Advance Australia's trade and investment interests through information, advice and services to businesses, industry and governments
Program 1.1: Trade and investment development
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 institutions.
- Identify foreign business opportunities for Australian companies and industries, particularly in growth and emerging markets, that offer commercial potential and align with Australian capability; where there are difficulties accessing distribution channels and commercial connections; and where the value of the 'badge of government' is highest.
- Deliver market-related services, advice and information to assist Australian companies in international markets to capture opportunities.
- Build linkages and networks with key decision-makers, buyers, investors and institutions and facilitate access to senior officials and business executives in international markets, and assist Australian firms with 'behind the border' barriers to trade and investment, consistent with legal obligations including anti-bribery laws both in Australia and overseas.
- Work with state and territory and other Commonwealth government agencies to secure productive foreign direct investment from target markets that complements or capitalises on domestic capabilities.
- Promote Australia's nation brand, Australia Unlimited, in target markets to advance Australia's image and reputation across a wide range of fields, including trade, investment, innovation, diplomacy, international education and tourism.
- Promote the international standing of Australia's education system as world-class, and assist in the marketing of Australian education to support the sustainable development of Australia's international education and training services.
- Support the delivery of the Automotive Market Access Program and Clean Energy Trade and Investment Strategy.
- Strengthen investment in online information and service delivery and new partnerships to achieve a more contemporary approach to service delivery.
- Assess applications for the income tax exemption available under section 23AF of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936, to assist the international competitiveness of Australian companies and government organisations competing to win international tenders.
- Draw on Austrade's global, commercial perspective to provide advice to government.
High-potential international trade opportunities identified and presented to Australian businesses.
In 2011–12, Austrade identified and presented a range of high-potential
Number of Australian businesses provided with practical in-market services and advice.
Australia's total goods and services exports rose 10.2 per cent in 2011 to $313.3 billion—the first time exports have reached over $300 billion during any 12-month period. The record export performance resulted in an annual trade surplus of $18.3 billion. Mineral exports led the way, notably iron and copper ores, increasing by 24.6 per cent to $86.7 billion in 2011.2
Australia's terms of trade increased 13.2 per cent to near record levels, lifting real gross domestic incomes. China was Australia's largest two-way trade partner ($121.1 billion), followed by Japan ($72.5 billion) and the United States ($54.2 billion).
Exports of resources accounted for 60.8 per cent of total exports by value. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were 44,766 goods and services exporters in Australia in 2010–11, almost unchanged from the previous period.
2. DFAT, Composition of Trade Australia 2011.
Opportunity identification and delivery
The review of Austrade has fundamentally reshaped Austrade's strategy, operating model and structure. In line with the outcomes of the review, in 2011–12, Austrade implemented strategies that support Australian businesses to realise tangible commercial opportunities in priority and emerging markets, where Austrade adds greatest value to business.
Under its new operating model, Austrade focuses on identifying and delivering high-quality, well-qualified trade opportunities to internationally ready Australian suppliers across a broad range of industries. Trade opportunities are quality international sales leads identified by Austrade's offshore offices. These leads meet a specific need from a qualified buyer, which Australian exporters should be able to contest and supply. Austrade provides information on all opportunities on a non-exclusive basis and distributes opportunities widely to Australian firms, including through industry organisations.
Market initiative: major sporting events
Australia has world-leading expertise and capability across the range of major sporting event activities, including bidding, planning, event staging services, operations management, ceremonies and venue design and construction. More than 40 Australian companies and specialists have been engaged in projects surrounding the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
One such success was Victorian company, Advanced Polymer Technology, which provided the synthetic surface of the Olympic hockey arena. Austrade also assisted New South Wales-based company, Intelligent Risks, to win the supply of security planning and operational delivery at the London Olympics. Both of these contracts were won through Austrade introductions to key decision-makers from the London Olympic Delivery Authority during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Over the coming decade, Brazil, Qatar, the Republic of Korea and Russia are preparing for some of the world's most high-profile sporting events, including the summer and winter Olympics, FIFA World Cups, Asian Games, and swimming and athletics world championships. Austrade continues to identify potential opportunities for Australian companies and build networks of high-level contacts in these markets.
In November 2011, Austrade held a major sporting events industry webinar to highlight business opportunities in Russia, attracting 29 business representatives in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Austrade's support for Australia's major sporting events industry will continue in 2012–13, with Austrade holding activities in London during the Olympic Games, including 'Australia Unlimited 2012', an event targeting key decision-makers at a business networking reception at the Australian High Commission.
At 30 June 2012, Austrade had delivered 566 qualified trade opportunities, and facilitated the identification and targeting of 2,937 Australian firms in relation to distributed trade opportunities. This resulted in 987 commercial introductions of Australian suppliers to overseas buyers, and 205 export sales were either under negotiation or concluded with overseas buyers. These results have been achieved since the inception of the new opportunities delivery model on 1 October 2011.
In 2011–12, more than a third of these trade opportunities were from the food and beverage and agribusiness industry sectors. Trade opportunities from these sectors are generally high in volume and benefit from Australia's internationally recognised reputation and established terms of trade. Trade opportunities that are more complex in nature are typically lower in volume and involve longer business cycles. This is true, for example, with multiphase infrastructure projects or advanced manufacturing opportunities (see Figure 4).
Figure 4: Trade opportunities by industry, 1 October 2011 to 30 June 2012
Note: Total number of opportunities is 566.
Figure 5 shows the markets responsible for the greatest number of trade opportunities, reflecting Australia's strong trade engagement with Asia. Three markets—India, Japan and China—generated 40 per cent of all opportunities.
Figure 5: Trade opportunities by top 10 markets, 1 October 2011 to 30 June 2012
Note: Total number of opportunities is 395.
Opportunities across industry sectors
This section outlines some examples of trade opportunities identified by Austrade across industry sectors. Further examples appear in the market sections of this report, starting on page 19.
In April 2012, Austrade supported Expomin, the largest mining equipment, technology and services trade show in the southern hemisphere. Expomin, held in Santiago, Chile, attracted 70,000 participants and 1,300 exhibitors.
Austrade hosted the Australian pavilion, showcasing 43 Australian companies and providing Australian exporters of mining equipment, technology and services with insights into major mining projects and opportunities. Australian companies were also given networking opportunities with key stakeholders, major customers and mining companies.
The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, attended Expomin and met with many of the Australian companies, as well as government and industry representatives. As part of the Expomin business program, Austrade conducted a workshop in Antofagasta, a key gateway city to the major mines in northern Chile. The workshop provided direct access for Australian companies to teams of key decision-makers from the remotely located mines in the region. Austrade secured the participation of senior technical managers from nine of the major mining operations in the region, including BHP Billiton, Codelco, Xstrata Copper and Antofagasta Minerals.
In April 2012, Food and Hotel Asia 2012, a major biennial international food and hospitality trade event, was held in Singapore. Austrade organised 436 buyers from 216 organisations and 10 overseas locations to attend the event. Austrade connected more than 130 Australian exhibitors at the trade show with buyers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, South Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.
Forty-seven exhibitors received Austrade's buyer matching services, with 45 of those also working with the Victorian and New South Wales governments. Services included 248 pre-organised meetings with visiting international buyers. The governments of Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia also provided additional support, and some firms took booths at the government stands.
Austrade added value to Australian businesses by being on hand to discuss market opportunities, offer advice and market insights, and provide linkages with business networks across multiple markets. To date, there are several potential opportunities in the pipeline from markets including Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia, all as a result of participation in Food and Hotel Asia 2012.
Delivery of opportunities through external organisations
Austrade worked with state and territory government agencies, industry associations and business chambers to deliver opportunities to firms beyond those known to Austrade.
In the first half of 2012, a pilot program involving the Industry Capability Network, Wine Australia and Enterprise Connect was underway to develop and refine the process for the effective delivery of opportunities through intermediary organisations. The pilot program's recommendations will enable Austrade to identify additional intermediary organisations capable of delivering trade opportunities to Australian firms not currently working with Austrade.
A reshaped international network
In 2011–12, Austrade's international business activities were more clearly directed towards growth and emerging markets that offer commercial opportunities aligned with Australian capabilities, and where there is a clear role for Austrade. In established markets, Austrade's activities focused predominantly on opportunities for inward investment and international education and training services.
Austrade's international network was previously managed by four regional directors who were based offshore and were responsible for markets grouped geographically. From October 2011, an Executive Director of International Operations has overseen the network. This position is based at Austrade's headquarters in Sydney. Three general managers, also based in Sydney, oversee the three market groupings—Established Markets; Growth and Emerging Markets; and East Asian Growth Markets.
Austrade's offshore offices are led by Australian senior trade commissioners and trade commissioners who, in some cases, also oversee a number of smaller offices staffed by overseas-engaged employees.
At 30 June 2012, Austrade was represented in 50 countries in 90 locations (Figure 2). The network is now more concentrated, with fewer points of presence than in previous years. Changes to Austrade's network have been made in the context of the overall strategy described on page iv, with a greater weighting of representation towards growth and emerging markets.
In March 2012, an Austrade-managed Consulate-General in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, was opened. This followed short-term staff secondments in preceding years to assess opportunities in the market, which laid the foundation for a permanent presence. For further information, see page 32.
Preparations for an Austrade-managed Consulate-General in Bogota, Colombia, were also undertaken during the year. The new Consul-General, who will also be Senior Trade Commissioner, will take up duties in early 2012–13. Austrade also opened a small office in Shenyang in northeast China, and Austrade's presence in Latin America (in Sao Paulo, Brazil) and West Africa (in Accra, Ghana) was also strengthened with the announced appointment of additional trade commissioners.
The following sections highlight some of the major outcomes that have flowed from the work of Austrade's offshore network in 2011–12. A selection of markets and activities are highlighted, providing an indication of the scope and variety of work undertaken across the network.
Deepening engagement in growth and emerging markets
The core value of Austrade's international network is in its ability to deliver practical in-market support, advice and insights to Australian businesses. These activities are particularly valued by companies in markets where:
- language and business culture can be a barrier
- regulatory frameworks are less open and business processes less transparent
- accessing distribution channels and commercial connections can be difficult
- the value of the badge of government is greatest.
China is Australia's largest trading partner, accounting for $71.5 billion of goods exports and $5.7 billion of services exports in 2011.3 Australia is a major exporter of resources, minerals, food and fibre to the Chinese market and was ranked as China's fifth-largest overall supplier in 2011.
Although growth is moderating from the very high levels of recent decades, China will remain a prospective market for Australian firms, an important source of international students and a growing source of productive investment.
Continuing urbanisation, industrial upgrading, a focus on clean energy and environmental remediation, and the expansion of the service sector creates a wide range of opportunities for Australian companies. Austrade uses its badge of government across a broad network of offices in regional China to support Australian businesses and educational institutions in this important but challenging market.
In August 2011, Austrade organised the Australia–China 2.0 trade mission, led by the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, and the Hon Richard Marles MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs. The mission of 100 delegates from 92 Australian businesses and institutions focused on the new centres of growth in China's west. Mission delegates comprised representatives from a broad range of industries, including education and training, architecture and engineering design, clean technology, financial services, legal services and professional and business services.
The objectives of the mission were to highlight Australia's strong capability in the services sector to local Chinese officials and business leaders, and for Australian delegates to learn about rapid developments in China's second-tier cities. The seven-day mission travelled to Guangzhou, Changsha, Wuhan, Chengdu and Chongqing. In each city, Austrade organised visits to industrial and commercial sites for Australian delegates, seminars with local counterparts on doing business in China, and a reception to meet Chinese government officials and business representatives.
Following participation in the Australia–China 2.0 trade mission, several Australian companies, including Telstra and logistics provider Goodman, have advised of plans to establish or expand in central and western China. Other mission participants are following up with a financial services delegation to western China and Shanghai in 2012. In addition, the Victorian Government is pursuing business opportunities in the environmental services sector, while NSW educational institutions and the NSW Government office in Shanghai are pursuing opportunities in the tertiary education and vocational education and training sectors.
Australia is a preferred destination for Chinese students choosing to study abroad and China represents Australia's largest market for international education, with just under 160,000 enrolments in 2011.4 In April 2012, Austrade held the inaugural Australia–China Careers Fair in Shanghai in partnership with Zhaopin Limited, one of the largest online recruitment companies in China. The event demonstrated the value of an Australian education through job outcomes and career development and was attended by Chinese students, parents, corporate human resources representatives and government officials. For more information on the Australia–China Careers Fair, see page 53.
3. DFAT, China Fact Sheet, 2012.
4. Australian Education International, 2012.
As a major developing economy, India offers great opportunities for Australian businesses. Possible constraints to growth are emerging and India is a complex, diverse and challenging market. However, Australia's exports to India have grown particularly rapidly during the past decade.
India is now Australia's sixth-largest trading partner and fourth-largest export destination—accounting for $15.2 billion of goods exports and $2.1 billion of services exports in 2011. Australia's major exports to India include minerals, coal, precious metals and resources, and education services.5 There is further potential for growth in bulk commodities, related supply chains and across a range of niches in technology and services. Two-way investment flows are also growing strongly from a low base.
The market for clean energy in India is growing for both domestic and international energy generators and technology companies.
In February 2012, Austrade organised clean technology seminars in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad to coincide with a Victorian Super Trade Mission, which comprised 217 companies. The aim was to capitalise on the growth in this emerging sector. It was the second consecutive year of collaboration with the Victorian Government to create awareness of Australian capability in clean energy.
To enhance delegates' understanding of the Indian market, Austrade coordinated a program of group briefings and site visits that were conducted with Indian sectoral experts, including Ernst & Young, Yes Bank, the Energy Research Institute, the Confederation of Indian Industries' Green Building Centre, Reliance Industries, and the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat. The program led to successful outcomes for the participating companies, with memorandums of understanding and distributor agreements signed, and trade transactions in progress.
Coinciding with the Victorian mission, Austrade organised conferences in Pune and Chennai on future technology trends in the automotive sector under the auspices of the Automotive Market Access Program. The aim of the conferences was to promote Australia's technical credentials and supply capabilities to the Indian automotive sector, and to foster collaboration in research and development between Australia and India. Technical experts from Australia's automotive industry addressed the conference, as did the Hon Richard Dalla-Riva MLC, Victoria's Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Minister for Manufacturing, Exports and Trade, and John Conomos AO, Automotive Envoy. For more information on Austrade's broader work in the clean technology and automotive sectors, see page 54.
Also in February 2012, Austrade coordinated a visit to Chennai and Bangalore for the five universities constituting the Australian Technology Network. The 17-member delegation conducted meetings with a number of local institutions, focusing on developing agreements around the commercialisation of research, joint research development and faculty and staff exchanges. Led by Professor Jeanette Hackett AM, Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University, the visit resulted in the signing of memorandums of understanding with Anna University, Chennai and the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
In March 2012, 10 Australian screen industry representatives took part in the Austrade-supported Victorian screen delegation to India. Austrade supported Film Victoria in the facilitation of the visit, which aimed to foster relationships with Indian film and television producers. Austrade organised an interactive session focusing on cooperation and co-production opportunities between the Indian and Victorian industries. Austrade also provided an industry briefing session and arranged business matching meetings and site visits to sound, film and visual effects studios in Mumbai. Key outcomes of this initiative include projects for co-production and filming in Victoria, the use of Victorian post-production facilities, and joint creation of film and television content. The initiative is significant in the context of the impending Australia–India co-production treaty.
During the year, Austrade assisted Australian company, Xtralis, a global leader in fire safety, to market its capabilities to Indian authorities for fire-fighting on trains. Austrade organised meetings on behalf of Xtralis with key representatives in the Ministry of Railways and the Railway Board. Austrade also assisted Xtralis to identify and appoint its representative for railways in India, Sidwall Limited.
As a result of this engagement, the Indian Railways Research Development and Standards Organisation is conducting a trial of Xtralis's early warning smoke detection product, known as VESDA, on its new double-decker air-conditioned train model.
5. DFAT, India Fact Sheet, 2012.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Economic complementarities and Australia's geographical proximity make the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) an important cluster of markets for Australian business. ASEAN's share of Australia's goods exports in 2011 was 10 per cent, valued at $26.8 billion.6 This was an increase in dollar value of 23 per cent on the previous year. ASEAN is a major destination for Australian food, resources and minerals. Service exports to ASEAN economies were valued at $8.5 billion in 2011—overtaking the European Union as the largest combined market for Australian services, with a 17 per cent share. Major service exports include education-related services and personal travel.
6. DFAT, ASEAN-10 Fact Sheet, 2012.
Indonesia is an important commercial partner for Australia, with a growing middle class and a young demographic. While there is already wide engagement and considerable trade and investment between the two countries, there is a perception barrier among some Australian firms that Indonesia is too difficult a market in which to operate. Although difficulties in the market arise from time to time, there is undoubtedly significant untapped potential and strong support from both countries' governments for expanded economic and trade ties.
In April 2012, Austrade hosted the Australian mining conference and exhibition, Ozmine 2012, in Jakarta. The event brought together key Indonesian, Australian and ASEAN industry and government representatives who discussed major trends, opportunities and challenges in the mining sector across this fast-growing region. The exhibition showcased the capabilities of Australian mining and mining equipment, technology and services companies to a broad and diverse international mining audience.
Ozmine 2012 attracted more than 2,400 industry, stakeholder and government participants from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, India and Australia. Feedback was positive—participants commented favourably on strategic market insights obtained at the conference, the high quality of business relationships developed, and the opportunity for business and government leaders to engage on important developments in the mining sector across ASEAN.
Ian Satchwell, National President of the Australia Indonesia Business Council, addresses the opening session of Ozmine 2012, the Australian mining conference and exhibition, in Jakarta in April 2012. (Image used with permission of FullFill Artplication.)
Australia and Malaysia have deep business and education ties–dating back to the 1960s–that have continued to develop strongly in recent years. In May 2012, a historic milestone was achieved when the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, and Dato' Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Malaysia's Minister for International Trade and Industry, signed the Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement in Kuala Lumpur. The agreement builds on the commitments made by both countries in Australia's regional free trade agreement with ASEAN and New Zealand, and will help to further integrate the two economies.
Australian exporters will benefit from improved market access under the Malaysia–Australia Free Trade Agreement. Austrade will continue to provide information and advice to Australian businesses about the benefits of the agreement through a series of briefings and an online campaign in the lead-up to the agreement's expected implementation in January 2013
(subject to completion of parliamentary processes).
In January 2012, at the Australia–Malaysia Joint Trade Committee meeting, the trade ministers of both countries agreed to promote cooperation in ecologically sustainable building, as well as logistics, services sector development and economic reform. As a result, Austrade organised the Australia–Malaysia Logistics Roundtable in Kuala Lumpur, collaborating with Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry. At the event, more than 40 Australian and Malaysian industry and government representatives met to discuss how to help advance the development and integration of logistics in both countries, as a catalyst to drive change across the broader ASEAN region. This led to sharing of best practice in human capital development and highlighted bilateral interests in collaborating in areas such as food safety and integrated halal supply chains.
Vietnam has a growing middle class and a youthful population. Growth and the associated pressures of urbanisation and industrialisation place huge demands on existing national infrastructure. This has created significant synergies with Australian supply capability in infrastructure, energy and education. As state-owned enterprises dominate most industry sectors, Austrade has a particularly active role supporting Australian companies in this market. Austrade's work ranges from representations and support to address behind-the-border barriers to initiatives designed to assist firms to capture new opportunities in this dynamic but challenging market.
Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing markets for Australian wheat and malt. Austrade has worked closely with Interflour Vietnam, a joint venture between Australia's CBH, Japan's Sojitz, and Indonesia's Salim Group, to support the expansion of the partnership's grain importing business in Vietnam. Already one of Southeast Asia's biggest consumers of Australian wheat, Vietnam's demand is expected to more than double in the next five years. Interflour Vietnam has invested $120 million in Vietnamese bulk handling facilities, including the country's only dedicated grain terminal and milling facilities, which house a state-of-the-art malt facility.
Austrade assisted Interflour Vietnam by developing a position paper and advocacy program to highlight the benefits to Vietnamese policymakers of liberalising tariffs on imported wheat. In April 2012, the Vietnamese Government removed tariffs on feed-grade wheat and, in response to Australian representations, is considering doing the same for milling wheat. These developments will make Australian wheat suppliers more price-competitive in the Vietnamese market. Austrade is continuing to liaise closely with stakeholders to encourage the liberalisation of non-feed milling wheat tariffs in Vietnam.
Korea remains Australia's third-largest goods export market and one of Australia's largest sources of international students. Minerals, energy and food dominate trade and Australia is a longstanding and valued supplier to Korea. Korea has concluded a number of free trade agreements, including with the United States, European Union, Chile and New Zealand, while negotiations on a free trade agreement with Australia are continuing. Austrade assists Australian exporters to navigate this challenging market with its unique commercial practices and cultural differences.
Austrade worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver six events at the Australian pavilion at the Yeosu Expo 2012 in Korea. The expo's theme was 'The Living Ocean and the Coast—diversity of resources and sustainable activities'. Building on this theme, a seminar and reception demonstrating Australian capabilities and expertise in the marine boating and marina industry was held in collaboration with the Australian International Marine Export Group and the Marina Industries Association of Australia. Representatives of the Australian seafood and aquaculture industry held a further seminar to showcase technology, systems and protocols that enable Australia to produce, maintain and sustainably develop clean and safe seafood products.
Austrade also arranged an Australian education and training event that was attended by the Deans of International Affairs, the key decision-makers for international linkages and overseas student programs in Korea. A panel discussion, featuring four Australian professors working in Korea, served to highlight the quality of the Australian education system and its benefits to Korean students. More than 200 business and community leaders and decision-makers from Korea participated in these events, further strengthening the commercial and bilateral relationship between Australia and Korea.
Latin America comprises a dynamic mix of countries that offer a range of opportunities for Australian businesses. These opportunities arise from increased consumption by a growing middle class, developing interest in Australia as an education destination, and synergies that flow from common strengths as major exporters of minerals and agricultural products. Competition from other countries in these markets is fierce, so Austrade has a role to play in increasing awareness of Australia's strengths as a potential business partner, and assisting firms to navigate the language and cultural challenges of the continent.
A key focus for Austrade is on assisting Australian mining equipment, technology and services suppliers to enter and expand in Latin America. Three of the most promising markets are Chile, Peru and Colombia, which represent an 'arc of opportunity' along the Pacific coast.
In April 2012, Austrade organised a program for an Australian mining mission to Chile, Colombia and Peru. The mission comprised 11 mining suppliers and was led by the Hon Peter Beattie AC, Resources Sector Supplier Envoy, under the Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative. As part of this initiative, Austrade has partnered with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education to help Australian industry link into global supply chains.
The mission coincided with the Expomin mining conference in Santiago, Chile, where Austrade organised briefings and other activities for the delegation. In Colombia, Austrade arranged a tailored networking event, briefings and a visit to Cerrejon, an open-pit thermal coal mine. In Peru, the delegation visited Cerro Lindo, an underground polymetallic mine, attended a tailored networking event and visited the headquarters of potential customers. For more information on Austrade's activities at Expomin, see page 17.
As a result of the mission, potential opportunities were identified with an estimated value of $45 million. Possible investment partners were also identified and a range of joint-venture and cross-promotional activities were initiated.
Also in April 2012, the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, led a business delegation to Latin America. The ministerial mission began in Santiago, Chile, where Dr Emerson visited the Austrade-managed Australian pavilion at Expomin. In Brazil, Dr Emerson met with government and business officials in Brasilia, and in Sao Paulo he presided over the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Federation of Industries of the State of Sao Paulo and the Australian Industry Group. The agreement is expected to lead to significantly increased activity between the members of these leading industry bodies in Brazil and Australia. The mission concluded in Colombia, where the delegation attended a briefing at the Ministry of Mines and Energy with Colombia's Vice-Minister for Energy and other senior officials. Austrade arranged targeted meetings for members of the business delegation and organised a business networking event at which Dr Emerson gave an address to senior members of the business community.
Brazil is Australia's ninth-largest source of foreign students, the largest outside the Asia–Pacific region. Until recently, Australia was overwhelmingly known in Brazil for English language and vocational training. Austrade has made Australia's higher education sector a major priority, identifying significant opportunities for Australian education and training providers, including the Brazilian Government's Science without Borders scholarship program announced in June 2011. The program provides 100,000 places for Brazilian students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to study in science and technology courses at foreign universities up to the end of 2015. In pursuit of this opportunity, Austrade, in conjunction with the Australian Embassy in Brasilia, facilitated a visit by the Group of Eight coalition of Australian universities in March 2012.7 The Group of Eight members signed memorandums of understanding with the two Brazilian government agencies responsible for implementing the Science without Borders program. Initially, 665 students will be supported to study at Group of Eight universities for up to 12 months. The delegates also joined meetings with university leaders and education officials in Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo to strengthen education links with Brazil.
7. The Group of Eight universities are the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney, the University of Queensland, the University of Melbourne, the University of Western Australia, Monash University and the University of Adelaide.
Austrade to open office in growth market of Colombia
In August 2011, the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, announced that Austrade would open a new office and manage an Australian Consulate-General in Bogota, Colombia. The Consulate-General will be established in 2012 and will advise on doing business in Colombia, focusing on identifying trade and investment opportunities for Australian companies and promoting Australian international education and training services. It will also offer essential consular services to Australians in Colombia.
Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, with large mineral and energy reserves, a strong agricultural sector and a developing industrial base. Colombia is also Australia's second-largest source of students from Latin America after Brazil.
Dr Emerson said the decision to open a Consulate-General followed improvements in business conditions in Colombia, and increasing levels of foreign direct investment in response to the Colombian Government's economic reform agenda. Austrade has had representation in Colombia through a locally employed business adviser for several years. The new office represents a significant expansion of Austrade's trade, investment, and international education and training promotion activities in Colombia and Latin America.
In 2011–12, markets in the Middle East continued to face unrest. Growing aspirations across the region created pressure for new policy responses to drive sustainable economic development, increase food security and better manage the environment. Governments in the region are also placing increased emphasis on the role of education to cater for the needs of their young and rapidly growing populations, and to help shape positive social change. During the year, Austrade's teams in the Middle East focused on opportunities in infrastructure, agriculture and education.
The Gulf Cooperation Council countries, comprising the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait, together import more than 85 per cent of their food requirements. These countries' food imports are expected to double from US$26 billion in 2010 to US$53 billion in 2020.8
For Australian exporters, opportunities in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries exist in most food categories, as well as in food processing, agricultural sciences, food safety and food security. Austrade has developed a number of strategic market initiatives, including participation in major industry events, to help promote Australia as a producer of clean and halal food. In February 2012, Austrade and Meat & Livestock Australia coordinated over 150 Australian exhibitors, including the Victorian Government, the Western Australian Government and the Gold Coast City Council, as part of Australia's largest food trade mission to the Gulfood 2012 trade event in Dubai. Austrade invited customers from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia and secured speaking engagements at the Food Processing and Packaging Forum and the 7th Dubai International Food Safety Conference as part of Gulfood 2012.
Australian organic beef producer and first-time exhibitor at Gulfood, the OBE Company Pty Ltd, won a major contract to supply Carrefour UAE. Austrade first assisted the OBE Company during its visit to Dubai in July 2011 by organising appointments with key distributors and retailers. The company has since appointed distributor, Country Hill International, to service the UAE market and has also established networks with major importers from Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar.
Austrade also worked closely with the Australia Gulf Council to promote bilateral trade and investment opportunities in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Gulf Cooperation Council economies. For more information on how Austrade has collaborated with the Australia Gulf Council, see page 78.
In 2011–12, Austrade promoted Australian rail capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa as part of a major initiative in the region.
8. Economist Intelligence Unit, The GCC in 2020: Resources for the future, 2010.
In North Africa, Austrade continued to develop a strategy to assist Australian agricultural technology and services companies to access opportunities under the Green Morocco Plan, valued by the Moroccan Government at more than US$15 billion. The plan is a 10-year government initiative to develop the country's agricultural capacity in key areas including dry-land farming, animal production, biosecurity and irrigation. Other key aims include sustainable growth of small farms and encouragement of foreign investment to establish integrated agribusinesses.
Austrade assisted Agwest International, an arm of the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food, to secure projects in Morocco to establish a national strategy for agricultural research, education and training and a national multifunctional sheep centre. During 2011–12, Australian company, Leader Products, introduced an animal identification system to the Moroccan National Association of Sheep Producers, and has devised a national identification system for the Moroccan Government.
Austrade also assisted Australian company, CostaExchange, in expanding its blueberry production in Morocco for export to Europe. In addition, Food Safety Operations Queensland has established an agreement to provide training to the Red Meat Inter-Professional Federation in Morocco, while Victoria-based Rubicon Water is working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to introduce its Total Channel Control system. Austrade contributed to each of these outcomes by presenting opportunities to the companies, assisting in the expansion of their activities and in establishing agreements with the Moroccan Government and other stakeholders.
Russia is a major economy with a globally significant energy and resources sector. Together with the neighbouring countries that form the Commonwealth of Independent States, it is a challenging market for Australian companies to enter and navigate.
In 2011–12, Austrade's activities in Russia focused primarily on export opportunities in mining, agribusiness, Australia's international education and training sector, and services for major sporting events.
The Russian mining market is large and a modernisation agenda is driving demand for innovative mining equipment, technology and services suppliers, with Australia regarded as a best-practice provider. In April 2012, having identified substantial opportunities for suppliers in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Austrade led a mission of five businesses to visit mine sites in the Ural region and to meet major mining companies and technology partners in Yekaterinburg and St Petersburg. In June 2012, Austrade provided targeted business matching for three companies, with seven companies participating in the Russian Coal and Mining exhibition in Siberia. Through these missions and work with individual mining equipment, technology and services companies, high-value exports have been generated.
Agribusiness collectively represents the second-largest sector for Australian exports to Russia, valued at more than $420 million in 2011.9 Key Austrade initiatives to highlight Australian capability and present opportunities included the Golden Autumn agribusiness exhibition held in Moscow in October 2011 and support for Meat & Livestock Australia and its partners in promoting meat exports.
In March 2012, Austrade ran a joint seminar during ICEF education agent workshops in Moscow. ICEF workshops are designed to bring together international educators and high-quality student recruitment agents at networking forums. In May 2012, Austrade ran a joint seminar, also in Moscow, with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The seminar covered changes to the Australian student visa regime, and more than 30 education agents attended.
Austrade has also been working on delivering opportunities for Australian companies with capability in major sporting events, including in Russia. For more information, see page 15.
9. DFAT, Composition of Trade Australia 2011.
Kazakhstan, with its fast-growing US$199 billion economy,10 is an economic leader of Central Asia. Australian business activity in the market has increased in recent years, particularly in mining, oil and gas and agribusiness.
In 2011–12, Austrade arranged introductory meetings for New South Wales-based manufacturer, Tobin No-Till, which completed the first shipments of its high-speed planting equipment for use in Kazakhstan's broad-acre grain sector. Austrade also arranged meetings with leading Kazakh mining companies for Xstrata Technology, a global leader in minerals processing technology, which is working on a multi-year project in Kazakhstan valued in excess of $100 million.
Austrade has serviced 146 Australian companies in Kazakhstan since 2008 from its Moscow and Vladivostok offices.
10. DFAT, Kazakhstan Fact Sheet, 2012.
Central Europe is a region of commercial potential for Australia given its requirements for infrastructure and services, its increasing middle class, and its strategic location within Europe as a whole. In particular, Poland continues to be among the stand-out economies of Europe, recording comparatively strong growth of 4.4 per cent for 2011, with a forecast of 2.6 per cent for 2012.11
In 2011–12, Austrade's main market activities in the region focused on the mining, resources and information communications technology sectors. Austrade provided support to Australian Scientific Instruments (ASI) in the successful conclusion of a multimillion dollar contract for the supply of the world-leading sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) to the Polish National Geological Institute. Austrade provided support to ASI in understanding the requirements of Polish public procurement and overcoming communication and regulatory challenges. Under the contract, ASI will supply equipment that collects accurate data from geological samples, providing insight into geological structures. The equipment has commercial applications in the mining, oil and gas sectors.
11. DFAT, Poland Fact Sheet, 2012.
Africa is seen by some as a frontier market but global competition across many industry sectors is growing at an unprecedented rate. Austrade provides on-the-ground insights to Australian businesses regarding projects and supply chains where Australia has a strategic competitive advantage. Austrade also assists in building networks of potential business partners and helping Australian businesses to navigate difficulties in the markets of the region.
Austrade's operations in Sub-Saharan Africa are focused primarily on identifying mining, infrastructure, agriculture, and international education and training opportunities for Australian suppliers.
Vocational education opportunities aligned to mining and infrastructure are of great importance to Africa. The expansion of the AusAID scholarship and sector-specific training programs, along with the emergence of Australian alumni groups, is strengthening and broadening Australia's reputation in this vital sector.
More than 200 Australian mining companies have investments in nearly 600 projects across Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated value greater than $20 billion.12 Australian mining capability in Africa is weighted towards mining equipment, technology and services. In 2011–12, Austrade worked with AusAID on the Australian Government's Mining for Development Initiative, which aims to build resource sustainability, governance and technical capacity across Africa. For more information, see page 77.
12. DFAT statistics, 2011.
Australian company makes inroads into the West African mining sector
In July 2011, Australian company, Duratray International, which manufactures replaceable trays that reduce damage to the original base on mining trucks, sought Austrade's services to help it expand into West Africa.
Duratray International had already received Austrade's assistance when it established its business in southern Africa several years earlier. Austrade arranged a market visit in Ghana involving site visits to six mines, including Newmont's Ahafo mine, Noble Gold's Bibiani mine and Goldfield's Tarkwa mine.
Austrade also helped Duratray International assess potential demand for its product in West Africa. The visit enabled the company to identify a range of opportunities within Ghana and follow-up visits across West Africa are planned.
In February 2012, Austrade co-hosted with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Australia's presence at the Mining Indaba 2012 event in Cape Town, South Africa. Fifty-four Australian companies attended, including mining equipment, technology and services suppliers, junior mining companies, advisory firms and educational institutions. Austrade hosted the Australia Lounge for business matching and networking. Austrade and DFAT also co-hosted a separate lounge for ministers and government representatives.
While Austrade has had representation in West Africa through locally engaged staff for some years, a Trade Commissioner has now been appointed and will be based in Accra, Ghana, from the second half of 2012. Austrade's increased presence in West Africa will provide greater assistance for Australian companies seeking to penetrate the market and leverage growing opportunities in equipment, technology and support services for iron ore and gold mining.
Australia opens Austrade-managed Consulate-General in Mongolia
In March 2012, the Australian Government opened a new Austrade-managed Consulate-General in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia is an emerging force in the minerals and energy sector, with GDP growth in 2011 at 17.3 per cent,13 one of the highest in the world. Mongolia is landlocked between China and Russia, with large untapped resource reserves.
The new office in Ulaanbaatar will better position Austrade to support Australian companies to supply mining equipment, technology and services, vocational training, investment and consulting services. The office will provide Australian businesses with advice on doing business in Mongolia, arrange appointments with key business and government decision-makers, and support the interests of Australian companies already in the country.
Austrade has already worked with more than 180 Australian companies in Mongolia, with advice and assistance resulting in the establishment of offices in Ulaanbaatar by several companies; commercial outcomes for suppliers of services, such as vocational education and training; leads for infrastructure and mining ventures; and sales of industrial products, food and medical equipment.
13. DFAT, Mongolia Fact Sheet, 2012.
A sharper focus in established markets
In established markets, such as North America and Europe, Austrade is more sharply focused on inward investment and international education and training services. Austrade makes greater use of partners, referrals and online information and services to support Australia's exporters in these markets.
In 2011–12, Austrade's inward investment activity focused on the targeted promotion of Australia as a destination for investment in specific sectors, such as clean energy investment from North America, and research and development investment from Europe. Austrade also worked in partnership with state and territory governments to facilitate investment by other international businesses that indicated an interest in Australia as a potential destination.
Japan's economic challenges also represent long-term opportunities for renewed or expanded engagement with Australia. These opportunities are primarily driven by Japan's need for minerals and energy security, food safety and security; responses to its ageing population and declining productivity; Japan's drive for technological leadership as a competitive edge; and the development of new markets for Japanese exports to offset flat domestic demand.
The high yen, slow pace of government reform and natural disasters have added to Japan's challenges. Despite this, Japan remains a pivotal trade and investment partner for Australia. In 2011, Japan was the second-largest two-way trading partner and second-largest export market for Australia.14 In 2009, Australia became the third most preferred overseas investment destination by Japanese companies, up from eighth position in 2008.15 Japanese foreign direct investment has also increased substantially across Asia, with ASEAN markets experiencing over a threefold annual rise in Japanese investment flows to $13.2 billion in 2011.16 Japanese companies are increasingly pursuing business growth in Asia.
In 2011–12, Austrade supported Australian participation in major Japanese infrastructure projects in Asia by helping Australian firms to find Japanese partners and contribute products and services to the projects. In September 2011, Austrade hosted an Australia–Japan–Vietnam trilateral business mission in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to identify opportunities for Australian firms to provide services and products to Japanese firms participating in infrastructure projects in Vietnam. Austrade hosted business forums to showcase the capabilities of Australian firms in financial services, engineering and project management. Seven Australian firms participated in the mission and more than 100 Japanese companies in Vietnam participated in the forums. As a result of the mission, several commercial leads have been identified that are currently under discussion between Australian and Japanese companies in Vietnam.
Additionally, Japanese power companies are boosting energy supplies with additional imports of coal and natural gas from Australia. One of Japan's largest utilities companies, Kyushu Electric Power Company (Kyushu EPCo), acquired 1.83 per cent of Chevron's equity share in the Wheatstone field exploration licences, and a 1.46 per cent interest in the estimated $29 billion Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing facilities in Western Australia. The commitment will create significant export growth for Australia, as Kyushu EPCo secured an off-take of approximately 800,000 tonnes of LNG per annum. The investment will result in the creation of local jobs, royalties and improved infrastructure for the region.
Austrade provided a range of support during Kyushu EPCo's decision-making process and its preparations to establish a Perth-based operation to oversee the project. This included introducing Kyushu EPCo to professional service suppliers and providing other relevant information.
14. DFAT, Trade at a Glance 2011.
15. Japan External Trade Organization statistics (2010), foreign direct investment, by country, 1983–2009.
16. Japan External Trade Organization statistics (2011), outward foreign direct investment flow.
Despite its economic challenges, the United States has retained its position as the world's largest economy. The resilience displayed by Australia during the global financial crisis and the maintenance of a clear growth trajectory has raised US interest in Australia as a discrete market and, for some companies, as a platform for expansion into Asia, as the US Government and businesses shift focus towards the Pacific. Austrade's value-add in the United States comes from its knowledge and connections in the local market, which are elevated through its status as a government organisation.
The United States is one of Australia's largest trading partners and is the single largest source of foreign direct investment into Australia.17 During 2011–12, Austrade focused on attracting productive foreign direct investment into Australia across a range of sectors, including mining, oil and gas, clean energy and technology, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, information technology and financial services.
Austrade also supported export facilitation and investment attraction in the automotive sector, working with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education, state governments and industry associations. Austrade co-managed the Team Australia Automotive cluster, an Australian consortium of competitive, innovative and efficient automotive parts manufacturers. Austrade's support included market insights, strategic direction and executive-level relationship management.
In March 2012, Austrade recruited a group of automotive aftermarket buyers and journalists from across the United States to attend Australian Automotive Week in Melbourne. Buyers from BCI Performance Warehouse and RallySport Direct accompanied US journalists from Road & Track and Performance Racing magazines on a program of business matching meetings and site tours that demonstrated innovative Australian products, including racing and tuning components and suspension parts. The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association estimated that up to $10 million in incremental exports can be attributed to the mission.
For further information on Austrade's work in the automotive sector, see page 54.
17. DFAT, Trade at a Glance 2011.
Canada is a market of significant investment potential for Australia. Total two-way investment is valued at more than $60 billion,18 and Canada's investments in Australia have grown significantly in recent years, particularly in infrastructure, manufacturing, resources and services, and in 2011 totalled $25 billion.19 The relationship between the two countries is also underpinned by significant student mobility links and more than 300 institutional linkages for student exchanges, faculty, and research and development collaboration.20
Austrade undertook a number of investment activities focused on key sectors, such as clean technology and mining, including sponsorship of Globe 2012 in Vancouver in March, one of the world's largest trade fairs focusing on clean technology and the environment. This provided a valuable opportunity to showcase Australian research and development capabilities in clean energy to a broad international audience. Austrade also assisted the South Australian Government and industry stakeholders to participate in the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada annual convention, a mining exploration conference in Toronto in March 2012; and the Canadian Institute of Mining's annual trade show and conference in Edmonton in May 2012, promoting equipment, technology and services to the extraction market. Following these events, several Canadian companies are seeking to expand operations within Australia.
18. DFAT economic and trade information, Canada.
19. DFAT economic and trade information, Canada.
20. Universities Australia, International Links Data, 2011–12.
Financial services giant sets up in Australia
US investment research and trading firm, State Street Global Markets, confirmed a significant investment in Australia in 2011–12, with the expansion of its Sydney office to establish a team focused on its securities finance business. This new addition to State Street's operations will increase competition and drive innovation in Australia for the wholesale funding market.
Austrade has provided support to State Street Global Markets since 2010, beginning with meetings in London with the company, which at that time was looking to significantly grow its established securities finance business in Australia. Its major customers include banks and pension funds.
Austrade arranged meetings with Australia's major banks, the Reserve Bank of Australia and other suppliers; briefings from Austrade's financial services team on trends and the Australian regulatory environment; introductions to state government contacts; and meetings with regulatory contacts in the Australian Treasury and other Commonwealth government agencies. The meetings resulted in State Street authoring a special report entitled Developing secured financing in Australia in April 2011.
State Street Global Markets is the investment research and trading arm of global firm, State Street, providing specialised research, trading, securities lending and innovative portfolio strategies to owners and managers of institutional assets.
Europe continues to be an important trade and investment partner for Australia. At December 2011, approximately 28 per cent of Australia's stock of foreign direct investment was from European Union countries.21 During 2011–12, Austrade's market activities in Europe focused on continuing to promote the productive and innovative potential of the Australian economy to European investors.
As part of this work, Austrade identified opportunities for closer collaboration and investment in research and development and innovation between Europe and Australia. While the commercialisation of research has a considerable lead time before returns are received on investment, the strategy has already made encouraging progress. In 2011–12, at Austrade's invitation, eight major pharmaceutical companies and six smart-grid and water companies from Italy, Germany, Sweden, France, Spain, Belgium and the United Kingdom presented their research and development 'roadmaps' to Australian researchers to identify potential areas of collaboration, with the aim of commercialising subsequent research. As a result, 17 Australian universities and research institutes are presenting proposals for possible commercialisation.
Additionally, in February and March 2012, Austrade organised a series of online presentations, which resulted in European companies sharing investment models and areas of research interest. Australian research and development institutions subsequently submitted proposals to these companies and visited relevant markets. As a direct result of this initiative, four confidentiality agreements have been signed, marking a new stage in the development and commercialisation of new research initiatives between Australian researchers and major European companies.
Austrade also assisted in facilitating the partnership between the South Australian Government and German company, Siemens, for a $253 million redevelopment of the former Mitsubishi site at Tonsley Park, Adelaide. Austrade promoted the Tonsley Park project to German companies and worked with the South Australian Government to introduce the opportunity to Siemens. The company's decision to support the redevelopment of the site into a new technology park is aligned with its focus on innovation, sustainable technologies, education and research, and advanced manufacturing. Siemens is expanding its office in Adelaide and its focus will be on infrastructure, cities, healthcare and energy, including mining and smart-grid technologies.
21. DFAT, European Union Fact Sheet, 2012.
Despite the recession in the United Kingdom, the country continues to be one of Australia's key trade and investment partners. It was Australia's fifth-largest two-way trading partner and second-largest investor in 2011.22
In 2011–12, Austrade's work in the United Kingdom focused on two key priorities—attracting productive foreign investment to Australia, and promoting Australian capability in major global sporting events in order to build and leverage relationships with key decision-makers from cities hosting future international sporting events, such as the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
In 2011–12, Austrade collaborated with four Australian state governments with bases in London, and Australian Business, the local Australian and New Zealand chamber of commerce. A series of nationwide investment promotion and attraction activities was delivered, reflecting key Commonwealth and state government priority sectors, including resources and infrastructure, oil and gas, clean energy and environment, and tourism infrastructure. These activities, under a 'One Team Australia' approach, generated a large number of active investment leads that are currently progressing to site visits, with the potential for multimillion dollar investment outcomes in 2012–13.
Austrade also delivered the Building Brand Australia program across the United Kingdom, touching business leaders, industry influencers, media, government and consumers. As part of this program, Austrade, along with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, supported Australia's entry in HM Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee flotilla, in London in June 2012. Nine surf life-saving boats, all with Australia Unlimited branding, were crewed by 36 rowers from Surf Life Saving Australia. They were part of the 1,000 vessels that took part in the Thames celebration and took to the water directly ahead of the Royal Barge. Extensive media coverage was achieved in the United Kingdom, Australia and around the world. For more information on the Building Brand Australia program, see page 68.
22. DFAT, Trade at a Glance 2011.
Australian business community satisfaction with Austrade's services.
Effective collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders including other Commonwealth government agencies, state and territory governments, business and industry associations and institutions.
Note: This measure is also reported on page 76.
Trade services for internationally ready firms
Austrade's unique value stems from the combination of its knowledge of, and connections in, international markets, and its status as a government organisation. With representation in a diverse range of international markets, Austrade's services are designed for those companies ready to tackle international business opportunities.
Austrade's services assist exporters to expand internationally and are clustered into the following five service areas:
- information and advice on doing business in international markets
- help with international market selection
- identification of relevant international contacts
- assistance with market entry and expansion
- identification and assistance with follow-up of business opportunities.
As in previous years, the majority of businesses receiving Austrade services were in the services (43 per cent) and manufacturing (37 per cent) sectors (Figure 6). Following the restructure of the organisation, Austrade's services are now designed for internationally ready firms. For those firms not ready to export, Austrade provides information about exporting, and where to find further assistance, at www.austrade.gov.au/export.
Figure 6: Businesses receiving Austrade services, by business activity
Note: Some businesses are involved in more than one area of activity.
Requesting Austrade's advice and services
Businesses new to Austrade receive first-line services through Austrade Direct. This unit specialises in qualifying Australian companies for Austrade assistance, providing readily available information, directing firms to online information, and connecting firms to the most appropriate team within Austrade.
Trade advisers in Australia work with companies to clarify exporting needs, assist with market selection and manage more complex requirements prior to services being delivered at Austrade's overseas offices.
Austrade Direct services are available by calling 13 28 78 within Australia or emailing email@example.com.
Achieving high standards of service
Austrade monitors its service delivery standards through adherence to its Client Service Charter and ongoing monitoring of client satisfaction. During the 2010 review of Austrade, consultation, including face-to-face interviews held with business and industry representatives, surveys of Australian exporters, and the experiences of Austrade staff, confirmed that Austrade's greatest value is derived from its:
- ability to identify and assess foreign business opportunities for the benefit of Australian businesses and education providers
- advice to firms on doing business in overseas markets
- networks of key decision-makers, customers and contacts
- market information and insights
- ability to leverage its badge of government.
These five areas of capability underpin Austrade's new operating model, which was implemented in 2011.
Each year, Austrade conducts an independent telephone survey to assess client satisfaction with its service delivery and to identify areas for improvement in Australia and overseas. Austrade's Client Service Improvement Study for 2011–12 found that 85 per cent of clients surveyed were satisfied with Austrade's services.
The survey results provide insights into what clients value from Austrade, and on what basis they consider Austrade to be providing quality service. Feedback collected directly from clients is used to inform Austrade's service improvement agenda.
Compared with previous years, in 2011–12, a higher proportion of clients in growth markets received assistance with market entry strategies and access to government representatives and key decision-makers. In emerging markets, a higher proportion of clients received support with market visit programs, overall export strategies or planning, and assistance with establishing an overseas investment. In established markets, a higher proportion of clients received help identifying buyers or industry contacts, briefings, and assistance with disputes or challenges.
The survey also highlighted areas for service improvement, including further promotion of the Austrade website as an export resource and agreement on relevant and achievable objectives with clients.
At any time, organisations engaging with Austrade can provide formal compliments and complaints to Austrade's Services Manager. Feedback is used to improve service delivery in Australia and overseas, and helps Austrade identify issues that are important to Australian exporters.
Increased online services and information
Austrade is developing capability to deliver more information and services through online channels. The organisation launched a mobile version of its website, www.austrade.gov.au, in response to the increasing use of mobile devices to access the internet. The mobile site allows users to stay up-to-date with the latest news, events and details of Austrade's office locations.
An online International Readiness Indicator was developed in 2011–12 to help companies assess their readiness for export and international business. This self-help tool enables companies to understand the key elements needed to engage in business overseas and find sources of assistance to become export-ready. The diagnostic tool has 12 questions that take about five minutes to complete and is available at www.austrade.gov.au/export. Development of the International Readiness Indicator is part of Austrade's plan to provide more open access to its information and services online.
In 2011–12, new export skills content was also added to Austrade's website to support greater understanding of how to succeed in international business. Australian firms can access information about market trends, doing business in overseas markets and international business etiquette. Through site membership, Australian businesses are also able to receive market information and alerts about upcoming events based on specific preferences.
Austrade also expanded the number of foreign language sites promoting Australian industry supply capability to potential buyers and investors. Local language sites were developed for China, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Middle East, Mongolia, Russia, Singapore, Spain, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Overseas buyers continue to access the Australian Suppliers Database through the Austrade website, where they can search for products and services provided by Australian companies, as well as reports and directories containing information about Australian industry supply capability.
Enhancements to the Austrade website were also made to promote Australia as a foreign investment destination. A new interactive map with key data and information relevant to the interests of foreign investors was launched. An investment guide that provides potential investors with answers to the most common questions was also developed.
The World Bank, in its Global investment promotion best practices 2012 report, rated Austrade's investment website the best in terms of its promotional effectiveness among OECD countries. The same survey also rated the site as 'world's best practice' and ranked it third out of 187 investment promotion agency websites.
A new microsite, www.tourisminvestment.com.au, was also developed by Austrade in partnership with Tourism Australia and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, to promote tourism infrastructure investment in Australia. The new site creates a single destination for potential foreign investors to access information about tourism infrastructure investment opportunities in Australia.
In 2011–12, there were 1,358,252 visits to the Austrade website and 4,152,676 page views. Austrade also maintains a number of corporate social media presences, including an Austrade-branded YouTube channel, the @Austrade Twitter account, a LinkedIn profile and a Flickr account. Most social media presences are targeted to a particular industry or market, such as the Austrade 'Mining to Latin America' group on LinkedIn.
Partners and referrals
In 2011–12, Austrade worked to build stronger, more targeted and focused partnerships to achieve a more contemporary approach to service delivery. To help facilitate this, new principles and business processes governing Austrade's establishment of partnerships, service provider relationships and alliances were developed. Collaborating and sharing through Austrade's key relationships will provide more effective service delivery.
A more disciplined approach will result in the establishment of a smaller number of partnering arrangements. These arrangements will be grounded in shared objectives and mutual interest. Austrade is focused on enhanced and practical collaboration with other government and private sector service providers in Australia. These organisations may be better placed to deliver opportunities or develop export capability to the benefit of Australian firms.
Women in Global Business
The Women in Global Business (WIGB) program is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, and was established in December 2010. The objective of the WIGB program is to increase female participation in international trade and investment, thereby delivering increased economic benefit and job creation through greater diversity. The program is an extension of the assistance that Austrade provides to Australian exporters.
Achievements from 2011–12 include the annual national flagship event, the WIGB Speaker Series, which was held in all Australian capital cities in July 2011. The event reached more than 750 businesswomen who plan to or are already internationalising their businesses. A number of video-postcards featuring senior female executives from Japan, the United States and Mongolia were shown at the seminars. This was followed in August 2011 by the release of the first monthly e-newsletter, WIGB Lore.
In November 2011, the WIGB program hosted 55 senior female Japanese executives from the Japan Women's Innovative Network (J-Win) on a study tour of Sydney. The group was introduced to private and public sector organisations that provided briefings on women in business and leadership positions in Australia.
Austrade manages the TradeStart network of export advisers across 31 locations in metropolitan and regional Australia. TradeStart provides wider access to Austrade's trade, investment and education services. It extends services provided to Australian firms and institutions through delivery of these services by state, territory and local governments and industry bodies.
Section 23AF of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
Austrade works with the Australian Taxation Office to administer the income tax exemption available under section 23AF of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936.
Since 1980, section 23AF of the Act has provided an exemption from Australian income tax for the earnings of Australian individuals while working overseas on 'approved projects' for more than 91 days.
Section 23AF can assist the international competitiveness of Australian companies and government organisations competing to win international tenders. This is achieved by granting an exemption from Australian income tax for the earnings of Australian individuals while working overseas on approved projects. Since 1996, the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness has delegated to Austrade the power to determine which projects are eligible for the purposes of the exemption.
In 2011–12, a total of 224 applications were submitted by 39 applicants,23 with 193 granted an approval for exemption, compared to 218 applications, 33 applicants and 196 approvals in the previous year.
A total of 1,063 applications have been granted approval during the past six years, with the majority of applications received from education and training, engineering and consulting businesses. Of those approved applications, 25 per cent of applicants have indicated that they have been successful in securing contracts worth $5.82 billion.
23. Section 23AF applicants can submit multiple applications for approval.
Australian university partners with China
In 2011, Charles Sturt University (CSU) responded to an opportunity from the China-based academic research institute, Ningxia Forestry Industry Centre (NFIC), which was seeking an international education partner to deliver winemaking and viticulture training programs.
TradeStart assisted CSU in its preparation for a visit by an NFIC delegation to its Wagga Wagga campus in November 2011. This included meeting with senior staff and academics from the university, its research centre, the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre and a visit to vineyard operations in the Griffith region.
In March 2012, CSU made a reciprocal visit, at the invitation of NFIC, to the Ningxia Institute of Desertification Prevention and Control to discuss the potential for further collaboration.
As a result, CSU and NFIC signed a memorandum of understanding which will facilitate a broad range of cooperation, including academic staff exchanges, course development and research.
The agreement with CSU is the first of its kind that NFIC has entered into with an international university. Both institutions are now developing and implementing outcomes from the agreement.
Effective international marketing of Australia's education services, in cooperation with relevant education institutions and stakeholders.
During 2011–12, Austrade was involved in a wide range of activities to effectively market and promote Australian education and training internationally, including:
Austrade's international education and training framework
In 2011, there were 555,152 international student enrolments in Australia,24 across the higher education, vocational education and training, English language and schools sectors. International education was Australia's fourth-largest export sector and largest services export sector, worth $15.7 billion25 to the Australian economy in 2011.
Austrade's support to the international education and training sector is guided by a framework for the international marketing and promotion of Australian education and training. The framework (endorsed by the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, in 2011) was developed following consultation with the education and training sector, Australian Government agencies and state and territory governments. It aims to help reposition Australia as a provider of high-quality education services; contribute to the growth of demand for Australian education; and assist in building a sustainable Australian international education and training sector. Austrade has worked with the sector to achieve these objectives by focusing on five key priorities:
- working to improve perceptions of Australia's international education and training sector offshore
- implementing an effective communications and media strategy
- executing an effective engagement strategy with offshore education agents
- delivering high-quality and timely market research, intelligence and services to the international education and training sector
- undertaking effective stakeholder engagement with key government and non-government organisations, and individual institutions, both onshore and offshore.
24. Australian Education International, International Student Data 2011.
25. ABS, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, March 2012.
Improving perceptions of Australia's international education sector offshore
As highlighted in Austrade's 2010–11 Annual Report, a key outcome in the previous year was the release of a new brand for Australia's international education sector, Future Unlimited. This followed extensive research undertaken in 2009–10 through the Building Brand Australia program (see page 68) which showed that the quality and achievements of Australia's education sector were undervalued internationally. Future Unlimited changes the international promotion of Australian education from a focus on the experience of studying and living in Australia to highlighting the outcomes and global career opportunities delivered by an Australian education and showcases Australia as an innovative and creative nation.
Following the launch of Future Unlimited in June 2011 by the Hon Justine Elliot MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, Austrade promoted the new brand across international markets and the international education and training sector. This included expanded collateral and brand templates for use by Austrade and the sector, and the launching of a promotional video in February 2012.
There was widespread media coverage of the launch of the Future Unlimited video, which has since been translated into 10 other languages, with strong support from Australia-based media and media across all major markets offshore.
In 2011–12, Austrade increased the education and training sector's understanding and use of the Future Unlimited brand through the development and promotion of new brand guidelines and assets, and making these available to the sector through formal brand licensing agreements. This has included promotion in Austrade's international education and training e-newsletter, Global Education News, as well as a series of brand information sessions held in April 2012, which were attended by more than 260 representatives from more than 170 organisations. At 30 June 2012, Austrade had provided brand licences to 187 organisations—142 were Australian and 45 were internationally based—and a further 19 licences were pending signature by the applicant. Licensed Australian educational institutions accounted for around 44 per cent of 2011 international student enrolments.
Alumni play an important part in promoting the Future Unlimited brand message overseas. Austrade's alumni events showcase the opportunities that can be gained from an Australian education and recognise key academic achievements and contributions made by Australian alumni in their respective countries.
In 2011–12, Austrade supported alumni events, including the celebration of 60 years of Australian alumni in Malaysia, the 2011 Australia–China Alumni Awards, and the Australian Alumni Excellence Awards in Sri Lanka.
Implementing an effective communications and media strategy
Austrade is responsible for the Study in Australia website, www.studyinaustralia.gov.au. This is recognised as the authoritative source of comprehensive, up-to-date and accurate information for prospective and existing international students under the Council of Australian Governments' International Student Strategy for Australia.
Since Austrade launched the new Study in Australia website with the Future Unlimited brand in July 2011, there has been a steady increase in daily site visits, from 4,500 per day in July 2011 to 6,100 by 30 June 2012. This increase reflects Austrade's expanded marketing activities on the website, offshore events and campaigns, the release of the Future Unlimited video, and consolidation of a number of offshore websites.
In the coming year, Austrade will redevelop the website to better target both existing and prospective international students. This project will create a more contemporary, engaging and interactive website to better position Australian education and training internationally and meet the expectations of users. To ensure that these objectives are achieved, Austrade has undertaken user needs analysis with international students and key influencers, as well as workshops with Australia's international education and training sector. In May and June 2012, Austrade reviewed key competitor websites and tested a new website structure with international students and stakeholders.
Video platform repositions Australian education and training
In February 2012, a promotional Future Unlimited video showcasing Australia's international education and training sector was launched by the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, and the Hon Justine Elliot MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade.
Austrade's strategic objective is to reposition Australian international education and training as an investment in a student's future that leads to global career opportunities. The video was developed through research with international students and consultation with the international education and training sector. The development also included the testing of a digital campaign concept in June 2011, with focus groups of more than 250 international students held both onshore and offshore with positive results.
Since its launch, the video has been viewed on the Austrade YouTube channel over 16,000 times. Data showed viewers were from more than 150 countries, with views by Australia-based users representing 30 per cent of the total.
The video is also being used by other institutions on the web, and at education events from large-scale careers fairs through to school classrooms. It has also been translated into Arabic, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, simplified Chinese, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese. The Korean version was first shown at Korea's Yeosu Expo 2012.
Executing an effective engagement strategy with offshore education agents
Education agents play a critical role in promoting Australian education and training internationally, as well as directly recruiting international students. In 2011–12, Austrade maintained a strong relationship with a wide network of education agents through agent newsletters, regular events and supervision of education agent training tests.
Following the release of the report, the Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011, also known as the Knight report, Austrade bolstered its engagement with education agents, working with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Australian Education International to deliver education agent workshops in all major markets. The workshops focused on updating agents on changes to the student visa program and on the new range of benefits available to international students.
Governor-General promotes education and training in the United Arab Emirates
In April 2012, HE Quentin Bryce AC CVO, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, visited the United Arab Emirates and participated in an Austrade-organised networking event with the Australian international education and training sector based there.
There were more than 70 participants, including representatives from the University of Wollongong, Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and Monash University; providers of vocational education at the Rashid Hospital; principals from Australian schools located in the United Arab Emirates; and representatives from Emirates Airlines. Student recruitment and the provision of in-market services are two areas of Austrade's focus in the Middle East and North Africa.
Delivering high-quality and timely market research, intelligence and services
A key priority for Austrade is the provision of market analysis and research from its offshore education network to Australia's international education and training sector. One important channel is through its Market Information Package, available at www.austrade.gov.au/mip.
The Market Information Package is a subscription-based service. It delivers updated market intelligence, market opportunities, publications, reports and event information to 1,614 authorised users in 176 subscriber organisations. Alongside the Market Information Package, Austrade produces a free, fortnightly e-newsletter, Global Education News. This e-newsletter highlights new information appearing on the Market Information Package website. In 2011–12, 510 articles were published in Global Education News, reaching 3,150 readers.
In 2011–12, Austrade engaged sector specialists to undertake research in a number of key areas, including transnational education, vocational education sector capability, human capital development, education agents and student decision-making trends.
In addition to in-country briefings for education providers, identifying opportunities offshore and undertaking tailored market research, Austrade also provided opportunities for direct engagement with its education export advisers. Austrade staff in key markets such as the United States, Canada, India, Vietnam and Malaysia delivered research findings directly to Australian international education providers through online seminars on a variety of topics, including study abroad, student decision-making, English language trends and market-specific analysis.
Austrade staff also provided briefings and sector intelligence at a number of conferences and seminars, including the TAFE Directors Australia conference, the English Australia conference and the Australian International Education conference. Topics covered included marketing and promotion opportunities and challenges in international education, and English language opportunities in Japan in the area of global human capital.
Moving on a new market trend in Japan
Japan's prolonged period of slow economic growth has been the driving factor behind an unprecedented expansion by Japanese companies into the growth markets of Asia. Critical to each company's success is a globally literate workforce capable of growing business internationally. As such, a deficit of so-called 'global human capital' presents Japan with the challenge of how to transform its workforce in order to perform flexibly and successfully in a global economy.
Austrade's identification of emerging trends in Japan's professional development needs has opened up new market potential for Australian education and training providers. In collaboration with Tourism Australia, Australian Education International and state and territory governments, Austrade is using its in-market networks and its badge of government to access decision-makers in human resource training and development, and to gain recognition for Australia as the logical destination for Japan's overseas training needs.
Since February 2012, Fujitsu, a leading multinational information technology equipment and services company, has sent 12 of its engineers to Australia to undertake five-week business-focused English language courses. The Institute of Languages at the University of New South Wales, the Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education at the University of Queensland, and OISE Sydney hosted the Fujitsu employees as part of a pilot program. In the coming year, Fujitsu will continue with the program and will expand the number of employees who undertake courses in Australia.
Austrade is also raising the profile of Australian international education and training providers and reaching a wider audience by engaging with leading domestic human resources training companies in Japan. In March 2012, Austrade arranged a familiarisation tour of Australia for the Japanese company, Alue, a human resources training provider with more than 400 clients, including blue-chip companies. The tour visited 11 Australian education providers and Alue is actively promoting each of these institutions to its client base.
Austrade plays a central role in attracting Australian international education and training providers to this emerging market opportunity, as well as in raising the profile of Australian capabilities to the Japanese corporate sector. Austrade has also begun exploring other markets in Asia for global human capital development.
Undertaking effective engagement with key organisations
Austrade's Australian and overseas-based staff engage regularly with Commonwealth, state and territory government departments on a range of issues that influence the direction of Australia's international education and training sector. Austrade also works with other agencies in operational areas, such as delivering information on national regulatory changes relevant to Australia's international education and training sector.
Austrade is represented on a number of key committees that deal with international education issues. These include the Joint Committee on International Education, a Commonwealth and state and territory government senior officials committee; and the Education Visa Consultative Committee, a government and education and training sector committee that deals with changes to the student visa program.
Austrade also works with peak education sector bodies on specific issues, such as the redevelopment of the Study in Australia website, and the development of the education brand, Future Unlimited.
Study opportunities for Taiwan's working holiday-makers
In response to the increase in Taiwanese working holiday-maker visitors to Australia, Austrade facilitated a large-scale seminar in Taipei in April 2012. The aim was to highlight education opportunities to outbound travellers and raise awareness of the benefits of incorporating an education aspect in an Australian working holiday experience.
With the main purpose of promoting education pathways, the seminar combined briefings from Austrade representatives, education agents and previous Taiwanese working holiday-makers. The event attracted more than 400 young Taiwanese people looking to learn more about the options available during an Australian working holiday experience.
Taiwan was the sixth-largest source market for the Australian working holiday-maker program, with 13,809 working holiday visas issued in 2010–11, a 35 per cent increase on the previous financial year.
In April 2012, a major Austrade event promoting an Australian education was held in China. The Australia–China Careers Fair in Shanghai demonstrated the unique value of an Australian education through tangible career outcomes and opportunities for students, reinforcing the Future Unlimited brand messages.
This was the largest event of its nature held by a foreign government in China, and brought together 15 Australian universities; 43 Australian, Chinese and international corporations; the Australian Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai; and the Australia–China Alumni Association in support of the career development of Chinese graduates returning from Australia.
The event attracted 1,200 visitors who were primarily graduates from the 15 participating universities. The graduates travelled from all parts of China—and some from Australia—to attend the event.
Among the corporations that joined the fair were ANZ, BlueScope Steel, CPA Australia, NAB, Rio Tinto, WorleyParsons China, several Chinese Top 500 companies, and a number of international human resources companies.
A career planning seminar series was delivered during the program, including a panel discussion with distinguished Australian alumni. The event was 'live-blogged' throughout the day on the China news website, www.sina.com, in addition to media coverage in and around Shanghai. The fair also provided opportunities for universities and corporations to explore future employment and internship linkages.
Austrade organised the careers fair in partnership with Zhaopin Limited, one of China's biggest online human resources companies. An online recruitment platform was created for graduates from the 15 universities to apply for jobs advertised by the participating corporations. A total of 455 jobs were listed with 3,800 applications submitted by the 1,306 graduates from Australia who are registered with www.zhaopin.com.
Effective delivery of trade and investment strategies through the Automotive Market Access Program and Clean Energy Trade and Investment Strategy.
During 2011–12, Austrade supported the delivery of the Government's program to assist the Australian automotive industry to access global supply chains. Austrade supported 239 individual automotive clients in achieving export or outward investment successes.
Automotive Market Access Program
The Automotive Market Access Program was a three-year, $3.7 million program that concluded on 30 June 2012. In the last year of the program, Austrade maintained its activities with emphasis on the automotive component industry and new technologies, focusing on the target markets of ASEAN, China, India and Korea.
Highlights from 2011–12 include Australian Automotive Week, held in Melbourne in July 2011, for which Austrade coordinated the participation of 80 international delegates from seven different markets. Delegates took part in targeted business matching, business conferences, the Australian Automotive Trade Showcase and other networking events.
These events were assisted by the Australian Government's automotive envoys and relevant state and territory governments and industry associations. Australian industry feedback suggested that participants expected to enter new partnerships and possibly new export programs as a result of the business matching undertaken during the week.
To assist Australian automotive exporters, Austrade has a joint venture with the Victorian Government's Department of Business and Innovation, which funds an Austrade Business Development Manager located in Wuhan, China. In 2011–12, under the Automotive Market Access Program in China, Austrade assisted in facilitating more than $41 million in exports and outward investment outcomes and one inward investment project worth $2 million.
Over the three-year period of the Automotive Market Access Program, Austrade facilitated more than $136 million in exports and outward investment outcomes, and $25 million in inward investment projects. Given an average timeframe of five years is required to win automotive contracts, Austrade expects more outcomes in the future as a result of the business matching and facilitation under the program.
Team Australia Automotive
In 2011–12, Austrade continued to participate in the Team Australia Automotive initiative. In June 2012, a Team Australia Automotive mission, led by the Hon Steve Bracks AC, Automotive Envoy, visited the United States with 11 Australian companies seeking to gain access to the established US automotive supply chain. In support of this mission, Austrade worked with the Industry Capability Network, the Victorian Government, contractor Terry Barr Sales and the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers to recruit Australian clients and arrange appointments with senior decision-makers. During the year, export and outward investment outcomes under this initiative were in excess of $600,000.
Austrade also supported Australia's two automotive envoys, Mr Bracks and John Conomos AO, in their visits to Germany, the Czech Republic and Russia in July 2011; the Middle East in October 2011; and to India in January 2012. These visits were undertaken to facilitate linkages for Australian automotive suppliers in global supply chains.
Australian company finds success in the 'Detroit of Asia'
Futuris Automotive designs and manufactures automotive seating and interiors and is 100 per cent owned by Elders Limited, a publicly listed Australian company.
Austrade has been working with Futuris in Thailand since 2009, when it undertook detailed market research and coordinated an automotive mission to Thailand, led by John Conomos AO, Automotive Envoy.
Futuris was attracted to Thailand because of the forecast market growth as a result of the Thai Government's eco car program. Existing Australia-based car manufacturers, GM and Ford, which Futuris already supplied in Australia, also had significant growth plans for the market.
The company undertook subsequent visits to Thailand under the Automotive Market Access Program and the Autolink automotive cluster, jointly established by Austrade and Futuris. These visits helped to confirm the potential of the market. In early 2010, Futuris leased a small factory to manufacture seat covers. The company then secured local tier-one supply contracts to GM and Ford in Thailand, opening a wholly owned factory adjacent to Ford's plant in September 2011.
With a firm presence in Thailand, Futuris has won major contracts to supply full seat systems to GM Thailand, and a wide range of interior trim products to Ford Thailand. Futuris is now looking to expand on this business and is actively seeking entry into the global supply chains of Japanese manufacturers located in Thailand and the wider ASEAN region.
Clean energy and environment sector
The three-year, $14.9 million Clean Energy Trade and Investment Strategy promoted Australia as a destination for productive investment in clean energy projects and technologies. The program concluded on 30 June 2012.
During the three years of the program, Austrade helped facilitate 34 investment successes totalling $928.7 million. These successes spanned renewable energy, biofuels, smart grids and water. Austrade helped 167 companies achieve exports and outward investment deals worth a total of $307.3 million. These deals predominantly involved the provision of water services, environmental services and other clean energy technologies.
In 2011–12, Austrade commissioned an independent evaluation of the Clean Energy Trade and Investment Strategy. It concluded that the strategy was aligned with the Australian Government's policy settings and had achieved tangible outcomes.
The strategy's 2011–12 objectives included:
- promoting the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future plan to potential investors and international business stakeholders
- attracting foreign direct investment in renewable energy generation and biofuels projects and technologies
- promoting Australia as a global leader in the design and delivery of integrated water management
- introducing Australian businesses in the clean technology and environment services sectors to commercial opportunities in China
- positioning Australian companies to win clean technology projects and develop exports to Southeast Asia and India
- attracting investment and developing trade opportunities in energy efficiency and environmental solutions for commercial and residential buildings
- promoting Australia's capabilities in the carbon capture and storage sector.
The strategy helped Australian businesses in the energy and environment sectors to capitalise on the international opportunities presented by global efforts to mitigate climate change and meet demand for cleaner energy, water management and environmental solutions.
Austrade assisted international companies to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of the investment and commercial opportunities in Australia. Austrade also helped Australia's clean energy and environment sector to better understand global business opportunities and how companies can work together to pursue them. A Clean Energy and Environment Export Directory was produced to showcase the capabilities of more than 100 Australian companies.
During 2011–12, Austrade helped facilitate 16 investment successes through the program totalling $288.6 million. These successes were chiefly spread across the solar, wind, water and smart-grid sectors, including Swedish waste solutions company Envac, which established operations in Australia. For more information on this investment success, see page 66.
Austrade assisted 24 companies to achieve a total of 33 export deals worth $18.2 million. These deals predominantly involved the water and environment services sectors.
Energy sector achievements
In the last year, Austrade made further progress in promoting Australia as a destination for the development of advanced biofuels. In the United States, Austrade assisted a number of companies in making investments across the biofuels value chain. This assistance included providing information on biofuel investment opportunities, organising briefings with government agencies and potential private sector partners, and coordinating visits to Australia by company executives.
Austrade also played a role in bringing parties together in support of the memorandum of understanding between Australia and the United States on sustainable aviation alternative fuels development. The agreement was signed between the US Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
In Europe, Austrade nurtured relationships with investors, promoting Australian innovation and research and development. Australia's capabilities were highlighted at the Australia–Germany Solar Future Forum in Berlin on World Environment Day, in June 2012. Also in June 2012, Austrade coordinated a 'Team Australia' presence at the Intersolar trade fair in Munich, working with the South Australian Government and the Australian Solar Institute.
In 2011–12, extensive market research and scoping work was conducted to gauge potential opportunities in low-emissions technology and services in the Indonesian market, particularly for the development and deployment of renewable, hybrid and remote off-grid power. Austrade has identified opportunities matching Australian capability that are focused on Indonesia's rural and remote electrification objectives, which are being implemented through projects such as the PT PLN (Persero) 1000 Islands program. In addition, Austrade worked with the Industry Capability Network to promote Australia's capabilities at the Clean Power Asia conference in Bali in May 2012.
Using the Australia–China Wanwu Eco-country initiative as a marketing platform in China, Austrade introduced Australian companies to Chinese local government and economic officials and hosted a number of industry roundtables in regional cities. In October 2011, Austrade and the Ministry of Environmental Protection jointly organised a two-day workshop in Beijing on heavy metal remediation for the Australian Advanced Remediation Group, a group of Australian companies with capabilities in advanced environmental remediation. Members of the group presented to more than 50 Chinese executives.
Water sector focus
Australia is recognised internationally as a leader in water management in response to climate variability, and as a supplier of technology, services, education and policy expertise in this area. Austrade worked with the Australian Water Association and Water Australia to publish an overview of Australia's water industry capabilities and to plan offshore promotional activities.
Austrade focused on utilising its badge of government to identify opportunities for Australia's water sector. Austrade worked closely with Commonwealth and state and territory government stakeholders and industry allies, including Water Australia and the Water Supplier Advocate, to promote Australian capability in policy development, agriculture, urban and regional infrastructure, research and development, and education and training to emerging markets within ASEAN and Latin America.
In Thailand, Austrade partnered with the Federation of Thai Industries to deliver business programs for Australian firms, and the federation undertook a mission to the OzWater conference in Sydney in May 2012.
In October 2011, Austrade worked in collaboration with AusAID and the World Bank in Vietnam to deliver the East Asia and Pacific Water Days 2011 conference. This was the World Bank's first 'community of practice' meeting for around 40 water practitioners. It gave Australian firms unprecedented access to insights from the World Bank, and greater understanding of the water challenges in East Asia and the Pacific.
Clean Energy Future briefing series
In 2012, Austrade, in conjunction with the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, coordinated a series of overseas forums and meetings to promote the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future plan, Australia's clean energy policies and programs, and the investment and commercial opportunities that are being created by Australia's transition to a low-carbon economy.
In cooperation with Australian Government agencies, Austrade organised promotional activities targeting international investors in Western Europe, North America and Japan.
The series of seminars, roundtable meetings and company meetings was designed to:
- explain the main elements of the Clean Energy Future plan, including the introduction of a carbon price and the roles of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which will commence operations on 1 July 2012; and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which will commence investment operations on 1 July 2013
- update investors on renewable energy developments, projects and investment opportunities in Australia
- maintain Austrade's pipeline of foreign companies planning or considering investments in Australia's clean energy sector
- gain further insights into the views of international investors.
In March and April 2012, Austrade hosted clean energy seminars and meetings in Madrid, Paris, Milan, Munich and Frankfurt. These events were attended by more than 100 representatives from leading clean energy investors, project developers and government departments.
In May 2012, the Clean Energy Future plan was promoted in Japan at an investor-focused event in Tokyo, attended by about 100 business representatives, and through a program of meetings with Japanese companies and government agencies.
In North America, activities were centred on the Globe 2012 conference and trade fair in Vancouver, Canada, in March 2012. During an Australia-themed day, Austrade hosted a 'Next Generation Biofuels' conference and an 'Innovation Den' seminar, moderated by AusIndustry. Meetings were also held with Canadian and US-based companies.
Australian environmental company sets up in China
OTEK Australia is an Australian environmental engineering and remediation consultancy that registered a local office in China in 2011.
OTEK has joined several Austrade trade missions to Chinese provinces, including Gansu, where the company signed a letter of intent to cooperate on China's first government-funded soil remediation project.
In Hunan province, OTEK, along with other Australian environmental companies, signed an intergovernmental agreement on 11 projects as part of a RMB1.63 billion (approximately $254 million) environmental program.
The first project awarded to OTEK under this agreement involved the design of canal sediment remediation along a 4.2-kilometre canal located in Zhuzhou, Hunan, with a value of RMB6 million (approximately $934,000).
In October 2011, OTEK was awarded the Austcham–Austrade Australian Business Promotion Award for outstanding promotion of an Australian company in the China market.
Attraction of high value-add inward investment from targeted markets, in cooperation with state and territory governments and partners.
Foreign direct investment environment
In 2011, total FDI stock in Australia grew 6.6 per cent to reach a record $507 billion. This increase builds on the 7.5 per cent growth in 2010, and reflects the general upturn in global FDI activity since 2010, as well as Australia's strong competitive position in the global economy. In the five years since 2006, Australia's inward FDI stock has grown by a compound annual rate of 8.5 per cent.
The United States and the United Kingdom continued to dominate FDI stock in Australia in 2011, accounting for 24 per cent or $122 billion, and 14 per cent or $70 billion, respectively (Figure 7). Other major contributors to FDI in Australia in 2011 were Japan (10 per cent or $52 billion), the Netherlands (6.5 per cent or $33 billion) and Switzerland (4.5 per cent or $23 billion).
Austrade is the lead Australian Government agency for the promotion, attraction and facilitation of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Australia. Working in cooperation with state and territory governments, Austrade provides coordinated government assistance to attract and facilitate productive FDI into Australia.
To deliver the greatest value to the Australian economy, Austrade's services are focused on promoting Australia as a competitive investment destination, and attracting productive FDI into Australia that is of strategic importance, builds Australian capabilities and enhances Australia's productivity.
Austrade's new approach to its investment work
Austrade's new operating model provides a sharper focus for investment promotion and attraction activities through a significant shift in priority setting and operations both onshore and offshore.
During the course of the review of Austrade, it was confirmed that Austrade's unique value-add in investment comes from its ability to:
- lead and deliver a national, whole-of-government strategy for investment promotion
- identify and generate productive FDI, which is of strategic importance to stakeholders
- gain market insights through access to networks of key decision-makers, multipliers, businesses and influencers in Australia and international markets
- use its badge of government to establish contacts, build networks, target foreign firms and give credibility to investment attraction activities.
In implementing its new model, Austrade has undertaken extensive consultations with Australian Government departments, as well as state and territory governments, to define priorities for investment attraction, promotion and facilitation.
Austrade is now focused on:
- proactive investment attraction activity based on priorities determined by the Australian Government
- earlier introduction of qualified investment leads to states, territories and other service providers for facilitation onshore
- broad investment promotion activity in target markets only
- internationally focused marketing and communications.
Strategy and priority setting
At the Commonwealth level, an interdepartmental committee was formed to identify Australian Government priorities and agree on shared objectives. Four key areas for engagement with overseas investors emerged out of this process. They were:
- tourism infrastructure
- major economic and social infrastructure
- clean energy
- innovation, including advanced manufacturing.
Following consultations with states and territories, the National Investment Advisory Board has agreed to three further key areas for close cooperation:
- digital economy, including information and communications technology (ICT)
- agricultural science, and food technology and processing
- resource technology, services and processing.
A key priority for 2012–13 will be to build Austrade's capability in delivering investment outcomes in the agreed priority sectors.
Figure 7: Stock of foreign direct investment in Australia
Sources: ABS, International investment position, Australia: supplementary statistics, calendar year 2011, cat. no. 5352.0; Austrade.
Attraction and facilitation performance
During 2011–12, 56 inward investment projects were verified by investors as having been assisted by Austrade. These projects had a total investment intention of $1.067 billion and an intention to create or safeguard 954 jobs once operational.
In 2011–12, almost two-thirds of Austrade-assisted investment projects fell within the new investment focus areas described above, with the largest number of projects—16 in total—in the energy and environment sectors (Figure 8). Energy and environment projects were primarily from Europe (including the United Kingdom), and the projects covered a range of priority subsectors, including solar, wind, green buildings and research and development.
There were nine projects in finance and insurance, six of which were Asian banks; seven projects in ICT and three each in infrastructure, agribusiness, resources technology services, and innovation, research and development. Two investment projects were in the automotive manufacturing sector.
Established markets were the source of nearly 85 per cent of Austrade-assisted investment projects, with the United States accounting for the largest number at 14, followed by the United Kingdom with 11. Japan and Germany were the source of eight projects each (Figure 9).
Austrade worked closely with state and territory government partners to provide site visit support and relevant regulatory and commercial information. During the course of 2011–12, Austrade initiated 131 new investment projects and supported 70 site visits.
Figure 8: Investment projects assisted by Austrade, by sector, 2011–12
Note: Total number of investment projects is 56.
Figure 9: Investment projects assisted by Austrade, by source country, 2011–12
Note: Total number of investment projects is 56.
Austrade's national leadership of a whole-of-government approach to investment promotion, attraction and facilitation includes capability development. This is primarily delivered by Austrade, with the support of the National Investment Advisory Board, through a national flagship capability development program called 'Winning Investment for Australia'. The program was designed to support the capability needs of investment specialists working in Austrade and relevant state and territory departments.
In 2011–12, two programs were delivered, in Melbourne and Adelaide, with 42 Austrade staff and 27 state and territory staff graduating from the two courses. The aim was to enhance skills and knowledge to deliver high-quality productive FDI outcomes in Australia, and to reinforce the partnership model between the Commonwealth and state and territory governments on which investment promotion, attraction and facilitation is predicated.
Additional training programs to supplement the Winning Investment for Australia program were also developed and delivered during the year in order to provide more specialist applied training for Austrade's front-line investment representatives, including a Europe-based specialised program on consultative selling and investment attraction techniques, and a US-based coaching program to support staff new to investment attraction to work through 'live' investment projects alongside experienced staff. Each of these programs will be extended to other teams in Austrade's global investment network during the coming year.
In 1961, the Swedish company, Envac, invented a revolutionary vacuum waste solution for waste collection and underground transportation beneath urbanised environments. Today, Envac's systems are found all over the world in residential areas, business premises, town centres, industrial kitchens, hospitals and airports. Envac is now the global market leader in automated vacuum waste collection and the company has operations worldwide, including 36 offices in 21 countries.
In early 2012, after 18 months of building market knowledge and relationships in the Australian market, Envac opened a subsidiary office in Sydney. Jonas Törnblom, Envac's Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs, said, 'Australia was a natural next market for us with its progressive urban growth and development, in combination with a strong economy and high environmental consciousness'.
In Australia, Envac will collaborate with local firms to tailor system design and installation. Austrade, in collaboration with the Swedish Trade Council in Sydney and NSW Trade and Investment, assisted Envac with market and project information and updates; advice on business registration, employment policy and statistics, office premises and other critical establishment matters; and introductions to partners and local professional advisers.
Envac's system generates major savings through efficient building design, reduced waste handling space requirements and reduced waste collection costs, and also contributes to a sustainable environment.
Tourism Australia, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and Austrade have joined forces in a new strategic partnership to attract foreign investment into tourism infrastructure in Australia. The partnership is seen as a significant step in the Australian Government's plan to attract investment to the Australian tourism industry, an element of the Tourism 2020 strategy. The partnership will raise awareness of Australia as an attractive place to invest in tourism.
Several communication tools have been developed to highlight the investment opportunities in short-term accommodation and leisure attractions and 'experience' facilities. These tools include a promotional video, a microsite, www.tourisminvestment.com.au, and the Australian Tourism Investment Guide, which outlines investment-ready opportunities and proposed tourism projects across all states and territories.
Austrade's established global network will promote tourism investment opportunities and act as the first port of call for interested foreign investors, providing access to information on all tourism investment opportunities across Australia. Austrade will work closely with state and territory governments to provide tangible long-term leads to assist in bringing tourism infrastructure opportunities to fruition.
Tourism plays a pivotal business role in the Australian economy and is the largest services export earner, with consumption now valued at almost $96 billion. The Tourism 2020 strategy aims to double overnight visitor expenditure to $140 billion per year by 2020.
Strong international awareness of Australia as a destination for investment and as a source of competitive, high-quality goods and services and a world-class international education system.
In addition to international awareness activities described elsewhere:
The $20 million, four-year Building Brand Australia program promotes intellectual, commercial and creative credentials of contemporary Australia through the Australia Unlimited brand identity. The program reflects the economic importance of projecting a well-balanced and accurate image of Australia internationally, in order to attract international buyers, investors, visitors and students.
During 2011–12, the third year of the program, the Australia Unlimited brand has been used extensively to demonstrate Australian capability through innovative digital content channels, including a monthly iPad magazine, in conjunction with a diverse range of international activities.
Future Unlimited is the education-specific brand developed through the Building Brand Australia program. It was developed in close consultation with the international education sector and through extensive research with international students. For further information on Future Unlimited, see page 46.
In 2011–12, the main areas of focus for the Building Brand Australia program were:
- repositioning Australia as a quality international study destination through the related brand, Future Unlimited
- understanding how others see Australia through the use of global research
- distributing stories that validate Australia's intellectual, commercial and creative credentials
- working with industry and government organisations to promote and encourage uptake of the Australia Unlimited brand.
Understanding how others see Australia
In 2011–12, Austrade analysed a range of data that provided detailed insights into perceptions of Australia in other countries, including across Asia.
The research continued to paint a positive picture of Australia's global reputation. It also showed that Australia's image remains skewed towards aesthetic factors such as environment and lifestyle, with less understanding of other aspects such as Australian capability, including in business, science, technology and the creative industries.
Stories of unlimited potential
A key objective in 2011–12 was to develop innovative content platforms to underpin the Australia Unlimited brand identity. A high-quality iPad application, the Australia Unlimited magazine, and the supporting website, www.australiaunlimited.com, distributed contemporary stories showcasing world-class ideas and achievements of Australian business leaders, academics, scientists, administrators, innovators, creators and social entrepreneurs, at home and abroad.
In January 2012, the Australia Unlimited magazine was launched in the United Kingdom and Germany in conjunction with Australia Day celebrations. It has also been promoted through expatriate and alumni associations in the United States and Thailand as well as within The Economist iPad edition. The application has appeared in the 'new and noteworthy' section of the digital iTunes store on two occasions since January 2012.
The website, www.australiaunlimited.com, was developed as a place to archive and provide access to Australia Unlimited content. All stories were published under a creative commons license to encourage open access. The website also includes an 'Australia in the news' section which collates positive stories about Australian achievements in an accessible form. The website is designed to act as a central repository of content (including photographs) for those users who wish to use and republish the content through their own channels. The site was launched on Australia Day 2012.
At 30 June 2012, more than 130 stories were featured on www.australiaunlimited.com, and seven monthly editions of the iPad magazine had been published.
Working with others to promote Australia Unlimited
Engaging others with an interest and role in promoting Australia internationally was a key priority for the Building Brand Australia program in 2011–12. Austrade developed partnerships and sponsorships with organisations whose work highlighted Australian capability in business, including mining technology and services, science and technology, and culture.
A wide range of industry groups, private firms, education providers and government organisations were involved in the Building Brand Australia program. Austrade formed key relationships with AusBiotech, the European Australian Business Council, Australia Network, the Australia Africa Business Council, the Australia Brazil Chamber of Commerce, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Association of Australian Convention Bureaux, the Australian Institute of Architects, the Australian Publishers Association, the Business Events Council of Australia, the Australian Commercial Galleries Association, the Australian International Marine Export Group, the Walkley Foundation for Journalism, and Universities Australia.
Australia Unlimited was used to badge Australia's presence at international trade events managed by Austrade. In addition, the branding was used in conjunction with a diverse range of activities including the Frankfurt International Book Fair, Germany, October 2011; BIO Europe, Germany, October–November 2011; Globe 2012 Business Environment Conference, Canada, March 2012; TedX Sydney, May 2012; China International Fair on Trade in Services, Beijing, May–June 2012; Intersolar, Germany, June 2012; the river pageant marking the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom, June 2012; the Europe Australia Business Council visit, Germany, June 2012; and the Cultural Olympiad, United Kingdom, June–September 2012.
Promoting the benefits of trade and investment
Austrade gained positive media coverage through promotional work on events such as the 49th Australian Export Awards; the Australia–China 2.0 trade mission and the launch of the joint strategy with the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and Tourism Australia to attract tourism infrastructure investment.
Austrade used its offshore network to secure positive media coverage of Australian capability with events, including G'Day USA and the launch of the Future Unlimited video, commissioned to promote Australian international education and training in target markets.
Austrade continued to communicate directly with investors in key markets through publications such as the quarterly Australia–Europe Brief, which provides information about investment and partnership opportunities to a growing, yet targeted, subscriber base.
Senior Austrade executives appeared in a series of television interviews on the Sky News Business Channel's Switzer program to explain Austrade's new strategy and operating structure, and discuss exporting issues for small and medium-sized enterprises. Representatives from the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation also participated.
Austrade responded to questions and requests from the media and research community, arranging interviews and providing information and background material about overseas markets, trade, productive foreign direct investment, Australian exports and Australia's international education and training sector.
Austrade continued to use social media as a promotional tool, using platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter.
Austrade also reached domestic and international audiences through online articles, case studies, and newsletters designed to promote Australian capability, foreign direct investment opportunities and education. This content was regularly published on Austrade's website in the form of Investor Updates and Latest from Austrade articles, distributed via RSS feed, and the monthly Export Update newsletter.
In 2011–12, under its new operating model, Austrade refocused its approach to events by emphasising the value-add of business services around events, and reducing its role in event logistics when other organisations have greater capacity in this area. There is also more focus on international promotional events and less emphasis on domestic events.
Support for overseas events
In 2011–12, Austrade took on an advisory role for a variety of international trade exhibitions and missions covering a wide range of sectors and markets, and delivered a range of seminars and roadshows highlighting opportunities within key markets and industry sectors. Austrade provided event marketing, collateral development, website promotion and pre-departure and in-market services for a number of offshore events.
An example of major event activity was Austrade's management of the delivery of the Australia–China 2.0 trade mission, designed to help Australian businesses expand links with China's booming regional and second-tier cities. An official reception was hosted by the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, and was attended by 100 Chinese officials and over 750 Chinese business guests. For more information on the Australia–China 2.0 mission, see page 20.
In 2011–12, Austrade made use of online seminars, known as 'webinars', as a cost-efficient and effective alternative to in-person seminars and workshops to reach out to Australian businesses. Webinar topics ranged from 'Winning Business with Japanese Original Equipment Manufacturers' to recruitment and pre-departure briefings for the mining trade show, Ozmine 2012.
Austrade presented various industry-focused webinars to highlight international opportunities for the Australian dairy, wine and seafood industries. Presentations and recordings of many of these webinars were made available on Austrade's website.
Australian Export Awards
Seventy-five national finalists were recognised at the 49th Australian Export Awards ceremony at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in December 2011. The group of finalists collectively achieved $5.6 billion in export sales and employed more than 10,000 people from a diverse range of industries in the 2010–11 financial year.
The Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, hosted the ceremony, which was attended by more than 450 guests. The 12 national winners were announced, including the Prime Minister's Australian Exporter of the Year, Sedgman Limited, a multidisciplinary engineering company exporting services to the global resources industry.
The national finalists progressed through the eight state and territory export award programs. The companies were judged on criteria including demonstrated sustainable competitive advantage; export growth; commitment to international business; innovation in products and services; and marketing strategies.
Export Awards events held during the year included an export panel breakfast, which focused on doing business in the growth and emerging markets of Latin America, Africa and Mongolia. In December 2011, a 'masterclass' was held for all national finalists, concentrating on how Australia is perceived internationally as a business destination. The class drew on the significant research findings that went into the development of the Australia Unlimited brand to reshape Australia's brand image internationally, particularly in relation to trade and investment.
The Australian Export Awards were presented by Austrade in partnership with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The awards are one of the longest running business programs in Australia.
The 49th Australian Export Awards winners were:
Prime Minister's Australian Exporter of the Year Award
Arts and Entertainment Award
Education and Training Award
Emerging Exporter Award
Information and Communications Technology Award
Large Advanced Manufacturer Award
Large Services Award
Minerals and Energy Award
Regional Exporter Award
Small Business Award
Small to Medium Manufacturer Award
Small to Medium Services Award
- Winner, Prime Minister's Australian Exporter of the Year Award 2011
- Winner, Minerals and Energy Award
Sedgman Limited provides multidisciplinary engineering, operations and project delivery services to the resources industry around the world. The company works closely with blue-chip and emerging mining clients to tailor fully integrated coal and metals processing solutions. As an expert in cleaning coal, Sedgman is a key influencer of ecologically sustainable processing methods in mining in developing countries.
Already dominant in the domestic market through its Queensland division, Sedgman has focused on strategically developing its systems to deliver projects and operations in Asia, Africa and the Americas. In the past year, Sedgman undertook major coal projects in Mongolia and Mozambique; metals projects in Botswana and Laos; and a record number of bankable coal and metals studies in more than 20 countries. Export earnings doubled in 2010–11.
The company achieved the highest accolade for an Australian exporter through its continued investment in research and development, consistent financial performance, diversified export strategy, and commitment to community improvement.
Commonwealth Business Forum
Australia hosted the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth in October 2011. The forum consisted of a series of events held in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), at the end of October 2011, and had the theme, 'Partnering for Global Growth: The Commonwealth, Indian Ocean and the Pacific Rim'.
Business leaders from developed and emerging markets focused on building new economic and financial architecture in the global economy. The forum's objectives were to highlight global economic partnerships for trade and investment in sectors across the Commonwealth and beyond, and to contribute to CHOGM policies through a formal communiqué to Commonwealth heads of government.
During the forum, Austrade developed and managed the Australian Government's Australia Unlimited business lounge in the main reception area to provide a meeting point for delegates and promote Australia's credentials as an attractive investment destination. Some 600 business delegates, including Australian and Commonwealth ministers, visited the business lounge.
|Effective contribution to whole-of-government policy development utilising Austrade's global, commercial perspective on export, investment and international education.||
In 2011–12, Austrade contributed to whole-of-government policy development, program management and service delivery through various processes and forums. During the year, Austrade:
Effective collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders including other Commonwealth government agencies, state and territory governments, business and industry associations and institutions.
Note: This measure is also reported on page 39.
In 2011–12, Austrade worked closely with trade, investment, education and promotion stakeholders, businesses and industry associations and institutions.
Contributions to the policy agenda
Throughout 2011–12, Austrade contributed a trade, investment and education perspective to policy issues of importance to exporters and investors.
Austrade worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on a number of significant policy processes and forums, including the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing (see page 79), the National Food Plan Green Paper launched in July 2012, and the 2011 Australia–China 2.0 trade mission, led by the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness (see page 20).
Austrade and Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) officials progressed joint activities in various markets, including Latin America, the Middle East, Mongolia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, India and Africa, and in industry sectors, including manufacturing, engineering, consulting, pharmaceuticals, scientific instruments, mining services and construction.
Collaboration objectives also extended to joint marketing, which included the appearance of both Austrade and EFIC executives in a series of television interviews on the Sky News Business Channel's Switzer program, client referrals, missions, hot-desk arrangements for EFIC staff visiting Austrade offices, and Australian Export Awards sponsorship.
Austrade worked with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) on a number of initiatives both in Australia and overseas, including the Australian Government's Mining for Development Initiative, which links Australian and African educational institutions of relevance and identifies individual or corporate partners to support the core program aims of improving resource governance, building resource sustainability and building technical capacity across Africa.
Austrade also engaged with other government departments, including the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE), the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
Specifically, Austrade worked with DIISRTE under the Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative, to provide assistance to the Resources Sector Supplier Envoy's trade mission to Latin America in April 2012. The mission visited four countries and coincided with the visit to the region by the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, reinforcing the strong message of Australian commercial engagement with Latin America.
Austrade also worked with DIISRTE on the Government response to the report of the Book Industry Strategy Group, participating in the interdepartmental committee process.
In May 2012, Austrade, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and Tourism Australia announced a five-year strategic partnership to promote investment opportunities across the Australian tourism industry to foreign investors. The partnership aims to increase the flow of investment into Australia's almost $35 billion tourism industry. Further information is available on page 67.
Austrade contributed to an interdepartmental committee, led by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, on the review of the Australian Government's Agricultural Emergency Plan with respect to minimising implications for international agricultural trade.
Austrade also worked closely with Department of Immigration and Citizenship throughout 2011–12, including on an initiative to help education agents and students in Russia understand Australian visa requirements. In December 2011, Austrade and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship held a joint seminar at the Education and Career Fair in Moscow to promote changes to requirements and launch the Future Unlimited branding.
Austrade continues to work closely with industry associations, chambers of commerce and business councils. In February 2012, Austrade, in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, supported the Australia Gulf Council mission to Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The mission was led by the Hon Mark Vaile, former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, and the Hon Nick Sherry, former Senator for Tasmania, and included a 15-member business delegation representing priority sectors for the region, including infrastructure, construction, agriculture, financial services, technology and education. Members of the Council for Australian–Arab Relations also joined the mission to develop broader bilateral cultural and institutional linkages.
As a result of the visit, an agreement was reached with the head of the Dubai International Financial Centre to provide preference to Australian financial service providers seeking to establish operations at the centre.
In November 2011, Austrade provided assistance to the Council on Australia Latin America Relations for the visit to Brazil and Colombia by David Luboff, the council's chairman, and Geraldine Tyson, manager of the council secretariat within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The program was developed to give the council a stronger understanding of market dynamics and major opportunities for Australia in mining, sport, education, agribusiness, clean energy and financial services.
In September 2011, the Prime Minister announced that the Australian Government would develop a white paper on Australia in the 'Asian century' to consider the likely economic and strategic changes in the region and what more Australia could do to position itself for the Asian century.
Austrade provided input to the white paper process and participated in the Australia in the Asian Century Reference Group. Austrade's contributions included the submission of relevant research, such as on the perceptions of Australia in the region; demonstrating the benefits of trade, investment and international education; and highlighting practical examples of Australian companies achieving success in Asia.
The Prime Minister's Taskforce on Manufacturing was announced in October 2011 to develop a vision for the future of manufacturing and identify a plan to leverage the Government's existing policies and programs to capture the opportunities arising from the Asian century.
Austrade supported the taskforce through representation on the Deputy Secretaries Working Group and on the secretariat in the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
Austrade and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were the lead agencies for the taskforce paper, Asian market opportunities and barriers: audit of potential trade into Asia and other markets. The paper explored trends in elaborately and simply transformed manufactures across markets. It also illustrated opportunities for Australian manufacturing in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, in sectors such as medical devices and technologies; food (including logistics); water, environment and energy efficiency; resources and infrastructure; and automotive components.
Collaboration with state and territory governments
Austrade continued to work closely with state and territory governments on initiatives both in Australia and overseas to build on Australia's trade and investment interests and outcomes.
Austrade supported several state government visits overseas throughout 2011–12, including visits to India by the Hon Barry O'Farrell MP, Premier of New South Wales, in November 2011 and by the Hon Ted Baillieu MP, Premier of Victoria, in February 2012. On both occasions, the premiers were accompanied by business delegations and Austrade worked closely with their respective state governments to arrange appointments for the delegations and support networking events. For example, Austrade supported a Victorian Government industry event held at the Mumbai racecourse in February 2012 to promote Australia as a destination for tourism, sport and business, which attracted over 300 guests. The Victorian Government partnered with the Victoria Racing Club to host the event, which was attended by Mr Baillieu and the Hon Louise Asher MP, Victorian Minister for Tourism.
Austrade supported the event by inviting relevant contacts from Indian industry and facilitating engagement between the Royal Western India Turf Club and the Victoria Racing Club. The event provided an opportunity to connect prospective investors and trading partners with a high level of interest in sport, and provided a platform to promote Australia to Indian business representatives. The 2012 Emirates Melbourne Cup was on display and Christophe Lemaire, the 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning jockey, was also in attendance. Members of the Royal Western India Turf Club are expected to travel to Australia for the Melbourne Cup in 2012 and Austrade will assist the group with trade and investment opportunities.
Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group
Austrade led the establishment in April 2012 of the Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group. The group was set up to enhance coordination and collaboration between Commonwealth, state and territory governments on ways to grow Australia's international trade and investment.
The aims and objectives of the Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group are to identify and agree on shared objectives and priorities with respect to international trade and investment; formulate a joint plan of action covering a small number of practical and tangible areas for collaboration; and achieve outcomes with mutual benefit at the Commonwealth and state and territory levels.
The Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group also leads, directs and approves the operational work of the National Investment Advisory Board and the National Trade Development Working Group.
At its inaugural meeting held in April 2012 in Melbourne, the Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group agreed to jointly mobilise around the four Commonwealth investment priorities, starting with tourism. Of the three state and territory priorities, the group agreed to begin collaborative work on resource technology, services and processing. The group also agreed to work on identifying industry capability for trade opportunities and on the harmonisation of branding.
National Investment Advisory Board
Following the Senior Officials Trade and Investment Group meeting in Melbourne, the 20th meeting of the National Investment Advisory Board was held in Darwin in May 2012. Four Commonwealth Government investment priorities were discussed with state and territory governments, with the board agreeing to working groups to support the development of each priority. The board also agreed to progress the scoping study on resource technology, services and processing as a state and territory investment priority.
More broadly, the National Investment Advisory Board agreed to focus on the development of protocols to guide more effective collaboration domestically and overseas among Commonwealth, state and territory governments as they promote, attract and facilitate foreign investment for Australia.
National Trade Development Working Group
The National Trade Development Working Group, which was formed to coordinate operational trade promotion and collaboration matters across Commonwealth, state and territory governments, held its third meeting in Darwin in June 2012. Meeting outcomes included developing collaborative brand identity guidelines and events collaboration protocols. Two working groups were established, one to enable state and territory governments to provide industry capability information to match overseas trade opportunities identified by Austrade, and the other to coordinate marketing and communications.
Attached agency agreements
Austrade administered a number of service agreements for property and administrative support in overseas locations with attached agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; AusFilm; the Australian Federal Police; Wine Australia; Australian Education International; the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; the Department of Immigration and Citizenship; the South Australian Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy; Trade and Investment Queensland; and the Victorian Department of Business and Innovation.
Austrade delivers services to, and works with, these agencies and departments overseas to ensure that government efforts, both Commonwealth and state and territory, are coordinated and targeted.
Parliamentary inquiries and briefings
In 2011–12, Austrade provided input to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, including:
- a formal submission to the inquiry into Australia's overseas representation and appearance before the committee in February 2012
- a formal Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Austrade joint submission to the inquiry into Australia's trade relationships with Japan and the Republic of Korea and appearance before the committee in March 2012
- a formal submission to the inquiry into the importance of the Indian Ocean region and Australia's foreign, trade and defence policy in April 2012.
Additionally, Austrade appeared before the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity inquiry into the integrity of Commonwealth law enforcement operations overseas in May 2012.
Austrade also provided support to parliamentary delegations and other visit programs both in Australia and overseas throughout 2011–12, including participation in a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-led briefing in October 2011 of a parliamentary delegation to the United States led by Senator the Hon John Hogg, President of the Senate.
Services to government
Austrade provided services to the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness and the Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, including through the provision of a full-time departmental liaison officer located in the Minister's office.
Austrade reported to the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness on its progress towards achieving the Government's objectives through regular reports and ongoing briefing material. Austrade also provided advice and assistance to the Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, other parliamentarians and state and territory governments.
In 2011–12, Austrade produced 80 written briefs, 52 submissions and prepared responses to 106 items of ministerial correspondence.
Austrade also met with the Minister and the Parliamentary Secretary as well as their respective office staff to give context to written briefs and discuss ongoing issues when required.
Supporting ministers abroad
Austrade provided support to various ministerial visits overseas, including visits by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness and the Parliamentary Secretary for Trade.
In April 2012, Austrade worked closely with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to provide support for the visit by the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, to Istanbul, Turkey. As part of the Prime Minister's program, Austrade organised a visit to IDO, an Istanbul ferry operator which has purchased 10 Western Australian-built Austal ferries since 1995, with the contracts representing a total value of approximately $340 million in Australian exports to Turkey. During her visit, the Prime Minister boarded one of the ferries, the Osman Gazi, which was used to help evacuate people from the Libyan city of Benghazi to Turkey in 2011. It can carry 1,200 passengers, 225 cars and travel at 70 kilometres per hour.
Austrade provided support in March 2012 to a mission to Indonesia led by the Hon Dr Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, and Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, which included a series of business and industry roundtables focused on agriculture and financial services.
In April 2012, Austrade also provided support for a visit by Dr Emerson to Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The Minister, who was accompanied by a business delegation, met with Australian companies participating in the Austrade-managed Australian pavilion at the Expomin mining exhibition held in Santiago, Chile, and attended the Australian Ambassador's Expomin networking function. In Brazil and Colombia, the Minister met with government and business officials before travelling to Mexico where he attended the G20 Summit.
In March 2012, the Hon Justine Elliot MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Trade, visited Moscow and Vladivostok, Russia. Austrade provided assistance with her program, which in Moscow included meetings with Russian meat importers, the Ministry for Education and Science, representatives from the Moscow State University, education agents and members of the Australian business community. In Vladivostok, Mrs Elliot met with the Primorye Regional Government and senior officials at the Far Eastern Federal University, attended a dinner with the Vladivostok business community and conducted a site visit to Russky Island, where the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Week will be held in September 2012.
Other ministerial visits supported by Austrade throughout the year included:
- Governor-General – New Zealand in February 2012; the Philippines in April 2012; United Arab Emirates in April 2012
- Prime Minister – New Zealand in September 2011; Korea in March 2012; Singapore in April 2012; United States in May 2012
- Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer – United Kingdom in October 2011
- Minister for Foreign Affairs – Mexico in September 2011; Indonesia in January 2012; New Zealand in March 2012; Singapore in March 2012; Vietnam in March 2012; China in May 2012
- Minister for Trade and Competitiveness – China in August 2011 and May 2012; Canada in September 2011; Indonesia in November 2011; Vietnam in December 2011; Malaysia in January 2012 and May 2012; Korea in May 2012
- Parliamentary Secretary for Trade – Hong Kong in November 2011
- Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry – Japan in December 2011; Korea in December 2011; Saudi Arabia in January 2012; Indonesia in March 2012
- Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research – India in July 2011
- Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations – Israel in May 2012
- Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations – India in August 2011
- Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism – United Kingdom in October 2011; China in November 2011 and June 2012; India in November 2011; Thailand in May 2012
- Minister for Transport and Infrastructure – Mexico in September 2011
- Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency – China in April 2012
- Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy – Korea in May 2012
- Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities – Hong Kong in July 2011
- Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water – Singapore in July 2011.
Visits by foreign government representatives
As well as providing support to visits by Australian ministers overseas, Austrade also provided support for visits by foreign government delegations throughout the year, including the Mexican Vice Minister for Mining in August 2011 and again in November 2011; the Crown Prince and Princess of Denmark in November 2011; the Mexican Economy Minister in February 2012; the Chinese Minister of Commerce in April 2012; the Prime Minister of Thailand in May 2012; the Thai Energy Minister in May 2012; the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in May 2012; and the Chinese Guangdong Party Secretary in June 2012.