecting Australia’s close ties in the fast-growing region. China has overtaken Switzerland and Canada as the sixth-largest foreign direct investor in Australia, with a total direct investment value of almost $21 billion. This latest figure represents a 29 per cent increase from 2012. Other Asian nations are also emerging as fast-growing sources of FDI, with Singapore rising by 5.3 per cent to $25 billion and Malaysia by 36 per cent to $7.7 billion in 2013.32
Reflecting Australia’s diverse economy, more than 60 per cent of total investment is outside the traditional mining and energy sectors. The sectors with the largest share are manufacturing, finance and insurance, and wholesale and retail trade.33 With commodity prices decreasing as global demands for raw materials are met with supply, Australia will require a shift from traditional mining to new sectors. To respond to these future global demands, Australia will need to develop innovative and competitive industries. Attracting industry participation and productive investment from leading global firms will be critical to future success.
29. UNCTAD 2014, World Investment Report 2014—Investing in the Sustainable Development Goals: An action plan.
30. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Balance of payments and international investment position, Australia, cat. no. 5302.0, Table 29: International investment: levels of foreign liabilities—March 2014.
31. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Balance of payments and international investment position, Australia, cat. no. 5302.0, Table 29: International investment: levels of foreign liabilities—March 2014.
32. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
33. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 15a: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment at 31 December by Industry Division (ANZSIC).
As Australia’s foreign direct investment promotion agency, Austrade leads a national, whole-of-government strategy for FDI promotion. Austrade coordinates closely with federal, state and territory departments and agencies, professional services firms and industry partners to promote, attract and facilitate investment into Australia. Austrade’s promotion and attraction activities extend across its global network.
At the inaugural Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting in February 2014, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, secured the endorsement of state and territory trade and investment ministers for Australia’s five national investment priority industries. The priorities are:
- agribusiness and food
- resources and energy
- major infrastructure
- tourism infrastructure
- advanced manufacturing, services and technologies.
During the year, Austrade worked with states and territories to refine the scope and strategies for the five national investment attraction priorities. Austrade’s global investment network actively promoted the priority areas through campaigns that also demonstrated Australia’s strengths across the investment attraction themes of growth, talent, location, innovation and business environment.
Working with stakeholders
Austrade’s core business of attracting productive FDI into Australia requires daily cooperation with federal, state and territory government departments, both onshore and offshore. The investment cycle starts with strategies developed with partner agencies and in accordance with government policy, before Austrade undertakes promotion offshore. Austrade works closely with stakeholders during the attraction phase, and supports states and territories during project facilitation and support.
In 2013–14, Austrade led three meetings of the Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group and three meetings of the National Investment Advisory Board. Austrade chairs and delivers the secretariat function for the board.
The National Investment Advisory Board is a key planning and reporting mechanism that assists Austrade to work closely with state and territory investment promotion agencies on strategy implementation, investment promotion and facilitation, and staff training and development. Under the auspices of the board, Austrade delivers the Winning Investment for Australia programme, which aims to build a professional and global team approach to investment promotion, attraction and facilitation across government. The programme was delivered twice during 2013–14, in Perth and Brisbane, with 23 graduates from Austrade, 34 from state and territory agencies and five from other Australian Government agencies. Austrade also co-delivered a tailored version of the programme for 30 investment attraction staff from the NSW Government.
In December 2013, 12 Austrade investment specialists based in Japan and ASEAN countries attended a consultative selling programme in Singapore. Other participants in the programme included representatives from the Western Australian and Victorian state governments.
Enhancing the investment environment through commercial insights
Austrade’s investment staff members are located in global investment source markets and operate in a competitive business environment where foreign investors are routinely targeted by numerous national and regional investment promotion agencies. Austrade’s connectivity with investors provides insights into opportunities and barriers to investment at all levels of government. Austrade uses its insights to support and inform other government agencies and ensure that Australia continues to offer a competitive investment environment.
In 2013, Austrade supported the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into public infrastructure by identifying and encouraging global infrastructure companies and associations to make submissions. Austrade also lodged a submission that discussed investor perceptions, tendering costs, the project pipeline, and sovereign risk management.
During the year, Mr Robb announced the appointment at Austrade of a small team of senior investment specialists (to be in place by the first half of 2014–15) with deep industry connections, who will work with state and territory governments to identify significant investment opportunities and help see them realised.
Promotion and attraction of foreign direct investment
Austrade works in close collaboration with state and territory governments to demonstrate Australia’s competitive advantages as an investment destination. In 2013–14, Austrade contributed significantly to 72 inward investments. Seventy-eight per cent of Austrade-assisted inward investment outcomes were in established markets—the largest source markets were the United States at 38 per cent, followed by Germany with 9 per cent. India was the third-largest source market at 8 per cent. East Asian markets collectively accounted for 15 per cent of outcomes. Figure 13 shows the distribution of investment outcomes assisted by Austrade in 2013–14.
Figure 13: Austrade-assisted investment outcomes by source market, 2013–14
(a) Includes Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Among the agreed five priority industries, advanced manufacturing, services and technologies accounted for 38 per cent, with the subsector of digital technologies accounting for 29 per cent of total outcomes. The resources and energy, major infrastructure, tourism infrastructure, and agribusiness and food industries accounted for 24 per cent, 12 per cent, 11 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Non-priority industries made up 11 per cent of outcomes, with the majority of results in retail, water management, transport and logistics, and media. Figure 14 shows the industry sector distribution of investment outcomes assisted by Austrade.
Figure 14: Austrade-assisted investment outcomes by industry sector, 2013–14
Austrade also recorded 42 investment priority milestones. These included multinational corporations establishing an Australian presence to test the market, submitting bids or expressions of interest to tenders, and signing nondisclosure agreements with Australian institutions and research centres. These exploratory activities are often the first serious steps taken by global corporations when considering whether to invest in Australia—a process that can take several years—and they are commonly an indication of expected future investment.
To deliver investment outcomes, Austrade manages a comprehensive pipeline of qualified investment opportunities. During 2013–14, Austrade shared 223 qualified investment leads with states and territories, including 58 investor site visits.
The traditional markets of North America and Western Europe continue to dominate the pipeline, although investment opportunities from China and India are strong. From an industry perspective, 91.5 per cent of project leads sit within the agreed investment priority industries. Resources and energy (30 per cent), advanced manufacturing, services and technologies (25 per cent) and major infrastructure (18 per cent) make up the bulk of qualified leads.Back to top
Austrade’s investment network
The United States is the primary driver of global foreign direct investment. US outbound investment stock value rose to around US$4.5 trillion in 2012 from US$1.6 trillion in 2002, and 75 per cent of this was directed at developed economies.34 The United States is also Australia’s largest source of FDI, representing 23.7 per cent of stock. In 2013, US FDI stock rose 13.3 per cent to $149.5 billion,35 and Australia was ranked as the 10th-largest destination in 2012.36 Australia received 3 per cent of US total outbound investment in 2012, which was up from 2.4 per cent in 2002. Two-way investment—FDI and other investment—between the United States and Australia exceeded $1.1 trillion in 2013.37
In January 2014, Austrade managed a visit by Mr Robb to Los Angeles and San Francisco where he took part in G’Day USA programmes and met with key investment companies in the tourism, infrastructure and information technology sectors. Mr Robb also chaired business roundtables in Los Angeles and San Francisco with prospective US investors and Australian companies from multiple sectors. He also launched Austrade’s Why Australia: benchmark report 2014 at the US–Australia Dialogue and gave a keynote address to 150 executives at the innovation and digital economy investment event in San Francisco.
In Canada, two-way investment with Australia is approximately $80.6 billion, with Canadian investment in Australia at almost $27 billion and FDI at $16.6 billion.38 Canada is an important source market for infrastructure finance because Canadian defined benefit pension funds are particularly interested in Australia as an investment location.
During 2013–14, Austrade hosted a series of targeted infrastructure finance roundtables in the major business centres of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, featuring speakers from Austrade, the Australian High Commission, the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Macquarie Capital, ANZ Bank, PCL Constructors and Bombardier.
34. UNCTAD 2014, FDI statistics, bilateral FDI statistics, United States, Table 4: FDI stock abroad, by geographical destination.
35. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
36. UNCTAD 2014, FDI statistics, bilateral FDI statistics, United States, Table 4: FDI stock abroad, by geographical destination.
37. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year; and Table 5: Australian investment abroad: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
38. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year; and Table 5: Australian investment abroad: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
Europe continues to be a major source of FDI into Australia. Stock from European Union countries reached approximately $156 billion in 2013, or approximately 24.8 per cent of Australia’s total FDI.
The United Kingdom represents over half of total FDI from the European Union, maintaining its position as Australia’s second-largest source market of FDI after the United States. UK FDI stock in Australia reached $86.7 billion in 2013, and Australia was ranked as the fifth-largest FDI destination in 2012. Australia received 3.9 per cent of the United Kingdom’s total outbound investment stock in 2012, up from 3.3 per cent in 2011 and 2.3 per cent in 2002.39 Two-way investment between the United Kingdom and Australia totalled $819 billion in 2013.40 In this large and highly competitive FDI market, Austrade’s major areas of focus, in line with Australia’s national investment priorities, include major infrastructure financing, the agribusiness and food sector, tourism infrastructure and digital technologies.
The United Kingdom is a traditional source market for ICT, and during 2013–14, Austrade focused on promoting Australian investment opportunities in cloud computing and cybersecurity. Austrade worked with UK Trade & Investment on the Tech Opportunities in Australia seminar, providing a cybersecurity briefing with TechUK on Australia’s new cybersecurity centre. A series of roundtables with potential UK investors was held, including one chaired by the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communications, focusing on Australia’s digital opportunities.
Germany is the ninth-largest source of FDI into Australia, with $13.8 billion in 2013.41 German, Swiss and Austrian companies specialising in carbon fibre, polymers and nanotechnology research have expressed considerable interest in collaborating with Australian industry and research institutes in advanced materials science and technology. To take advantage of this opportunity, Austrade promotes carbon fibre composites as an area of strength within Australia’s material science capabilities. As a result, the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing and MAI Carbon from Augsburg, Germany, signed a memorandum of understanding laying out plans for partnerships focused on collaboration between industry and the research community in Australia and Germany.
Australia’s infrastructure sector has also attracted extensive interest, particularly in private financing, which has been driven by low returns on investments in Europe. Spain, Italy and France have some of the world’s largest infrastructure companies with diverse international experience in complex civil works, rail, water management and social infrastructure under public–private partnership structures. The continued downturn in the construction sector in Europe and the United States, a natural maturation of existing investment markets such as Latin America, and the stability of the Australian market have led to strong interest from southern European investors.
In November 2013, Austrade assisted a Spanish Trade Commission–led delegation to Australia. Austrade’s CEO addressed 40 leading Spanish companies. The programme included discussions with senior representatives from Infrastructure Australia, the WestConnex Delivery Authority and the Linking Melbourne Authority. The mission also marked the inclusion of Australia as a priority in the Spanish Ministry of Trade and Investment’s market priority development plan. This reinforced Australia’s reputation as a key investment destination for Spanish companies and improved access to concessional finance for business activities in Australia. The presence of Spanish companies in Australia has grown steadily in recent years, with more than 80 companies now operating a permanent presence in a wide range of sectors.
39. UNCTAD 2014, FDI statistics, bilateral FDI statistics, United Kingdom, Table 4: FDI stock abroad, by geographical destination.
40. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year; and Table 5: Australian investment abroad: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
41. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
Italian confectionery maker chooses Australia for $70 million investment
Italy’s Ferrero Group is a multinational manufacturer of well-known confectionery products. In Australia, Ferrero employs more than 300 people. It produces Nutella spread and Tic Tac confectionery at its factory in Lithgow, New South Wales, for Australian and Asia–Pacific markets. In addition to its local production, the company’s commercial division also sells imported brands such as Ferrero Rocher, Kinder Surprise and Kinder Bueno in the local market.
Ferrero Australia sourced all raw ingredients from Australian suppliers except cocoa and hazelnuts, but it wanted an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution to its supply chain challenge for hazelnuts—a key commodity in the production of many of its products.
In 2010, Austrade met the Ferrero Group at a carbon exhibition in Cologne, Germany, and worked closely with its executives to understand the company’s needs. Austrade provided a tailored information package that included details on carbon credits, water permits and hazelnut plantations in Australia. After the company expressed its interest in New South Wales, Austrade collaborated with the NSW Government to share information and manage the relationship.
In November 2013, Ferrero Group announced a $70 million hazelnut project in Australia through a local subsidiary, Agri Australis, highlighting Australia’s strength in the agribusiness sector. The group will plant one million hazelnut trees on 2,000 hectares of land in the Riverina region. Planting began in May 2014.
Future opportunities arising from this investment are strong. Ferrero will provide technical assistance to local growers to help develop an Australian hazelnut industry. Import substitution of nuts and Ferrero’s expansion into neighbouring Asian markets will potentially lead to stronger domestic hazelnut production capacity, and the potential for food-processing facilities.
When viewed over a five-year period, after China, Australia is the preferred destination for Japanese FDI in the Asia–Pacific region.42 Japan is Australia’s largest Asian source of FDI and remains Australia’s third-largest direct foreign investor overall. As the source of approximately $130 billion or 5.3 per cent of total foreign investment into Australia, Japanese FDI stock totalled more than $63 billion or 10 per cent of Australia’s total FDI stock in 2013.43
Japanese investment has traditionally concentrated on the mining sector.44 Japanese companies continue to make multibillion-dollar investments into Australia’s resources sector, such as the $34 billion Ichthys project near Darwin, headed by Japan’s INPEX. This will be the first Japanese-operated liquefied natural gas project anywhere in the world and production is scheduled to start in 2016.
There are new growth opportunities beyond resources, and Austrade has identified increased interest in major economic infrastructure, agribusiness, finance and insurance, wholesale and retail, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and algae projects focused both on biofuel and cosmetic inputs.
Japan’s drive for food self-sufficiency and Australia’s clean and green credentials make Australia attractive to Japanese investors, who are looking for semi-processed, high-quality commodities with traceability, where long-term access is difficult to guarantee solely through trade.
In response, Austrade has undertaken an intensive targeted campaign, working closely with Japanese trading houses, speciality manufacturers and Japanese banks acting as financial advisers, to present agribusiness and food investment opportunities in Australia. Key drivers, such as increased competition for commodities like dairy and wheat, and an opportunity to benefit from improved competitiveness of Australian produce in Japan as a result of the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, help strengthen Australia’s attractiveness.
The ongoing role Australia can play in supporting Japan to meet its energy and mineral needs remains a focus. During 2013–14, Austrade supported proponents undertaking feasibility and pre-feasibility work on projects focused on hydrogen production for export to Japan designed to address Japan’s next-generation energy requirements.
42. Japan External Trade Organization, from Ministry of Finance balance of payments statistics and Bank of Japan foreign exchange rates, 2008–2012.
43. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
44. Sixty-three per cent of all approvals by the Foreign Investment Review Board for Japanese companies related to mineral exploration and development. (Source: Foreign Investment Review Board 2013, Annual Report 2012–2013, Table 2.11: Approvals by country of investor in 2012–13 – Industry sector.)
China has emerged as an important source of FDI in Australia and its position is growing. China’s outbound FDI grew by 25 per cent to US$532 billion in 2012,45 making it one of the world’s largest outbound investors. In 2013, China overtook Switzerland and Canada to become the sixth-largest foreign direct investor in Australia, with a total value of almost $21 billion. This latest figure represents an annual compound growth rate of about 42 per cent since 2008.46
In 2013, China’s merger and acquisition activity in Australia had the highest growth since 2009, rising 34 per cent to US$7.7 billion. Australia was its third-largest investment destination behind the United States and Canada, attracting 15 per cent of Chinese merger and acquisition activity.47 For the first time, Chinese merger and acquisition investment in Australia was not concentrated in the mining sector, demonstrating increasing interest in Australia’s broader competitive advantages through investment diversification.
Hong Kong plays an integral role in Chinese investment, both as a source of FDI in its own right and as the principal springboard for Chinese outbound investment. Hong Kong is ranked the 12th-largest foreign direct investor in Australia, with total stock of $7.4 billion.
Tourism infrastructure is a target of FDI from China. Investor interest is underpinned by a compound growth rate of 19 per cent per annum in the number of visitors from China to Australia between 1993 and 2013.48 In 2012, China overtook the United Kingdom as Australia’s second-largest inbound travel market, and visitor numbers increased to more than 715,000 in 2013 (up 14.2 per cent on 2012). In 2013, Chinese visitors spent $4.8 billion on Australian travel—more than travellers from any other country. Visitor numbers from China continue to rise and Tourism Australia estimates that annual spending by Chinese visitors to Australia could rise to $13 billion by 2020.49
In April 2014, Mr Robb led more than 700 Australian delegates to the inaugural Australia Week in China, Australia’s largest-ever trade and investment mission. During the event, he chaired two high-level investment roundtables, one of which was focused exclusively on tourism infrastructure and was delivered through close collaboration between Austrade and Tourism Australia. For more information on Australia Week in China, see page 38.
In 2013–14, Austrade supported five tourism infrastructure inward investment outcomes from the China region—Fullshare’s acquisition of the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas; KCC Real Estate Development Company’s redevelopment of Willow Creek Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula; Shanghai Greenland’s boutique hotel proposal in Sydney’s Greenland Centre; Chang Yuang’s investment in Acacia Court Hotel in Cairns; and Far East Consortium International Limited’s investment in Elizabeth Quay, Perth.
45. UNCTAD 2014, FDI statistics, bilateral FDI statistics, China, Table 4: FDI stock abroad, by geographical destination.
46. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, 2013, cat. no. 5352.0, Table 2: Foreign investment in Australia: level of investment by country and country groups by type of investment and year.
47. PricewaterhouseCoopers 2014, Trends in M&A, China outbound deals: 2013 review and 2014 outlook, deals point of view, February.
48. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Overseas arrivals and departures, Australia, cat. no. 3401.0, Table 5: Short-term movement, visitor arrivals—selected countries of residence: original (time series workbook).
49. Tourism Australia 2014, ‘Chinese visitor spending projected to hit A$13 billion by 2020’, 14 May, www.tourism.australia.com/markets/market-regions-greater-china-Chinese-Visitor-2020.aspx.
China’s KCC chooses Australia for first overseas hotel
When Austrade and Tourism Australia began working together to identify potential tourism infrastructure investors in China, it was clear that KCC Real Estate Development Company was a standout thanks to its existing hotel investments and trade connections in Australia.
Bill Zhuang was the general manager of KCC’s investment advisers, Evans & Peck (Kunming), at the time. ‘We were also looking at [investing in] Southeast Asia but the potential of Willow Creek was impossible to ignore’, said Mr Zhuang. He is now the chief operating officer of KCC’s Australian investment arm, Cloud Investment Operations, and has moved to Melbourne where Cloud is headquartered.
In January 2013, Austrade and Tourism Victoria assisted KCC with its initial site inspections and detailed discussions with potential sellers. In October 2013, KCC officially took ownership of Willow Creek Winery. The estate is an 18-hectare vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria—and future home of a $10 million, 40-room upmarket boutique hotel. ‘The previous owners completed the council and regional approvals process, and we already have our design concept in place’, Mr Zhuang said.
Willow Creek is KCC’s first tourism infrastructure investment outside China, and when the hotel opens in 2015, it will be the seventh in KCC’s portfolio.
Even as the company negotiates with architects, planners and management groups ahead of breaking ground on its hotel development, Willow Creek’s 20-year-old vines provide KCC with trade opportunities.
Willow Creek produces mainly pinot noir and chardonnay, but Mr Zhuang says most of the red wine consumed in China is shiraz or cabernet sauvignon, signalling a growth opportunity ‘for a new variety like pinot noir, that is not well known in China, which we have a chance to take to the market’.
Austrade’s investment expertise
Austrade has an extensive network of investment specialists around the world who work with stakeholders to attract and facilitate investment into Australia. Meet some of them…
Ross Cooper | Investment Adviser, Sydney
Ross works with colleagues in offshore locations to attract foreign direct investment into Australia. At Austrade, Ross gained expertise in financial services and product development and research before taking up his current role in the area of advanced manufacturing, services and technologies.
One of Ross’s first projects at Austrade in 2010 was managing the development and delivery of the inaugural edition of Australia’s banking industry. It was translated into Chinese and was launched by the Minister for Trade to Chinese banks and the financial services industry during a business mission to Shanghai.
Before joining Austrade, Ross worked for eight years in Australia’s funds management industry mainly as an investment analyst for smaller companies. ‘In funds management you are investing other people’s money, so there is a lot of rigour in understanding valuations and the basis for business expansion decisions. This experience has been useful in my current role to influence companies to establish operations in Australia’, Ross said.
Simone Desmarchelier | Senior Trade Commissioner, Italy and Cyprus, and Consul-General, Milan
Simone leads a team of seven whose work principally involves promoting Australia as a destination for productive foreign direct investment for Italian companies and a study destination for Italian students.
Simone was previously a corporate lawyer specialising in private equity, mergers and acquisitions and practising in Australia for local and foreign clients. ‘Then I moved to London to be an investment banker at Lazard and Deutsche banks, specialising in investor relations and fundraising for European alternative asset funds.’
Simone said her experience as an investment banker has been useful in her work at Austrade because her exposure to European countries has helped her understand the different work and meeting styles in Europe and Australia.
‘I also have significant experience in the infrastructure industry and this has been of great help in bonding with investors in the construction sector in Italy and in Western Europe where I am team leader’, she said.
Simone is bilingual in Italian and English, speaks fluent French and Spanish and has a good knowledge of Japanese.
Richard Leather | Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, North America, New York
Richard leads a team located in many of the major commercial centres in North America, including San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC, New York City, and Vancouver. The principal focus is on driving productive foreign direct investment into Australia, through the development of senior management-level relationships with a range of corporations in priority areas. ‘My team then uses these relationships to identify and communicate emerging business trends to positively impact the business opportunities for Australian exporters and US investors’, Richard said.
Prior to joining Austrade, Richard held senior executive management roles with a leading Australian investment bank, focusing on investor relations and capital-raising for Australian and international clients. Earlier in his career, he was a journalist and corporate communications consultant at some of Australia’s largest listed companies.
‘My work at the investment bank combined a variety of skills including the ability to manage and grow relationships with a complex and diverse set of stakeholders’, he said.
Nicola Watkinson | Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner, South Asia, New Delhi
Nicola leads a team of around 50, and has responsibility for Austrade’s operations in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. She has considerable investment expertise, having previously worked as Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner and Consul-General in Frankfurt and with Invest Australia before it was integrated into Austrade in 2008.
Nicola has 15 years of international business development experience in both private and public sector organisations, where she worked on high-level strategy development and operational management.
Nicola focuses on helping Australian companies understand how to be successful in India. ‘South Asia is a complex set of diverse and highly regionalised markets. Having the right market intelligence, understanding the culture, and knowing how to pick the right partner, negotiate effectively and do business locally are critical—and this is where Austrade adds value for Australian businesses’, she said.
Promoting Australia internationally
Austrade’s website, www.austrade.gov.au, has continued to receive praise for its contemporary design. In 2013–14, there were approximately 1.6 million visits to the website and more than 5 million page views.
During the year, Austrade undertook a significant upgrade of its online information for potential investors about growth opportunities in Australia in the agribusiness and food, resources and energy, major infrastructure, tourism infrastructure and advanced manufacturing, services and technologies sectors.
Following the transfer of the tourism programme to Austrade in October 2013, a key addition to the website was the tourism-related content, including the latest policies, programmes and research for Australia’s tourism industry.
Austrade also produced several industry capability reports, highlighting 22 Australian industries, which were added to the website. The green buildings report and the mining equipment technology services report were displayed in a digital multimedia format and received more than 16,000 page views.
Other additions to the Austrade website in 2013–14 included a panel on the home page highlighting key insights and opportunities to all stakeholders, and an expression of interest form for Australian business leaders to accompany ministers on international business delegations.
Austrade published 123 Investor Update articles on its website and 149 promotional videos on the Austrade YouTube channel.
Austrade continued to encourage the use of the Australia Unlimited brand by government agencies and industry as part of international marketing activities and at major international events. The brand featured prominently at the Australia Week in China events in April 2014, as well as the Prime Minister’s ‘Australia–Open for Business’ trip to North Asia, also in April 2014. It is used by Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Defence Materiel Organisation and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and is trademarked in most cases until 2020–21.
More than 80 new stories profiling Australians and Australian achievements were made available on digital platforms, including www.australiaunlimited.com, bringing the total number of stories to more than 450 since the programme’s content strategy was first implemented in 2011. These articles have profiled around 240 innovative Australian companies and many more research institutions, universities, charities, foundations, associations and organisations. Social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, including a campaign celebrating Australian excellence in food and wine for Australia Day, have helped to promote Australia’s capability and reputation. In 2013–14, the total number of Austrade social media followers increased to more than 12,000.
The Brand Australia programme’s assets, including the visual brand mark and digital publishing platforms, aim to promote Australia’s intellectual, commercial and creative credentials to enhance its international reputation and attract international buyers, investors, visitors and students.
Media and communications
Austrade’s media team works to maximise the role that traditional and new media can play in promoting Australian businesses overseas, Australia’s attractiveness as a destination for productive foreign direct investment, and Australia’s education and tourism credentials. In April 2014, at the Australia Week in China events, Austrade worked with a local public relations agency to secure more than 182 high-quality news items in the Chinese media, including interviews with the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, in Bloomberg Businessweek and on China Central Television.
The media team provides Austrade with editorial and media management services. It also provides a daily media clipping service to Austrade executives and Mr Robb’s office. The team coordinates requests from the media, manages media issues and supports Austrade’s international network in its promotion and marketing campaigns offshore. In 2013–14, the team drafted 58 speeches for the Minister for Trade and Investment and Austrade’s CEO, and 44 media releases.
Social media assists Austrade to build brand equity and disseminate information about Australian capabilities to targeted international audiences. Austrade used Twitter in Japan to promote the adoption of Australian oyster seed and technology as part of the initiative to rebuild the oyster industry in Tohoku. For more information on this initiative, see page 41.
Austrade social media also figured prominently in the promotion of Australia Week in China, through Twitter and the Chinese microblogging platform, Weibo. Social media channels were targeted to reach Australian business and media users, as well as Chinese audiences. The media team also provided editorial assistance with speeches and media releases required throughout the series of events.
Nick Nichles | General Manager, Marketing, Online and Business Practice, Sydney
Nick leads a team of 52, and is responsible for three distinct areas of Austrade’s operations. In the marketing area, his task is to ensure that Austrade promotes Australia’s capabilities professionally and consistently across its network. Nick’s online team is focused on articulating and implementing an online strategy. This means maximising the use of the data and technology Austrade has available to it in order to deliver relevant services and information to its stakeholders, while lowering costs in the process. Austrade’s business practice work ‘ensures that the organisation has an agreed way of working and maintains a high standard of service’, Nick said.
Before joining Austrade, Nick gained considerable private sector experience. He was responsible for the marketing in Australia of world-famous food retailer McDonald’s Corporation, as well as pay television operator Foxtel. He was also the CEO of NSW Lotteries and led that organisation from being state-owned through to privatisation. Nick said, ‘Austrade has a diverse range of clients and target audiences and my experience helps us to understand those audiences’ desires and motivations’.
51st Australian Export Awards
The annual Australian Export Awards recognise the international business success achieved by Australia’s export community. The Australian Export Awards is presented by Austrade and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is one of the longest-running business awards programmes in Australia.
Seventy-six finalists were honoured at the 51st national awards ceremony held in November 2013 in Melbourne. The ceremony was hosted by the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, with special guest the Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia.
The finalists, who progressed from the eight state and territory export award programmes, were responsible for more than $9 billion in export sales in 2012–13, and provided employment to more than 22,000 people.
On the same day as the awards ceremony, the national finalists attended a masterclass on ‘weightless commerce’ and the supply of information and ideas rather than trade in physical goods. The seminar featured a discussion on the opportunities offered by online skills sourcing, data analytics and digital brand creation. This was followed by a networking lunch attended by finalists and sponsors.
In 2013, the Commonwealth Bank marked 26 years as a sponsor of the Australian Export Awards, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation marked 20 years, and the Australian Made Campaign celebrated 14 years of support.
The finalist companies were vying for 12 national awards across a range of industry sectors, including new award categories such as health and biotechnology, and environmental solutions, as well as traditional categories such as agribusiness and manufacturing.
RightShip, a Victorian company specialising in marine risk management systems, was recognised as the overall winner and recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australian Exporter of the Year Award for 2013.
The 51st Australian Export Awards winners were:
- Prime Minister’s Australian Exporter of the Year Award
- Agribusiness Award
Walnuts Australia (TAS)
- Business Services Award
- Creative Industries Award
Animal Logic (NSW)
- Education and Training Award
Monash University (VIC)
- Environmental Solutions Award
- Health and Biotechnology Award
Aspen Medical (ACT)
- Information and Communication Technology Award
- Infrastructure and Construction Award
- Manufacturing Award
RØDE Microphones (NSW)
- Minerals and Energy Award
- Regional Exporter Award
Tasmanian Quality Meats (TAS)
- Small Business Award
SWA Water Australia (NSW)
- Prime Minister’s Australian Exporter of the Year, 2013
- Business Services Award
Owned equally by BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto Shipping and Cargill Ocean Transport, RightShip is a ship vetting company. It was set up in 2001 to respond to a problem recognised across the shipping industry—a lack of accessible, transparent data to enable shippers and charterers around the world to identify and avoid substandard vessels. Ship vetting both identifies and analyses a ship, enabling RightShip’s customers to remove substandard vessels from their supply chain. This minimises the risk of marine incidents, loss of lives, loss of cargo and environmental damage.
RightShip’s Ship Vetting Information System is accessible online and contains data on more than 120,000 maritime companies. The system uses a sophisticated algorithm to analyse more than 50 risk factors that have a proven link to incidents and casualties. The company currently evaluates around 70,000 vessels, with 1,158 removed from their customers’ supply chains last year.
Today, RightShip has customers in 40 countries, undertakes ship inspections in 114 countries, and generates 84 per cent of its revenue outside Australia.
- Health and Biotechnology Award
Australian-owned healthcare solutions provider Aspen Medical delivers quality healthcare in complex, remote and difficult environments. The company has clients around the world in military, aviation, resources and government health services.
During the past 10 years, Aspen Medical has completed more than 150,000 medical treatments in various international locations. With an in-depth understanding of austere healthcare requirements, the company is able to deploy services at short notice. For example, a 100-bed mobile hospital can be assembled onsite and be operational within 72 hours.
Aspen Medical customises its product for each client and each market. Potential export market opportunities are subject to rigorous critical analysis. Key risks are identified in a number of areas including personnel, security, resource availability and political concerns.
In 2004, the company began providing primary healthcare and surgery clients to the Australian Federal Police and Defence personnel in the Solomon Islands. Expansion into other parts of the world quickly followed, including to Canada, the Middle East, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In 2013, Aspen delivered first-line emergency response training to every Australian Defence Force member deploying to Afghanistan and developed an innovative modular medical solution for the United Arab Emirates military.
Contributing to whole-of-government policy development
During 2013–14, Austrade continued to contribute a trade, investment and education perspective to whole-of-government policy processes of importance to exporters, education institutions and investors. Austrade’s unique perspective gained from its international market presence, economic research and analysis, firm-level commercial knowledge, and active partnership arrangements also continued to inform its policy advice to government on both tourism and economic matters more generally.
In October 2013, Austrade took responsibility for strengthening Australia’s tourism industry when it gained the tourism function from the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism. Austrade now works across government on delivering the Tourism 2020 strategy (see page 105).
In 2013–14, Austrade worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and other government agencies, including from the states and territories, on a number of significant policy processes and forums, and continued to work closely with the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.
The work of Austrade’s state and territory directors
Austrade’s state and territory directors play a pivotal role in coordinating and facilitating Austrade’s relationship with key partner organisations in each capital city, with a particular focus on state and territory governments.
During the year, the state and territory directors’ unit facilitated the exchange of Austrade’s international market plans with state and territory counterparts in priority markets to identify opportunities for cooperation, reduce duplication and ensure consistent messaging. State and territory directors regularly presented at public outreach events and senior-level roundtables, highlighting industry or market opportunities arising from initiatives like the free trade agreement with Korea and the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. The unit also provided advice to the Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group, the National Investment Advisory Board and the National Trade Development Working Group, drawing on its strong local networks and in-depth understanding of the political and economic environments in the states and territories.
In Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, Austrade’s state and territory directors played a key role in providing insights and information for the Northern Australia White Paper, working closely with government and industry bodies to ensure Austrade’s trade and investment work in relation to Northern Australia is relevant.
Austrade’s state and territory directors worked closely with their counterparts in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on joint economic diplomacy initiatives, often involving joint presentations by visiting heads of mission and Austrade’s senior trade commissioners. They also worked closely with premiers’, chief ministers’ and other senior ministerial offices on the coordination of official overseas visits.
State and territory directors strengthened relations with the major chambers of commerce in each state and territory; with bilateral chambers such as AmCham; the Australia–China, Australia–India and Australia–Israel chambers of commerce; with trade and investment promotion agencies, including the Japan External Trade Organization, the Korea Trade–Investment Promotion Agency, and UK Trade & Investment; and with professional services firms and banks that assist Australian businesses around the country to realise their international commercial goals.
In 2013–14, state and territory directors facilitated the short-term secondments of four of Austrade’s overseas-engaged staff to major partner agencies. These secondments were intended to strengthen the partners’ understanding of international markets and to deepen Austrade’s understanding of the host organisations, their industries and international aspirations. The secondees were:
- Siddharth Vishwanathan, Austrade Mumbai, to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia in Perth
- Sangeetha Krishnamoorthy, Austrade Hyderabad, to the Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy in Adelaide
- Yuling Zhang, Austrade Guangzhou, to Meat & Livestock Australia in Sydney
- Sagra Clorio, Austrade Mexico City, to the Australian Industry Group in Melbourne.
Yuling Zhang said, ‘In two months I have already learnt so much about the Australian red meat industry and Meat & Livestock Australia’s focus and strategy for international markets. I am already sharing this with my
colleagues and it will be invaluable for Austrade’s partnership with Meat & Livestock Australia in promoting Australian red meat in China.’
In March 2014, Austrade’s state directors in Queensland (also responsible for the Northern Territory), New South Wales (also responsible for the ACT), Victoria (also responsible for Tasmania), South Australia and Western Australia participated in a series of forums on opportunities and insights in Australian exports, global supply chains and overseas investment. The events were organised and sponsored by the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and focused on small and medium-sized enterprises.
In March 2014, Austrade, in partnership with the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, the Export Council of Australia and the University of Sydney, launched the findings from the Australia’s International Business Survey: 2014 report. The survey was one of the most comprehensive investigations into Australian international business activity in more than a decade.
The survey reflects the opinions of more than 1,600 Australian businesses from diverse industries operating in more than 120 overseas markets. Its findings provide an evidence base that will help policymakers to understand how Australia’s international businesses engage with the global economy. It identifies the markets these businesses operate in and the barriers in those markets, the markets they are targeting for future business, and the domestic factors that affect their international competitiveness.
In addition to holding briefings for businesses, business associations and state governments, Austrade and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation presented the survey results to departments and industry, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Treasury and the Department of Industry. For information on the survey results, see page 20.
Austrade’s support for new policy initiatives
During 2013–14, Austrade supported numerous policy processes by sharing with agencies its in-depth knowledge of the challenges and opportunities Australian businesses and industry sectors face in developing international markets. These policy processes included the development of the industry innovation precincts and the reviews of the Victorian and South Australian economies.
In addition, five Austrade staff members were seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet at various times during 2013–14 to help progress the Government’s priorities, including development of the Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda.
Austrade has been working with the Northern Australia White Paper taskforce to identify ways to unlock the region’s commercial potential, and address barriers by highlighting actions to assist Northern Australia’s trade, investment, international education and tourism performance. With competitive advantages in the resource and energy, agrifood, tourism, tropical health and medicine, and education sectors, as well as proximity to the growing Asian markets where Austrade operates, Austrade’s sectoral and market knowledge makes a valuable contribution to that policy development, ultimately helping to overcome the barriers to realising the commercial opportunities that lie in Northern Australia.
In 2014, Austrade also provided information for the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper about attracting foreign direct investment, assisting food and agribusiness services and technology exporters, and developing and maintaining international markets.
Working with state and territory governments
In February 2014, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, hosted a meeting in Canberra with state and territory trade and investment ministers to discuss a range of cross-jurisdictional trade and investment issues. At the meeting, the ministers agreed to work together to help Australian businesses realise the benefits of the Korea–Australia Free Trade Agreement. They endorsed the five national investment priorities and the roles of the team of senior investment specialists to be formed within Austrade by the first half of 2014–15. They also noted in-principle support for a ‘team Australia’ approach to major international events. A second Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting is scheduled for September 2014.
The Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group implements the decisions from the Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting. The group aims to develop Australia’s trade and investment outcomes by improving coordination between the Australian Government and state and territory governments—the ‘team Australia’ approach. It provides strategic direction to the operationally focused National Investment Advisory Board and the National Trade Development Working Group.
Austrade chairs and provides the secretariat function for the National Investment Advisory Board (see page 60).
Austrade also chairs and delivers the secretariat function for the National Trade Development Working Group. The group’s objectives are to coordinate Commonwealth, state and territory international trade activities, and share knowledge and intelligence on trade craft, trade opportunities, market initiatives and major projects.
Attached agency agreements
Austrade administered a number of service-level agreements for the provision of property and administrative support in overseas locations for staff from attached Australian Government agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, AusFilm, the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Education, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. In most cases, these agreements were in place in Austrade-managed consulates-general.
In some locations, Austrade also employed state government specialist staff to undertake mutually agreed activities to support the relevant state’s trade, investment and education promotion work in that market. These agreements include:
- South Australian Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy—a business development manager in Hong Kong and senior investment managers in Shanghai and Mumbai
- Trade and Investment Queensland—a business development manager in Ho Chi Minh City (until 30 June 2014)
- Tasmanian Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts—a senior investment manager in Shanghai
- Victorian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation—an education services manager in Bogota.
Austrade delivers services to, and works with, these agencies and departments overseas to ensure that government efforts, both Commonwealth and state, are coordinated and targeted.Back to top
Parliamentary inquiries and briefings
During the year, Austrade appeared before, or provided submissions to, the following committees or inquiries:
- New South Wales Legislative Council inquiry into tourism in local communities conducted by the General Purpose Standing Committee No. 3—the Tourism Division provided a submission in July 2013 when it was part of the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism
- Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia—Austrade provided a joint submission with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the Parliament’s Northern Australia Committee, and testified before the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia in March 2014
- Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into Australia’s trade and investment relationships with countries of the Middle East—Austrade provided a joint submission with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and briefed members of the committee in May 2014
- Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into the role of the private sector in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the Indo-Pacific region—Austrade contributed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s submission to the committee in May 2014
- Victorian Parliament Rural and Regional Joint Investigatory Committee inquiry into the opportunities for increasing exports of goods and services from regional Victoria—Austrade, along with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, met with representatives of the committee in June 2014. Austrade provided advice on how its services and programmes, particularly across trade, inward investment and tourism, can support export development in regional Victoria.
Services to government
Austrade’s CEO reports to the minister responsible for the trade portfolio. From 1 July 2013 to 18 September 2014, the Hon Richard Marles MP held the position. The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP was sworn in as Minister for Trade and Investment on 18 September 2014 and held the position for the remainder of the reporting period.
Administrative Arrangements Orders issued after the 2013 election abolished the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and transferred responsibility for tourism to the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. As a result, responsibility for tourism policy, programmes and research transferred to Austrade. Until the election, the ministers responsible for the tourism function were the Hon Gary Gray AO MP, Minister for Tourism, and Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Minister Assisting for Tourism. Tourism Australia remains a statutory authority, now located within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio and reporting to the Minister for Trade and Investment.
Austrade provided services to the Minister for Trade and Investment throughout the reporting year, including through the provision of a departmental liaison officer located in the Minister’s office.
Austrade reported on its progress in achieving the Government’s objectives through regular reports and briefing material. Austrade officers also met with the Minister, as well as his office staff, to give context to written briefs and discuss specific issues when required. In 2013–14, Austrade produced 143 written briefs and 158 submissions and prepared responses to 388 items of written correspondence, with a further 212 items of correspondence processed for information. These figures include briefs, submissions and correspondence for the Tourism Division that were produced after the 2013 election. Before the election, the Tourism Division, under the former Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, produced 44 written briefs and responded to 54 items of written correspondence, with a further 30 items of correspondence processed for information.
Supporting ministers abroad
In 2013–14, Austrade continued to provide support for ministerial visits overseas, including visits by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, and other ministers. Examples of this work are highlighted below.
In June 2014, Austrade provided support for an official visit by the Hon Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, and an accompanying senior business delegation to Canada and the United States.
During the visit, Mr Robb attended a number of functions and roundtable events promoting the strengths of Australia’s economy and opportunities for foreign investment in infrastructure and other priority sectors.
Mr Robb also delivered a keynote address to the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, participated in panel discussions at the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University in Houston, and visited the Parsons Brinckerhoff subway infrastructure project in New York and the leading-edge Schlumberger Technology Center in Houston.
In April 2014, Austrade provided support for an official visit by Mr Abbott and Mr Robb to Korea, Japan and China, where they were joined by the Hon Bruce Billson MP, Minister for Small Business, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, five state premiers and the Chief Minister of the ACT, and a delegation of more than 700 Australian businesspeople.
During the visit, Australia concluded negotiations on the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, opening the way for increased two-way trade with Australia’s second-largest trading partner.
In Korea, Mr Robb and his South Korean counterpart, His Excellency Yoon Sang-jick, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, formally signed the Korea–Australia Free Trade Agreement in Seoul.
In China, Mr Robb led Australia’s largest-ever trade delegation comprising more than 700 businesspeople from a range of industries. Mr Robb’s visit coincided with Australia Week in China, a series of Austrade-organised events across five Chinese cities designed to enhance Australia’s engagement with China in trade, investment, education and tourism. For more information on Australia Week in China, see page 38.
Mr Robb also visited the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in April 2014, where he attended the Austrade-delivered Australia Unlimited MENA 2014, the largest Australian promotional campaign hosted in key Middle East and North Africa markets. The campaign demonstrated Australian capabilities in education, agriculture and food, resource and water management, urban development, rail, sports and tourism.
Australia Unlimited MENA 2014 included events in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, as well as associated events in Muscat, Kuwait City and Rabat. This annual campaign builds on the success of the inaugural Australia Unlimited MENA programme held in 2013.
Mr Robb met with senior ministers and major investors from the region, using his visit to advocate for a resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement with the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Austrade hosted a Future Unlimited booth at the International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education in Riyadh, also held in April 2014. Mr Robb met with representatives from the 27 Australian universities participating in this major regional event.
Coinciding with Australia Unlimited MENA 2014, Austrade also supported the Council for Australian–Arab Relations to conduct policy seminars in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh on the nexus between food and water. These seminars brought together experts to discuss issues that are a challenge to Australia and the region.
Austrade supported Mr Robb’s visit to the Philippines in February 2014, with the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, for the fourth Philippines–Australia Ministerial Meeting. At that meeting, ministers agreed to cooperate to increase bilateral trade and investment, undertook to promote greater use of the ASEAN–Australia–New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, and to share expertise to support the development of responsible mining and offshore acreage release.
Mr Robb was accompanied by a delegation of senior executives from 20 Australian companies in the engineering and infrastructure, resources, food and agribusiness, education and services sectors.
Mr Robb also met with senior government leaders, including His Excellency Benigno S Aquino III, President of the Philippines, and addressed an infrastructure business forum at which typhoon reconstruction was discussed. Ms Bishop announced further development assistance for public–private partnership projects. Mr Robb also addressed the Makati Business Club, which comprises more than 700 CEOs and senior executives from the largest and most successful corporations in the Philippines.
In January 2014, Austrade supported Mr Robb’s visit to the United States for the G’Day USA programme. Ms Bishop and the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Minister for Communications, also attended a series of events as part of the programme. Events were strategically designed to focus on priority sectors for Australia, including tourism, energy and resources, and investment.
Mr Robb gave keynote addresses at a number of G’Day USA events, including a Tourism Australia summit in Los Angeles and an innovation and digital economy investment event in San Francisco. Alongside the G’Day USA activities, Mr Robb also took part in US–Australia Dialogue events, including presenting at the US–Australia Dialogue on Water and the US–Australia Dialogue: Partners in the Asia–Pacific, both in Los Angeles.
Other official visits supported by Austrade during the year included:
- Governor-General—China in October 2013; Myanmar in November 2013
- Prime Minister—Indonesia in July and October 2013; Papua New Guinea in March 2014; France in June 2014
- Minister for Foreign Affairs—Myanmar in July 2013; Korea and Hong Kong in October 2013; Philippines in December 2013 and February 2014; Malaysia and Vietnam in February 2014; Switzerland in March 2014; France in April 2014
- Minister for Trade and Investment—United States in October 2013 (at the Global Services Summit); China and Hong Kong in October 2013; Indonesia in October 2013; North Asia (South Korea, Japan, China) in November 2013; Singapore in December 2013; Switzerland in January 2014; Japan and Hong Kong in March 2014; Germany and France in May 2014; Germany in June 2014
- Minister for Immigration and Border Protection—Malaysia in October 2013
- Minister for Industry—China in November 2013
- Minister for Communications—United States in January 2014
- Minister for Small Business—China in April 2014
- Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs—Vietnam in October 2013.
Visits by foreign government representatives
As well as providing support for overseas visits by Australian ministers, Austrade continued to support visits by a diverse range of foreign government delegations throughout the year. These included the visits of:
- Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of Singapore, in June 2014. Austrade ensured high-level business representation at a State lunch hosted by the Governor-General
- Francisco N González Diáz, Chief Executive of ProMexico (Mexico’s trade and investment promotion agency), and a business delegation in June 2014
- Yi Lianhong, Member of the Standing Committee of the Hunan Provincial Committee and Party Secretary of the Changsha Municipal Committee, in May 2014. Austrade signed a memorandum of understanding with the Changsha Municipal Government on trade, investment and education collaboration
- ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh in March 2014. Austrade attended a roundtable and briefed Secretary-General Minh on Austrade’s activities and engagement with ASEAN countries
- Mongolian Foreign Minister Luvsanvandan Bold in March 2014. Austrade attended a dinner hosted by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and introduced a number of Australian companies with interests in Mongolia
- Pakistan agriculture delegation supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research in February 2014
- Evgeny Popov, Director, Asia and Africa Department, Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, and delegation in February 2014
- Dr Joseph Wu, Taiwan Policy Director to opposition Democratic Progressive Party, in December 2013
- His Excellency Boediono, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency Mahendra Siregar, Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board and a business delegation to Australia in November 2013. Austrade and Asialink organised a business forum at which investment opportunities in Indonesia were discussed, in addition to meetings with institutional funds and prominent investors from Australia
- His Excellency Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs, and a senior business delegation in November 2013, for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Overseas Indians Day) convention in Sydney
- Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar, in November 2013. Austrade organised a business roundtable with a small group of organisations with interests and potential investments in Myanmar
- Indian Ocean Rim Association Business Forum, including ministers and officials from 20 member states in October 2013
- Nepal Hydro-electricity Investment and Development Company delegation in September 2013.