The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government's agency for promoting trade, investment and international education. Through a global network of offices, Austrade assists Australian enterprises to increase international business, attracts productive foreign direct investment into Australia and promotes Australia's international education and training sector.
Specifically, Austrade helps Australian businesses reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting, including through the administration of the Export Market Development Grants scheme and the TradeStart program. Austrade works closely with state and territory governments to attract and facilitate productive foreign direct investment into Australia. Austrade has responsibility for promoting the Australian international education and training sector in overseas markets and assists Australian education providers with market information and services.
Austrade provides advice to the Australian Government on its trade and investment policy agenda and delivers Australian consular, passport and other government services in specific overseas locations.
Austrade also manages the Building Brand Australia program to enhance awareness of contemporary Australian skills and capability and enrich Australia's global reputation through the Australia Unlimited nation brand.
Austrade was established by the Australian Trade Commission Act 1985. It is a Prescribed Agency subject to the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Public Service Act 1999 and is part of the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. Austrade is responsible to the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness.
At 30 June 2012, Austrade operated in 90 locations in 50 countries. Austrade delivered consular, passport and other government services in 17 consulates.1 The Australian and overseas locations in which Austrade operates are shown in Figure 2.
Following the review of Austrade in 2010, Austrade's overseas network is now weighted towards growth and emerging markets that offer commercial potential, provide opportunities that align with Australia's interests, and where there is a clear role for government assistance. Austrade pursues investment promotion and attraction activities in markets where there are major sources of investible funds, predominantly in the established markets of North America and Europe and increasingly in other major growth economies in Asia and the Middle East. The promotion of Australia's international education and training sector remains a priority in all markets. For more information on the review of Austrade and subsequent reforms, see page iv.
Austrade has realigned its market teams into three divisions: Established Markets; Growth and Emerging Markets; and East Asian Growth Markets. For more information on Austrade's work in international markets, see page 19.
Within Australia, Austrade's services and programs were delivered through 12 Austrade locations and through a network of 31 TradeStart advisers in metropolitan and regional areas. TradeStart operates in partnership with state and territory governments, industry associations and regional development bodies. Austrade's Australian offices, including TradeStart locations, are shown in Appendix B.
Staffing and financial performance
At 30 June 2012, Austrade employed 985 staff, 76 per cent of whom were employed in overseas locations and client-focused operations in Australia. Further staffing information is provided in Appendix A.
In a challenging financial environment, Austrade achieved its financial targets while implementing many of the structural changes associated with the review of Austrade, and responding to the changing international business environment.
1. The Austrade-managed Consulate-General in Tripoli was not open in 2011–12