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A brief history of Austrade

1985–86 Austrade was established by the Australian Trade Commission Act 1985, and several export assistance agencies, including the Export Market Development Grants board, were consolidated into one organisation. Operations commenced in January 1986 and Austrade was located in the Industry portfolio.
1990 Austrade's board commissioned McKinsey & Company to review the span of the agency's activity and structure. As a result, Austrade was restructured to include a group of 10 executive general managers, with six of those positions each directing an overseas region.
1991 Austrade moved from the Industry portfolio to the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. Its head office also moved from Canberra to Sydney.
1992 Austrade established its National Export Hotline—13 28 78.
1996 Austrade was restructured, with its 10 executive general managers reduced to seven.
1997–98 The Business Club Australia program was launched. Eight TradeStart offices were also opened, extending Austrade's export advisory services to regional Australia. The network has since been expanded and now includes 28 TradeStart offices located around Australia.
2001–02 An agreement was negotiated between federal, state and territory governments to cooperate in doubling the number of Australian companies exporting.
2006 From 1 July 2006, Austrade operated under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and its board of directors was replaced with an executive management structure. Prior to this, Austrade operated under the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997.
2008 Austrade took on responsibility for the promotion and attraction of productive foreign direct investment into Australia.
2010 Austrade assumed responsibility for the international promotion of Australia’s education and training sector.
2011 A comprehensive review of Austrade resulted in a realignment of its network, with trade resources focused on Asian and growth and emerging markets that provided the greatest opportunities for Australian businesses. Austrade's investment resources were focused on more mature, capital-rich markets.
2013 Austrade was given responsibility for tourism policy, programs and research.
2015 Austrade was given nomination responsibilities for the Significant Investor Visa and a new Premium Investor Visa, with a new complying investment framework for both coming into effect from July 2015.
2016 In May 2016, Austrade became the ‘Australian Trade and Investment Commission’ to reflects its ongoing work in attracting productive foreign investment.
2017 Austrade commissioned an organisational capability assessment to help it meet future challenges.
2018 In February 2018, Austrade’s structure changed to reflect a client-centred, digital-first future. Austrade’s overseas locations were grouped into seven overseas regions, complemented by eight industry sectors. These are supported by a Client Group, and a Business, Partnerships and Support Group.
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