Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Gulf Council merge to help boost regional business

TWO ARABIAN business organisations have joined forces in Australia to maximise business development and growth between Australian companies, the Middle East and North Africa.

Arabian business groups join forces: just as Qantas-Emirates alliance gets the go-ahead.

The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI) and the Australia Gulf Council (AGC) have, over the past six months, been engaged in negotiations to coordinate their approaches to promote bilateral trade and investment relations between Australia, the Middle East and North Africa.

The merger of the AGC with AACCI became effective last week. The merged organisation will be branded AACCI.

The AACCI branding is important as the name ‘Chamber of Commerce' holds significant importance in the Arab World. In the Middle East, the local chambers license all businesses operating in their countries, unlike in Australia where a separate government body, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) performas this role.

Additionally, the Arab Chambers only recognise export documents stamped by a Chamber of Commerce, and this is a significant piece of AACCI's current operations.

AGC's CEO Jonathan Herps has been appointed the AACCI CEO. Georgie Skipper, an AGC director, will be appointed to the National Board of AACCI.

A spokesman said the rationale for a merger of AACCI and AGC is a strong one. Both organisations are targeting essentially the same market.

However due to the fact that there are two organisations operating in the same region there has developed a fragmented approach to presenting ‘Australia' in the Middle East, and a fragmented approach to presenting opportunities from the Middle East back into Australia.

A merger of AGC into AACCI is a strong fit with the mission and the strategic vision of both organisations. The merged entity fills critical gaps in both organisations' strategy and capabilities.

"We believe that the complementary offering of both AACCI and the AGC will deliver high-level outcomes for our partners, members and indeed Australia. We believe that we can achieve far more as one organisation than as two," the spokesman said.



The AGC operations will continue under the AACCI brand as the 'Australia Arab Business Circle'.

AACCI is working to develop an organisation that can deliver high-level commercial outcomes for its partners and members.

"By limiting the overlap between the two organisations, we believe such a merger will derive significant outcomes for Australia's trade and investment relationship with the Arab League," the AACCI spokesman said.


Contact: Jonathan Herps at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel:  +61 (0) 2 9238 2048.




Australian agricultural exports head for record highs

AUSTRALIAN  farm exports are forecast to be around $38 billion in 2013-14 - a result of  higher forecasts for beef and veal, wine, and dairy products - according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).

Export earnings from fisheries products are forecast to increase by 6.2 percent to $1.25 billion.


ABARES executive director, Karen Schneider, said if farm exports reachwd the forecast $38 billion, this would be a record high in nominal terms and around 8 percent above the average over the five years to 2012-13 in real terms. ABARES released its latest assessment on the outlook for agricultural export earnings in the December edition of Agricultural Commodities yesterday.

"Livestock and livestock product export earnings are forecast to increase by 11.9 percent in 2013-14 to $16.7 billion," Ms Schneider said.

"Export earnings are forecast to increase by 12 percent for beef and veal, 24 percent for dairy products and 4 percent for wine.

"Export earnings from fisheries products are forecast to increase by 6.2 percent to $1.25 billion, following a decline of 4.2 percent in 2012-13.

"Reflecting mainly the impact of lower world prices for grains and oilseeds, the value of crop exports is forecast to decline by 7.4 percent in 2013-14 to around $21.3 billion."

For the current financial year, farm production is forecast to rise by 2.9 percent, crop production is forecast to rise by 3.9 percent and livestock production is forecast to increase by 1.6 percent.

"The gross value of farm production is forecast to increase by 6.3 percent to $50.9 billion in 2013-14, compared with a small decline of 0.3 percent in 2012-13," Ms Schneider said.

The Agricultural Commodities report is available on the department's website, ABAREs publications.

ABARES produces economic and scientific research, commodity forecasts, statistics and other analysis to inform markets and provide a strong evidence base to develop public policy for agriculture.


Water futures for coal seam gas under the spotlight

Water management and purification solutions for the coal seam gas and mining industries will be the focus of a special breakfast presentation in Brisbane on Wednesday (May 18).

Israel's water specialists assist CSG and mining.


The Australian Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) and the Israel Trade Commission (ITC) in association with Austmine and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) have combined to present the event that showcases the world's best of breed water system solutions, featuring a range of invited companies and technologies from Israel.

Presenter at the breakfast event is Lindsay Delzoppo, the general manager of operations for the Environment and Natural Resource Regulation division of the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM).

While Australia has a substantial resources industry and is a world leader in mining technologies - and is handy with water management in its own right - Israel is recognised as a world leader in water purification technologies and may provide solutions to some immediate challenges the coal seam gas industry faces in Australia.

In fact, Israel is known as the Silicon Valley of water. Israel has been confronted with extremely limited natural resources due to its location and terrain and the country has had to develop innovative water technologies and waste water treatment solutions, and is becoming a world leader in the field of cleantech.

Currently, Israel recycles over 70 percent of all water the country uses.

"With Australia's current resources boom and Israel being one of the world leaders in clean tech and water technology, there is a clear synergy between these sectors and vast opportunities for collaboration between the two countries," an AICC spokesman said.

" This Israeli Delegation will be focused on what solutions Israeli water technology companies can offer to the Australian CSG and mining sector. This is your chance to meet the most innovative Israeli companies that are relevant to the CSG and mining sectors."

Among the companies presenting from Israel will be Amiad (wastewater filtration); A.R.I. Flow Control Systems (air valves); Atlantium  (water disinfection); Baccara Geva  (air valves); Bermad  (hydraulic control valves); IDE Technologies (wastewater treatment); Netafim (irrigation products); NIROSOFT  (wastewater treatment); Odis Filtering (wastewater treatment); Mottech (water control solutions); Yamit (water filtration); and EZ Pack (water storage solutions).

The event is free to attend, but requires pre-registration and numbers are limited. It will be staged at the Bastille Room of the Brisbane Sofitel Hotel, 249 Turbot Street.


Business must cope with rebound in globalization: Ernst & Young, EIU

Australian business leaders need to have the demands and market changes of a reinvigorated globalization push on their radar, judging by a new report from Ernst & Young and the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Globalization pace steps up

The report released last week by Ernst & Young in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) shows that, after a brief pause in 2009 and a modest rebound in 2010, the world's 60 largest economies will continue to globalize steadily between now and 2014.

The report, Winning in a polycentric world, reveals this is beingdriven by a continued global economic recovery, technological innovation and the rise of the emerging markets.

Winning in a polycentric world alsohighlights the tension between the flattening effect of globalization and significant variations across international markets.

While globalization encourages companies to roll out business and operating models globally, differences between markets will demand a more localised approach.

The report draws on two sources of original research: Ernst & Young's Globalization Index, which measures the world's 60 largest economies according to their degree of globalization relative to their GDP, and a survey of more than 1000 senior business executives worldwide, conducted in late 2010, canvassing their thoughts on globalization.

Globalization and economic growth
The speed with which different parts of the world are recovering from the economic downturn, and the subsequent policy responses they are making, is undoubtedly placing some stress on globalization but, as the index and survey suggest, those are temporary concerns and the long-term trend continues to be for closer integration.

James S. Turley, chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young said, "The enormous opportunities in emerging markets, the ever increasing power of technology and a gradual international economic recovery will ensure that globalization continues to deepen over the coming years.

"That said, it is incumbent on business and governments to continue to make the case for globalization as a positive force for economic and social good and avoid any descent into protectionism."

The future challenge for business will be to strike the balance between these opposing forces of globalization and national markets and achieve both scale and local relevance, Mr Turley said.

John Ferraro, chief operating officer of Ernst & Young said, "Business opportunities are now distributed more evenly around the world than at any time in history. The convergence of market potential between the developed and emerging world means that the number of markets that multinationals must consider as 'strategic' has increased.

"But, at the same time, the nature of the opportunities in those markets can be fundamentally different.

"In the developed world, companies have well established business models and asset bases but face weak growth prospects. In the emerging economies, this situation is often reversed."

He said companies must now operate in a "polycentric world" in which there are multiple but divergent spheres of influence in both developed and developing markets.

It is not just opportunities that are located in these multiple centres, Mr Ferraro said. Competition, capabilities and resources can all now reside anywhere in the world and travel in new, sometimes unexpected directions.

Long-term winners?

Mr Turley said to be a long-term winner in this new globalized world, "multinationals must essentially operate at multiple speeds in order to fit their strategies to both fast-growth and slow-growth markets. Success in the former requires rapid-fire decision-making and the capacity to experiment, learn and scale at speed.

"For large multinationals, this may require a re-think of reporting lines in order to bypass bureaucracy and maximize agility. Developed markets, on the other hand, will require a different approach, which is more dependent on efficiency and incremental growth."

To succeed in a polycentric world requires companies to focus on four priorities, Mr Turley said.

"Corporates will have to first redefine global and local, second develop a 'polycentric' approach to innovation, third rethink relationships with government and tax administrations and fourth build leadership teams with strong global experience."

Where are we today?

Mr Turney said the survey of more than 1000 business leaders suggested a mixed picture in how far corporates were currently engaging with these four priorities

Business is certainly becoming more international in its aspirations, he said. Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed said their foreign direct investment (FDI) would increase in the next three years. Seventeen percent of respondents said FDI would increase by more than 20 percent.

Progressive executives are already re-thinking their approach to innovation in emerging markets.

"Currently, the companies in our survey conduct a relatively small proportion of their R&D in emerging markets, despite the importance of these economies to their growth prospects, with only 16 percent of respondents saying that more than one-quarter of their R&D expenditure is invested in emerging markets," Mr Turley said.

But, over the next five years, this picture will change.

"The proportion of respondents that will conduct more than one-quarter of their R&D in emerging markets will almost treble in Western Europe and more than double in North America. Nearly 30 percent of companies will spend more than a quarter of their R&D investment in emerging markets five years from now."

Understanding the political environment, and how it might affect the company's ability to do business, has become a core competence for global corporates.

Yet, according to the survey, companies pay a relatively small amount of attention to policy as part of their investment decisions. The only aspects of government policy that more than half of respondents consider to be influential when planning an investment are economic growth projections and tax rates.

On the need to build leadership teams with strong global experience, respondents to the survey generally shared this view.

Just over half agreed there was a link between diversity of teams and experience, and superior reputation and financial performance. Only 15 percent said diversity does not have a positive impact on either reputation or performance.

To compile Winning in a polycentric world, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 1,050 business executives in November 2010.

The Globalization Index developed for this report measures and tracks the performance of the world's 60 largest economies according to 20 separate indicators that capture the key aspects of cross-border integration of business. The indicators fall into five broad categories: openness to trade; capital movements; exchange of technology and ideas; labor movements; and cultural integration.

The Index measures 'relative' rather than 'absolute' globalization. This means a country's trade, investment, technology, labor and cultural integration with other countries is measured relative to its GDP rather than by the absolute value of these elements being exchanged. The Index, therefore, reflects the degree to which the global integration of a country is observable or experienced from within that country.

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Swift Australia is Qld's top exporter

Swift Australia won the 2010 Queensland Exporter of the Year Award at the 21st Premier of Queensland Export Awards staged recently at Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Qld Premier Anna Bligh.


Based at Riverview, Ipswich, Swift Australia is Australia's largest meat packer and exporter.  Swift also won the Agribusiness award over finalists Queensland Sugar Limited (Brisbane City) and Australian Agriculture Company (Milton)

"(Swift Australia) employs 8,500 people, and exports its meat products to 35 countries including Japan, the United States, Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, the Philippines, Canada, and the United Kingdom," Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said.

Swift Australia director and manager Jean Carlo Dilly said, "Swift Australia is proud of its export strategy. This requires continual product innovation, proactive marketing and a focus on broadening market access.

"The Queensland Government is export focused and we value the wealth of experience and continued assistance of Trade and Investment Queensland and the overseas trade offices," Mr Carlo Dilly said.

Arts and Entertainment winner was multiple award winner Cutting Edge Post (South Brisbane) over finalists  Battlefield Sports (Clifton Beach, Cairns) and  Village Roadshow Studios (Coomera).

Yeahpoint Pty Ltd (Brisbane City) which develops onsite digital retailing systems for some of the world's biggest mname brands, won the Information and Communications Technology Award over finalists EM Solutions Pty Ltd (Yeronga) and international enterrpsie software developer  Technology One Ltd (Fortitude Valley).

Small to Medium Manufacturer Award winner was Centor Holdings of Eagle Farm, which had a week before taken out the Brisbane Lord Mayor's Business Awards. Finalists were BSD Robotics, a Luminex company, based at Acacia Ridge and MineWare of Milton.

However, MineWare went on to win the Emerging Exporter Award later in the night over finalists ecospecifier Pty Ltd (Morningside) and  Maryborough Sugar Factory Limited of Maryborough.

Griffith University, with campuses at Nathan, South Bank and Gold Coast, won theEducation and Training Award over the Queensland University of Technology International Projects Unit (Brisbane) andSkillsTech Australia, which has campuses at Acacia Ridge, Alexandra Hills, Bracken Ridge, Eagle Farm, Ithaca, Mt Gravatt, Salisbury and Yeronga.

Xstrata Mount Isa Mines (Mount Isa) was the Premier's Export Award winner for theMinerals and Energy category. Finalists were Ludowici Ltd (Pinkenba) and Sedgman Limited (Milton).

Sedgman went on to win the Large Services category, over finalists Xstrata Technology Pty Ltd (Brisbane) and Griffith University.

Small to Medium Services winner was Place Design Group of  Fortitude Valley, getting the nod over finalists JKTech Pty Ltd (Indooroopilly) and Hydrobiology QLD Pty Ltd (Milton)

Small Business winner was ecospecifier Pty Ltd with other category finalists Asia Pacific ASA Pty Ltd (Gold Coast) and GBI Mining Intelligence (Eight Mile Plains).

Cook Australia, also headquartered at Eight Mile Plains, won the Large Advanced Manufacturer  category over finalists Ludowici and Swift Australia.

Regional Exporter of the Year winner was Hervey Bay Whale Watch (Hervey Bay, over finalists Becker Helicopters Pty Ltd (Marcoola, Sunshine Coast) and Capricorn Sandstone Quarries (Rockhampton)

However,Becker Helicopters went on to win the Dermot McManus Award, named after the late Queensland Trade Commissioner.

The Richard Joel Young Export Entrepreneur winner, named after the late founder of the former Brisbane Office of Economic Development, was Alan McCabe of Fern Software (Brisbane).

TheTom Burns Award for growing exports to Asia markets, named after the late State Labor Leader and trade advocate, was won by Capricorn Sandstone Quarries of Rockhampton.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh's Special Award went to Professor Arun Sharma.

"I also wish winners of the Premier of Queensland's Export Awards all the best as they progress as finalists in the Australian Export Awards. The national winners and finalists will be announced in Sydney on  December 1," Ms Bligh said.

"In 2009-10 the value of Queensland's merchandise exports were worth more $42.7billion dollars to Queensland's economy," Ms Bligh said.

"We know that exporting is vital to Queensland's economy and jobs. And we need to continue to look beyond our borders, to grow established relationships and develop new markets to enable our world-class industries to expand and create new jobs.

"The Premier of Queensland's Export Awards, presented each year during Queensland's Export Week, recognise the achievements and capabilities of the State's export businesses and industries. The awards give our excellent exporters due congratulation and reward for their efforts overseas, further establishing Queensland as a reliable global supplier of quality export products and services."



Queensland's Export Week awards top performers

International trade opportunities are being highlighted in seminars and events throughout Queensland's Export Week 2010 until Friday, October 22.

ADG's Tammy Halter (centre) is a previous Qld Export Award winner.


Trade Minister, Stephen Robertson, said Queensland companies stood to gain valuable insights from the Export Week 2010 program with a range of activities held across the State to recognise, promote and assist Queensland companies to go global.

A highlight of Export Week 2010, organised by Trade and Investment Queensland, will be the presentation of the Premier of Queensland's Export Awards, now in their 21st year.

"These awards are Queensland's highest recognition of export achievement," Mr Robertson said.

"In 2009-10, Queensland companies exported more than $42billion in merchandise exports, providing valuable income to our economy."

Mr Robertson said the Export Week 2010 program includes the Trade Commissioners across Queensland regional program with visits to Cairns, Townsville, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Logan, Toowoomba, Brisbane Northside and Mount Isa.

The program involves Chris Rodwell (Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Americas); Zijian Zhang (Trade and Investment Commissioner for China); Andrew Craig (Trade and Investment Commissioner for Europe); Elizabeth Sullivan (Trade and Investment Commissioner for Taiwan); Tak Adachi (Trade and Investment Commissioner for Japan); Hassan Miski (Trade and Investment Commissioner for Saudi Arabia); Susan Rae (Trade and Investment Commissioner for the United Arab Emirates); Rod Solomons (Trade and Investment Commissioner for India); Sang Min Woo (Trade and Investment Commissioner for Korea); Simon Lee (Trade and Investment Commissioner for Hong Kong); Jeremy Blockey (Special Trade Representative to Papua New Guinea); Oka Simanjuntak (business development manager for Indonesia); Jun Xu (business development for Guangzhou); and Martin Vega (senior business development manager based in Chile).

"The program includes several Brisbane-based events, including the business breakfast and export showcase, market updates, Getting Export Smart workshops, an investment luncheon, and sector specific events including aviation, creative industries, education and training, and water management," MrRobertson said.

"There will be a number of seminars focusing on export markets including business opportunities in the Americas, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and China, India, Korea, Papua New Guinea, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr Robertson said that as part of Export Week 2009, Queensland companies had attended some 45 events held across the State, including networking opportunities, seminars, and market information sessions.

"Export Week 2010 will highlight the significance of exporting to the Queensland economy and celebrate the success of Queensland exporters.

"Through strong support for exporting in our State, we are taking another step towards delivering the jobs that we want for Queenslanders. I invite exporters, and those considering global business as a future option, to come and make the most of Export Week activities," Mr Robertson said.

"Activities held during Export Week will help to maintain and grow Queensland's overseas exports."


ASEAN Free Trade Agreement launches opportunities in 2010


's largest free trade agreement - the Association of South East Asian Nations-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) - enjoyed its first working day on January 4, 2010.

Trade Minister Simon Crean (left) presents the Australian Exporter of the Year Award to Neil O'Sullivan of Queensland's NOJA Power. New opportunities abound through AANZFTA.


The historic agreement will span 12 economies with over 600 million people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of $3.1trillion.

For Queensland, the gains are expected to be particularly strong in the education secotor, where there is, for example, an immediate expansion from seven to 36 subject areas that Australian education providers can deliver in Vietnam.

AANZFTA is Australia's first multi-country FTA and the most comprehensive FTA ever concluded by ASEAN.

"The commencement of this agreement is a major milestone and opens up significant opportunities for Australian businesses in one of the fastest growing regions in the world," Federal Trade Minister Simon Crean said.

"With Asia leading the global recovery and six out of 10 ASEAN markets expected to grow at rates at least double the forecast OECD average in 2010, there is great potential for Australian exporters to enter new markets."

"This agreement is also an important building block towards deepening Australia's economic integration with the dynamic Asian region.

"As of today, the agreement covers around 70 percent of Australia's trade with ASEAN countries with which we do not have bilateral FTAs," Mr Crean said.

The agreement includes:

* The immediate elimination of a 10 percent tariff on $9.6million of Australian processed cheese exports (in 2008) to Malaysia.

* The immediate elimination of a 5 percent tariff on $7.2million of exports of fresh grapes to Malaysia.

* The immediate elimination of a 3 percent tariff on $22million of wheat exports to the Philippines.

* The immediate elimination of a 5 percent tariff on $3million of sheep meat exports to the Philippines

"By 2020, the deal will eliminate tariffs on 96 percent of our current exports to ASEAN nations," Mr Crean said.

ASEAN accounted for 15 percent of Australia's trade, valued at $83billion in 2008-2009. This is as large as Australia's trade with China, Australia's largest trading partner.

About 42 percent of Australia's total exporter base - about 18,500 Australian exporters - trade with ASEAN.

In addition to Australia and New Zealand, AANZFTA has entered into force for the following ASEAN countries: Brunei, Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam.

Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand are expected to ratify the agreement in the early part of this year.

"I urge the Australian business community to take full advantage of the many benefits that this far-reaching agreement has to offer," Mr Crean said.


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