MONGOLIAN Foreign Minister Luvsanvandan Bold negotiated a five-year, $20 million Australian support program to assist the sustainable development of the nation’s resources sector on his recent mission to Australia. 

It was the first visit to Australia by a Mongolian Foreign Minister in 20 years and it concluded a range of co-operation agreements between countries, opening the doors for Australian companies.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the $20 million Australia-Mongolia Extractives Program would utilise Australian expertise in Mongolia to help ensure the benefits of the mining sector were spread across its entire population.

“Like Western Australia, Mongolia’s economy is driven by mining and resources,” Ms Bishop said. “Whether in Australia or Mongolia, private-sector led growth is key to a growing economy.”

Ironically, there were parallels with current Australian domestic policy that resonated in the resources sector, such as the taxation of mining.

“Releasing Mongolia’s fledgling mining industry from a failed mining tax has greatly benefited the economy,” Ms Bishop said.

“Australia is pledging to support the Mongolian Government with financial assistance and expertise that will improve governance in the mining sector, opening their economy up to international investment and development opportunities.

“The program will also improve access to technical and vocational education and training in disadvantaged communities in Mongolia so they are better equipped to gain employment in the mining industry.”

One of the highest profile commercial partnerships operating in Mongolia at present is Rio Tinto’s investment in Oyu Tolgoi.

The Australian Government’s existing $5 million partnership with the World Bank is also helping to strengthen management of groundwater resources in the southern Gobi region, Ms Bishop said.

During the visit last fortnight, Foreign Minister Bold also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Consular Cooperation.

www.dfat.gov.au

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THE FIRST official visit to Australia by the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Le Luong Minh, took place last week.

Highlighting the geographical and strategic position of Australia, Secretary-General Minh encouraged Australia to play a greater role in contributing to ASEAN-led mechanisms for the maintenance of peace, security and stability. He further encouraged both sides to forge cooperation in other potential areas such as governance, forestry, public health, arts and cultures, sports, SMEs, infrastructure development and vocational training.

Secretary-General Minh also conveyed that the ASEAN Secretariat would stand ready to effectively coordinate with ASEAN member states in co-operating with Australia in these joint endeavours.

Secretary-General Minh thanked Australia for its active and steadfast support for ASEAN’s regional integration and community building efforts over the past years, and called upon Australia to further extend and align its support to ASEAN’s Post-2015 agenda, which is currently being developed.

As part of his programme in Sydney, Secretary-General Minh met with the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as well as ASEAN and Australian students at the University of Sydney. In Canberra, he gave an address at the College of Asia and the Pacific of the Australian National University.

ASEAN and Australia will convene a Commemorative Summit later this year in Myanmar to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations.

“Secretary General Minh’s visit provided an opportunity to discuss challenges facing the region, including maritime security and disaster management,” said Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

“ASEAN plays a key role in regional security-focused engagement, in particular through the leaders-level East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

“South East Asia is vital for Australia’s strategic and economic interests. Australia is working in partnership with the ASEAN Secretariat, headed by Secretary General Minh, to support integration efforts between ASEAN countries including through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program.”

Secretary General Minh’s visit coincided with the 40th anniversary of Australia’s formal dialogue partnership with ASEAN, which began with an officials meeting in Canberra on April 16, 1974, and Australia was ASEAN’s first dialogue partner.

The 10 member countries of ASEAN represent a population of more than 600 million people and a combined economy of $2.4 trillion. Australia’s two-way trade with ASEAN has more than doubled in the past decade to $92 billion in 2012-13.

Ms Bishop said ASEAN’s importance to Australian interests would grow as it sought to deepen economic, political-security and socio-cultural integration through an ASEAN Community by 2015.

“Australia and ASEAN are also working together to implement the 2010 ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and negotiate the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership which are key drivers of regional economic integration,” Ms Bishop said.

www.dfat.gov.au

www.asean.org

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AUSTRALIA'S Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop will promote the timely conclusion of two Free Trade Agreements during a visit to Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong until October 20 - and explore new areas for strategic and economic cooperation with between the governments.

Ms Bishop and her team will also meet business leaders, students, alumni and academics in the region to explore how young Australians will be able to capitalise on the study and internship opportunities to be offered under the New Colombo Plan.

In Japan, Ms Bishop will discuss with Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and members of the Diet how Australia can build on existing ties and enhance Australia-Japan cooperation in regional and global forums.

"Our longstanding close partnership with Japan is underpinned by shared values and common interests - a commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and to continued regional stability and prosperity," Ms Bishop said.

In South Korea, Ms Bishop will meet Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Trade Minister Yoon Sang-jick and other Cabinet members.

"South Korea is a key strategic partner in Asia, a colleague on the United Nations Security Council and our third-largest export market," Ms Bishop said.

Ms Bishop will become the first Australian Foreign Minister to address a major international forum on cyberspace when she attends the Seoul Cyberspace Conference today (October 17).

She will join ministers from around 30 countries, as well as business and civil society leaders to discuss cyber security issues and the impact of the internet on economic growth and development.

Ms Bishop will visit Hong Kong, reinforcing its importance as an economic partner and as a leading regional base for Australian business. In Hong Kong, Ms Bishop will meet Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So.

Planning is also underway for Ms Bishop's first official trip to China which is to take place this year.

http://www.dfat.gov.au/

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AUSTRALIAN businesswomen creating new business opportunities in Asian markets will be able to learn from the success stories of other women entrepreneurs through a national speaker series this month.

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Julie-Anne Nichols.

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the Women in Global Business ANZ Speaker Series for 2013 will be held until October 25 in all capital cities around the country.

Mr Robb said businesses owned and operated by women represent one of the fastest growing business segments in Australia.

"The Women in Global Business initiative supports businesswomen to successfully take their products and services to the world." Mr Robb said.

"This series will highlight the benefits of doing business in Asia, and will also explore how export challenges faced by women, such as resource limitations and access to qualified market intelligence, can be overcome.

"The unique perspective provided by the speakers will be extremely valuable for women engaging in or planning to engage in business in Asia," Mr Robb said.

The 2013 series program will feature keynote speakers including

  • Julie-Anne Nichols, Austrade's Senior Trade Commissioner in Guangzhou, China.
  • Liming Jia, executive general manager for Songtsam Lodges in the Yunnan Province of China.
  • Astrid Vasile, chair of the Australian Indonesian Businesswomen and Professionals Network.
  • Tania Motton, general manager for Regional Business Banking in Australia with the ANZ bank.
  • Cathryn Carver, managing director of Institutional Australia, ANZ.

The series is the flagship event of the Women in Global Business program, Mr Robb said, which this year is partnering with ANZ.

The Women in Global Business program is an initiative of the Australian Government, through its export, investment and education promotion agency Austrade, with support from State and Territory Governments.

Mr Robb said the initiative aims to inspire and support Australian businesswomen in their endeavours to export goods and services.

Keynote speakers at the events are:

Jia Liming  - Executive General Manager, Songtsam Lodges, Yunnan Province China.

Ms Jia was a founding member of Wild China, an award winning travel enterprise. She has designed travel products ever since, covering multiple destinations and pioneering active and high-end travel in China. Ms Liming has expanded the Songtsam Lodges business to five lodges, catering to high-end Chinese and foreign travellers, gaining international acknowledgement for this local independent brand.

Astrid Vasile - Chair, Australian Indonesian Businesswomen and Professionals Network

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Astrid Vasile.

 

Commencing in the aviation industry in Indonesia and later forming her own company Ms Vasile moved to Australia in 1998 joining a building and construction company. Today she is one of only 12 female certified registered builders in the construction industry. In 2010 she founded the Australian Indonesian businesswomen's and professionals network to promote bilateral relations and foster female economic empowerment. Ms Vasile was named a WA Business Partner of the Year in 2009, and Australian Business Partner of the Year Finalist in 2010.

Tania Motton - General Manager Regional Business Banking, Australia, ANZ

Ms Motton has worked for ANZ for 11 years. In her current role she is responsible for a business spanning 29 regions across Australia, supporting, commercial and agribusiness customers. Tania has varied experience across a broad range of industries including banking and finance, consulting and the resources sector. In one of her previous roles she was chief of staff to ANZ CEO Mike Smith. Ms Motton has lived and worked in Sydney, Perth, Thailand, Japan and the US.

Cathryn Carver - Managing Director, Institutional Australia, ANZ

Ms Carver began her career at ANZ as Head of Corporate Finance in 2005 before moving into Global Markets in 2008 as the global head of Capital Markets, relocating to Hong Kong in October 2010. Currently she is responsible for delivery of all ANZ's products and services to the largest corporate and financial institutions in Australia, working in partnership with regional teams across the globe, global product units and key enablement partners.

Julie-Anne Nichols - Senior Trade Commissioner, Austrade Guangzhou, China

Over the past decade Julie-Anne Nichols career has focussed on international trade promotion and facilitation, working for State and Federal-level Australian government agencies, including management roles for major events during the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo. Prior to joining the public service, Ms Nichols worked in consultancy and business development roles in Australia, China and Indonesia for Australian and international-based companies.

For more information on the Speaker Series or the program, visit www.wigb.gov.au/events

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Building a profile for your business in a competitive media landscape can be a challenging prospect. It doesn't get any easier when trying to penetrate a foreign market as famously unique and competitive as Japan.

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Marketing to Japan.

A Queensland Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry event tonight (March 2) offers the dos and don'ts, and how can you get bang for your limited marketing bucks from a renowned journalist and market analyst, Anthony Fenson, 

 After spending six years in Tokyo as a full-time journalist, including at the Daily Yomiuri and Nikkei Weekly, and with four years' experience in corporate communications in Brisbane, QJCCI member Anthony Fensom of BWH will outline some of the current opportunities and how to get the right message across in Australia and Japan. 

QJCCI general manager Paul Sergeant said, "Whether you read newspapers or Twitter, follow Facebook or Mixi, blog or watch YouTube, there is a media market for you and your business that can help you stand out from the crowd. 

"Don't miss this event," Mr Sergeant said.

The event starts at 5.30pm at Tattersall's Club, Brisbane. 

This event is sponsored by UniQuest, The University of Queensland's main commercialisation company (http://www.uniquest.com.au/ ) and BDO, one of Australia's largest associations of independently  owned accounting practices (http://www.bdo.com.au/brisbane

To book: http://qjcci.asn.au/content/standard.asp?name=Event_02032011

www.qjcci.asn.au

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BUSINESS leaders from Australia and the Asia-Pacific region will gather in Canberra on Thursday (June 27) to focus on the future Australian and global security agenda -- especially water and food security.

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Water provision and security may be a future regional flashpoint warns business forum.

The forum is concerned that, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard's impending visit to Indonesia in two weeks, Australian foreign relations spends more effort on transient issues than long-term 'game changers' that raise security risks, such as the water issues affecting the region.

Molly Harriss Olson, convener of the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development (NBLF) said the 2012 US Intelligence Assessment on Global Water Security, initiated by former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, concluded that several regions of the world such as the Indonesian archipelago, will face major challenges coping with water problems.

The report predicts that, during the next 10 years, many countries, including Indonesia, will experience water problems that will increase the risk of instability and state failure and exacerbate regional tensions significantly. Current trends to avoid water problems are further undermining national security, according to the report.

Ms Harriss Olson was the founding executive director of US President Bill Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development.

"The Federal Government has become very good at sticking plasters over problems, the Indonesian asylum situation is an example," Ms Harriss Olson said.

"What needs to be addressed is the situation in the country and one of the major concerns at this time is water security.

"Food and water security is a central global challenge that needs to be addressed urgently," Ms Harriss Olson warned.

She said since its beginning in 1998, the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development has pioneered leadership in sustainable business in Australia. The forum is set up as a not for profit organisation and its stated aim is to be the pre-eminent event on the Australian corporate calendar on these issues.

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Molly Harriss Olson.

 

Ms Harriss Olson said NBLF provides a vibrant platform to profile exceptional business leadership and has created a network of excellence and innovation for sustainable development in business. The forum provides corporate executives with the opportunity to engage with leaders from business, government, science and academia, about important emerging sustainability opportunities and how their companies can benefit from these innovative business practices.

Ms Harriss Olson said NBLF has often been the first to break through old paradigms by engaging with influential thinkers including former US Vice President Al Gore (2003); Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface (1998); Paul Hawken, author of The Ecology of Commerce (2000) and Kevin Rudd during his term as Prime Minister (2008).

In 2009, the executive director of the United Nations Global Compact, Georg Kell, said of the forum, “It is the most senior group of business and civic leaders reflecting more deeply on the critical issues of our time.”

The NBLF steering committee is: Forum chair, Rod Leaver of Asia Lend Lease; forum convenor Molly Harriss Olson of EcoFutures; Mara Bun, Green Cross Australia; Peter Carre, Water Resources Group; Simon Corbell, ACT Minister; Michael Costello, ActewAGL; Tim Costello, World Vision Australia; John Hewson, Global DC; Andrew Johnson, CSIRO; Simon Longstaff, St James Ethics Centre; Kim McKay, Momentum2; Sam Mostyn, Virgin Australia; forum chair emeritus, Martyn Myer; Michael Smith, Australian National University; John Thwaites, ClimateWorks Australia; Phillip Toyne, EcoFutures; Tim Williams, Westpac; Les Williamson, CISCO Systems.

The forum will be held at Parliament House, Canberra.

www.nblf.com.au

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