EXTRA: PROCLAIMING  products to be ‘Australian made’ is nowhere near enough to win Aussie customers according to a leading local food manufacturer.

Kez’s Kitchen founder and managing director, Michael Carp, has found that even though researchby Roy Morgan shows Australians have become more conscientious consumers of locally made food products, it is hardly carrying through to sales. 

Mr Carp said in his experience, ‘Australian-made’ food brands needed to better understand their customers, know the value of branding, be innovative in their product development, and deliver on promises more than ever.

To fail on those six vital points will see Australian food brands become less competitive and lose market share.

“Consumers may well be more aware that ‘Australian made’ gives them the freshest shelf ingredients, supports local jobs, and helps the economy, but with customers being more committed to buying Australian made, local food brands risk becoming less active in their product development and marketing,” Mr Carp said. “ Being ‘Australian made’ is only one factor among many that influences a customer’s choice to purchase, as well as a buyer’s decision to stock the product on shelves.”

 Mr Carp said local businesses must maximise the advantages of being Australian made.

“A major advantage is easier access to buyers,” he said. “For instance, Kez’s Kitchen recently received confirmation by a major supermarket for five new lines and will have products on the shelves in a couple of weeks.

“If we were importing, we’d lose this lead time in the shipping alone. Always deliver on promises to buyers, because if they’ve had a bad experience with you once, it’s not easy to win them back.”

Having manufactured locally for more than 23 years, and carved a strong market share and buyer loyalty, Mr Carp is well positioned to point out where local manufacturers – particularly the new brands – make their mistakes.

He highlighted six common product and branding mistakes Australian-made companies make: 

1. They don’t offer anything different. Consumers look out for new products that will excite and engage them.

“If ‘Australian-made’ brands offer products that emulate many others produced locally, there’s little motivation for consumers to switch brands,” Mr Carp said. “They will go with a lower cost item or the one they’ve always been buying. Food businesses must remain innovative. An example at Kez’s Kitchen is our development of the Taking Cafe Home range, which unlike other snack products on the market, brings the café experience to your own home.”

2. They focus on price, not quality. Consumers don’t always go for the lowest price shelf item – and the recent research that more Australians are buying locally made regardless of price, is proof.

 “Businesses need to be less concerned about reducing shelf prices and instead focus on producing a product of high quality, with a unique point of difference. A quality product is one that incorporates the best ingredients, is high in taste and texture and sometimes even offers a health benefit,” Mr Carp said

3. They don’t work on their brand. If consumers and buyers know and trust a brand, they’re more likely to buy. But these days, strong brands go further: they tell a story. Brands with a story can better engage customers, and create brand loyalty.

“Many businesses have a great story but don’t tell it,” Mr Carp said. “Ours is the growth of a biscuit business that my sister Kez began in my mum’s kitchen 23 years ago – and we take just as much pride in our products today. If food businesses don’t develop their brand image – whether they have a story or not – they’ll have a tough time reaching consumers, as major supermarkets will be less likely to stock their products. Strong brands can set a higher price and remain confident that buyers and consumers will purchase.

4. They don’t deliver on promises. If your brand and packaging makes bold statements about the products inside, you need to follow through.

“At Kez’s Kitchen, our key brand message is that we’re all about the taste, and we deliver this by producing high-flavour foods that we’re passionate about and consumers know and love. As this is a promise to consumers, we never make sacrifices on ingredients.

5. They don’t invest in packaging. While delivering on promises helps ensure repeat purchases, it’s the packaging that initially draws consumers in.

“Packaging is the most visible part of a food business, and businesses need to invest in research, development and design of the packaging,” Mr Carp said. “The packaging is also the most important platform for telling your brand story.”

6. They don’t adapt to change. Perhaps the easiest mistake is simply standing still.

“Not only are consumer needs and tastes changing, but competitors are getting better at what they’re offering. If you don’t adapt your brand and product you’ll be left behind. In a country as competitive as Australia, we need to get out of our comfort zones to continually improve.”





Extra research:

1. Roy Morgan research: http://www.australianmade.com.au/media/299171/1309%20Consumer%20research%20summary.pdf

AUSTRALIA risks increasing repair bills from extreme weather events and being unable to access capital for major projects if it does not get its response to climate change right, according to the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia. 

CEDA’s latest report The Economics of Climate Change, warns that the first place Australian governments will feel the effects of climate change is in dealing with infrastructure issues brought on by changing weather patterns.

CEDA chief executive, Stephen Martin said climate change was both an environmental and an economic issue, despite recent comments from senior politicians that seemed to question the latter.

“The undeniable fact is that Australia’s economy will be critically exposed on two significant economic fronts if we do not ensure an appropriate response to climate change,” Professor Martin said.

“The first area that leaves our economy exposed if we don’t take action, relates to the consequences of increasing extreme weather events and the economic and social impact that these events have on Australia’s production capacity.

“We only have to look at the news in recent years, both at home and abroad to see the devastation of these events – Cyclone Yasi, Black Saturday, the Queensland Floods, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and the repeated UK floods.

“Where these events have occurred in Australia they have had a direct impact on industry and on the hip pocket of most Australian’s from taxes used to fund drought relief packages to the Queensland flood recovery levy implemented in 2011.

“While most Australians are happy to help others in need during or following these events, if there are options to reduce impacts before they happen then we should be looking at them now.”

Prof. Martin said a good example of where action could have made a significant difference is Roma, Queensland. Roma has endured several significant floods in recent years.

“If a levee to protect the town had been built in 2005, it would have cost $20 million. However, since 2008 $100 million has been paid out in insurance claims and since 2005 a repair bill of over $500 million has been incurred by the public and private sectors,” Prof. Martin said.

“Statistics show that the number of catastrophic weather events is increasing and the economic losses associated with these events are also trending up which is why we need a national approach to address these risks.

“What Australia requires is a framework for assessing climate risks and considering possible actions that may lower those risks.

“The first step in managing these risks should be the introduction by the Federal Government of a national risk register. This should include strategies to manage risks of adverse climate events both in the public and private sector.”

The second area where Australia stands exposed economically to the effects of climate change relates to the availability of capital to fund its infrastructure and other critical needs.

“Australia is reliant on foreign capital to fund major projects and new developments in international climate change policy are likely to impact international capital flow and investment decision making,” Prof. Martin said.

“Applying climate-related risk assessments when considering investment and financing decisions is an emerging trend globally. This trend is likely to have consequences for nationally significant industries in Australia, such as the resources sector, and associated asset values.

“Australian businesses and governments need to ensure they keep in step with international developments and have the options available to move to less carbon intensive industries and energy sources if we are to remain globally competitive.

“We must invest in research and development to drive technological breakthroughs and have in place regulatory regimes for all energy sources, including nuclear, so that options can be taken up swiftly as technological breakthroughs occur.”

Prof. Martin said these could be undertaken through a ‘direct action policy’ if it was appropriately funded and targeted.

However, he said alone it is still unlikely to be enough to keep us in step with other economies, such as the two biggest – China and the US – who are both pursuing emissions reduction plans and are vitally important to our economy.

“In fact we appear to be one of the only countries trying to wind back its legislative approach to greenhouse gas emissions. Perhaps it’s time for a policy rethink on an emissions trading scheme,” he said.

The report can be accessed from the CEDA website here.




GLOBALLY, economic and trade growth seemed pretty dull throughout 2013. But Australia's Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) believes things should finally pick up in 2014.  

According to EFIC chief economist, Roger Donnelly, the US ‘Quantitative Easing' (QE) tapering is expected to mark 2014 but is unlikely to cause an emerging market crisis. However, he said, it could place overextended companies and industries under strain.

EFIC's just-released report, World Risk Developments, which looks back at 2013 and ahead to 2014, pointed out that Australian resource export volumes began to expand rapidly this year as new capacity from the investment boom went into production. However, it is likely to ramp up much further over coming years.

A large medium-term uncertainty for Australia is where commodity prices settle once the supply response to the earlier price boom completes. Commodity prices and the real exchange rate probably have further to fall, which augurs well for the non-resource export outlook.

EFIC is still anticipating a modest world rebound.

"With 2013 proving to be disappointing, most forecasters have shunted their hopes for a global economic rebound into 2014," Mr Donnelly said. "But they have resisted the temptation to forecast a sharp bounceback.

"Most see a return to the historical average of 3.5 percent or a little higher."

Over the longer term, Mr Donnelly sees "QE taper talk" hitting emerging markets. For example, when the US Federal Reserve outlined how tapering was imminent in reports this week, the US stock markets rose, indicating securities markets in the US have already factored in tapering for 2014.

Mr Donnelly said musings by Federal Reserve officials about the scaling-back of quantitative easing caused big sell-offs in various emerging economy financial markets back in May and subsequently until now.

"Some Cassandras even started to worry about Asia-vu all over again," Mr Donnelly said, referring to analytical models seeing another Asian financial crisis.

"In fact, the worst didn't happen, and nor do we think it will in future, because economies have learnt a lesson from the Asian financial crisis and built buffers against capital outflows.

 "Still, it will be important to watch South East Asian companies catering to the domestic market that have reportedly made large unhedged US dollar borrowings in industries like property development, retail and food."


Resource exports outpace non-resource exports

Mr Donnelly said it was hard not to see Australian resource exports hold their strength, but in different ways.

"In Australia, resource exports have been outpacing non-resource exports ever since the commodity supercycle got underway a decade ago, and 2013 continues this trend," MrDonnelly said.

"There is, however, a difference this year. Whereas past growth of resource exports was price-driven and volume-constrained, this year it is price-constrained and volume-driven. 

‘Since the commodity supercycle ended, resource exporters are having to absorb price cuts. Yet the large amount of resource investment in recent years has boosted capacity and supported a strong expansion of volumes, particularly of iron ore," he said.

"Resource exports are likely to continue to grow strongly in 2014 and beyond as more and more investments reach completion," MrDonnelly said.

"LNG will expand particularly rapidly, almost four-fold over the next four years."

Though non-resource exports have been struggling, EFIC sees the Australian dollar depreciation since earlier this year, and the likelihood of further currency weakness, will give resource exporters some boost next year.

"The big uncertainty facing Australian exporters into the medium term is how far commodity prices will fall as worldwide supply capacity expands to meet the increased demand that has emerged from ‘Chindia' and other emerging economies," Mr Donnelly said.

"One view is rapidly expanding resource export volumes and prices that plateau well above their long-run average will be perfectly sufficient to enable Australia to pay its way in the world.  The A$ will stay strong, and non-resource exports will stay weak.

"At the other extreme is a view advanced by Professor Ross Garnaut in his just published book, Dog Days: Australia After The Boom. He is much more bearish on resource export volumes and prices, and so thinks non-resource exports will have to make a bigger contribution to the balance of payments, induced through a 20-40 percent fall in the exchange rate."



AUSTRALIA's accounting sector has escaped labour slumps that have plagued other high profile professional sectors in Australia over the last six months, and a modest rise in demand for the profession is being seen as a positive indicator. Image According to the just-released Clarius Skills Indicator, demand for accountants, auditors and company secretaries was largely ‘balanced', rallying in the September quarter with a small surplus of 400 accountants compared with a surplus of 1,000 in the June quarter.

The Clarius Skills Indicator revealed a 2013 "slowdown in mining investment which has now peaked and poor consumer and business sentiment shut the cheque books of business prompting labour demand slides that impaled other sectors".

At this time a year ago, the market cried out for skilled ICT people with a shortage of more than 1,100 professionals. Now it appears to be oversupplied by 1,600 professionals and 200 managers.  

Similarly, demand in engineering slumped from a shortage of 3,000 professionals in September 2012 to an oversupply of 3,200 in the September quarter.

Sales and marketing was the only sector showing a skills shortage, lacking 600 managers.

Paul Barbaro, executive general manager of Lloyd Morgan, a division of the Clarius Group of recruitment companies, said there were small increases in demand for commercial accountants by small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), but these were offset by large companies - especially banks - electing to handle some requirements offshore.

"In a positive sign, there was a slight increase for commercial accountants, particularly with tax and auditing experience, among SMBs especially in Perth and Western Sydney," Mr Barbaro said.

"This was driven by an increased need to review, analyse and better understand their financial viability in the midst of a patchy economy and to stay abreast of tax rules and superannuation changes. 

"On the flip side, banking has been impacted by the cautious economic climate where some bigger players tried to differentiate themselves by keeping staff on-shore, with some actually increasing headcount.

"Offshoring however remained prevalent, particularly among back office administration. At some work sites, back office and non-customer facing contract roles were reduced by up to 90 percent with the majority heading to India."

The Clarius Skills Indicator showed the current surplus of Australian jobseekers of 134,000 greatly exceeded the GFC peak surplus of 90,000. However, focusing on the 10 major occupation categories representing about half of all white collar jobs, or more than four million employees, the oversupply is much smaller at the ‘skilled end' of the market where the surplus is reportedly 17,900.


Mr Barbaro said salary entitlements across the accounting, banking and finance spectrum had been stagnant through 2013.

According to the Clarius Skills Indicator, the market should expect increased demand for commercial accountants in the second half of 2014 as activity in the housing market ramps up and consumer confidence builds.

The expected abolition of the Carbon Tax and a more business-friendly industrial relations platform under the new Federal Government will also be factors, he said.

"This will become particularly apparent in SMBs where demand for management accountants, fund accountants, tax accountants, business managers and business analysts will become more buoyant," Mr Barbaro said.

"A portion of this activity will be self-correction as business was overzealous in scaling back roles in early 2013 when signs of the mining investment downturn filtered through."

The Clarius report outlined how the Australian labour market had undergone significant swings, driven by the shock and recovery from the GFC.

The Clarius Skills Indicator, previously known as the Clarius Skills Index, is produced in conjunction with Independent Economics, tracking the availability of skilled labour in the entire Australian labour market and providing a forecast for the year ahead.

It draws on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Commonwealth Department of Employment to measure oversupply and shortfalls for 10 major occupation categories, covering approximately half of all ‘white-collar' jobs (more than four million employees).





THE NEW Federal Government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made decisive steps to streamline government departments by amalgamating many focal sectors into broader portfolios. In some ways it is a Back to the Future approach, with some Federal Ministers assuming portfolios they handled in the John Howard years.

Tony Abbott has elevated Small Business and tightened up other Departments' scope.


“First term governments are best served by Cabinets with extensive ministerial experience,” Mr Abbott said. “ Fifteen members of the incoming Cabinet have previous ministerial experience.”

“The simplification of ministerial and departmental titles reflects my determination to run a ‘back to basics’ government. The Cabinet will be assisted by a strong team of ministers with proven capacity to implement the Government’s policies.”

In a landmark move, Small Business has gained a stand-alone presence in the new Federal Cabinet.

“Small business employs almost one in two Australians and its stand-alone presence in Cabinet acknowledges its role in job creation,” Mr Abbott said.

He described Small Business Minister Bruce Billson as “an evangelist for small business” who will drive the Government’s small business agenda.

Incoming Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, with a focus on “ensuring the Government delivers on its major infrastructure commitments across Australia” said Mr Abbott.

Jamie Briggs is the Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development “with specific responsibility for roads and delivery of our election commitments across metropolitan and regional Australia”.

Julie Bishop is Minister for Foreign Affairs in a position that takes on added responsibility of Australia’s new role on the United Nations Security Council and as Chair of the G20 from December 1 for 2014.Senator Brett Mason is Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Secretary.

Helping Australian business recover and grow to create more jobs is the focus for Senator Eric Abetz as Minister for Employment, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service and Leader of the Government in the Senate.

As part of this pendulum swing, Mr Abbott said the Coalition Government would restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission, return the industrial relations pendulum to the sensible centre and re-invigorate Work for the Dole.

Luke Hartsuyker is Assistant Minister for Employment and Deputy Leader of the House.Senator George Brandis QC is Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts and Vice President of the Executive Council. Mr Abbott said he would be responsible for establishing a bipartisan process “that will lead to a referendum and recognition of indigenous Australians in the Constitution”.

Michael Keenan is Minister for Justice.“Strengthening the economy, lifting productivity and turning around Australia’s competitive decline will be at the heart of the new Government,” Mr Abbott said.

“As Treasurer, Joe Hockey will lead the Government’s work to restore the Budget position and grow a stronger economy. Senator Mathias Cormann, as Minister for Finance, will be responsible for delivering better value for taxpayers. “

Senator Arthur Sinodinos AO will be Assistant Treasurer. His lifetime of experience in the public sector will provide further strength to our economic team."

Steven Ciobo is Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer and Michael McCormack Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance.

Barnaby Joyce is Minister for Agriculture. Mr Abbott said Mr Joyce would be “working to fulfil Australia’s potential as the food bowl of Asia”.

“The agricultural opportunities for Northern Australia in particular are immense,” the Prime Minister said. Senator Richard Colbeck is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture.

An area of major streamlining for the new Government is education, where many strands have been pulled into one.

Christopher Pyne is Minister for Education and Leader of the House and Mr Abbott said he was determined to “work with the states and territories to deliver real improvements across all aspects of education”.

“Labor’s decision to split education across multiple portfolios hindered the capacity of different parts of the system to work together to improve educational standards,” Mr Abbott said.

Sussan Ley is Assistant Minister for Education and Mr Abbott said she would continue her work with child care and early childhood education.

Senator Scott Ryan is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education.

Ian Macfarlane has returned to the role as Minister for Industry having held this portfolio during the last two terms of the Howard Government.

“Mr Macfarlane’s experience and record of success will be invaluable as we seek to build more competitive industries across Australia,” Mr Abbott said.

“The new Industry portfolio will include responsibility for energy and resources.

”Bob Baldwin MP is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry.

Kevin Andrews is  Minister for Social Services, responsible for the largest area of expenditure and payments in the Budget. The new department will also be responsible for settlement services, multicultural affairs and the administration of aged care.

Senator Mitch Fifield is Assistant Minister for Social Services responsible for the development of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and aged care.

Senator Marise Payne is Minister for Human Services. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Services with special responsibility for multicultural affairs and settlement services.

Malcolm Turnbull is Minister for Communications. He has promised to deliver a new business plan for the National Broadband Network (NBN) which will deliver fast broadband “sooner and at less cost”.

Paul Fletcher is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications.

Peter Dutton is Minister for Health and Minister for Sport. Senator Fiona Nash is Assistant Minister for Health.

Mr Abbott said responsibility for mental health will rest with Peter Dutton, “ensuring responsibility for this issue remains in Cabinet”.

Andrew Robb is Minister for Trade and Investment, with a focus on expanding Australia’s participation in free trade agreements (FTAs).

David Johnston is Minister for Defence. He will drive the development of the Defence White Paper as well as overseeing the Coalition’s defence procurement programme.

Senator Michael Ronaldson is Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Special Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC. Stuart Robert is Assistant Minister for Defence with responsibility for personnel matters.

Darren Chester is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence.

Greg Hunt is Minister for the Environment and his early focus is on abolishing the carbon tax, implementation of the Coalition’s Direct Action plan, the establishment of the Green Army and the creation of “a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals”. Senator Simon Birmingham is Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment with special responsibility for water.

Scott Morrison is Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Senator Michaelia Cash is Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Senator Cash is also Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women.

“Recognising its key role in border protection, Customs will be in this portfolio,” Mr Abbott said.

Fulfilling an election promise, the  administration of indigenous affairs will move into the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Senator Nigel Scullion will be Minister for Indigenous Affairs.


Recognising the value of deregulation to improving Australia’s productivity, responsibility for driving the Government’s deregulation agenda will shift to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Josh Frydenberg and Alan Tudge will be the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Secretaries.

Bronwyn Bishop will be the new Speaker of the House.

Warren Entsch will chair a new Joint Parliamentary Committee on Northern Australia.

Philip Ruddock has agreed to be Chief Government Whip. Nola Marino and Scott Buchholz have also agreed to be Whips. Mark Coulton is the Nationals’ Chief Whip.

The Senate Whips are elected by the Liberal and Nationals Senate Party Rooms. The current Senate Whips are Senator Helen Kroger (Chief Government Whip), Senator David Bushby (Deputy Government Whip), Senator Chris Back (Deputy Government Whip) and Senator John Williams (Nationals Whip).

“This is an experienced and talented team. It will deliver results for the Australian people from day one,” Mr Abbott said. 

Federal Government Ministries:

Prime Minister:  Tony Abbott
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Leader of the Nationals:  Warren Truss.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party: Julie Bishop.

Minister for Employment, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service, Leader of the Government in the Senate: Senator Eric Abetz.
Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate,  Vice-President of the Executive Council: Senator George Brandis QC
Treasurer: Joe Hockey.
Minister for Agriculture, Deputy Leader of the Nationals: Barnaby Joyce.
Minister for Education, Leader of the House: Christopher Pyne.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Leader of the Nationals in the Senate: Senator Nigel Scullion
Minister for Industry: Ian Macfarlane.
Minister for Social Services: Kevin Andrews.
Minister for Communications: Malcolm Turnbull.
Minister for Health, Minister for Sport : Peter Dutton.
Minister for Small Business: Bruce Billson.
Minister for Trade and Investment: Andrew Robb.
Minister for Defence: Senator David Johnston.
Minister for the Environment: Greg Hunt.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection: Scott Morrison.
Minister for Finance: Senator Mathias Cormann.




IT IS NO coincidence that senior political and public service figures are prominent at this year's National Small Business Summit in Brisbane this week, July 24-25.

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will address the National Small Business Summit.


Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and current Minister for Small Business, Tourism, Resources and Energy, Gary Gray - who was kept on in those roles when Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister  -- are both speaking at the NAB National Small Business Summit, being staged at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Mr Gray will close the first day's proceedings and Mr Abbott will deliver his keynote address following the Summit Breakfast on July 25.

Queensland Small Business Minister Jann Stuckey will also present, but perhaps as important to delegates will be the presence of senior public servants including Australian Taxation Office Commissioner Chris Jordan; Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Michael Schaper; Productivity Commissioner Warren Mundy and Australian Securities and Investments Commissioner Greg Tanzer.

Peter Strong, executive director of the Council of Small Business Australia (COSBOA) said this was the time for small business owners and operators to be the number one policy issue when it comes to the Australian economy.

"A huge number of votes lay in the balance and policy makers can no longer ignore the needs and issues of more than 2.5 million small businesses around the country," Mr Strong said.

"For too long regulators have refused to give us any leeway and demand that we have the same skills, resources and understanding as a big business. Small businesses are run by real people working to support themselves and their families, and they deserve more careful consideration by our policy makers.

"We implore all of our parliamentary leaders and government representatives to attend this year's summit and hear from small businesses first-hand to gain a greater understanding of the myriad of issues they face."

Mr Strong said the NAB National Small Business Summit brings industry and business representatives, senior politicians and bureaucrats together to keep the issues of small business people on the national agenda, and to ensure they are not overlooked in the lead up to the 2013 Australian federal election.

The Summit also provides small business owners with invaluable networking opportunities, take-home information and ideas, and will showcase the latest small business products and services.

Federal Small Business Minister Gary Gray is expected to make announcements at the Summit.



The Summit Breakfast on Thursday July 25 has been designed specifically for small business owners.

Small businesses wanting to better understand how to use social media will have the opportunity to hear from two of the nation's best social media marketers when

Nick Bowditch, SMB marketing manager at Facebook, and Troy Townsend, co-founder of Tiger Pistol face facts about social media and business.

Mr Strong said small business owners and operators will gain real insights into the world of social media at the breakfast session, themed I'm Liked and LinkedIn, what's next?

"Social media and online marketing are significant areas of opportunity for small business, and we regularly hear that business owners just don't understand how to use social media for business purposes or are just unsure of its potential," Mr Strong said.

"This breakfast session has been designed specifically for people who run small businesses to learn how social media and online campaigns can help grow and promote their business, as well as help engage and communicate with customers.

"Nick and Troy are the best in the business and we're lucky to have them attend and speak at this year's Summit Breakfast. We encourage all the local Brisbane businesses to come along and get a little more social media savvy."

Mr Bowditch has started and sold three online businesses in the last five years, all without a shopfront, staff or having to spend a cent on traditional marketing or advertising.

He was snapped up by Facebook after a representative heard him talk about the future of social media for small business at last year's Summit. Mr Bowditch's focus at Facebook is helping small businesses grow and thrive online.

Troy Townsend has over 10years of experience working in advertising, promotions and social media. Mr Townsend has worked on social media campaigns for some of the world's biggest brands such as NAB, AOL, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Pepsi, Subway, Schweppes, American Express and Village Roadshow.

He created Tiger Pistol to allow small businesses to engage with their customers easily, professionally and effectively.

A real life small business case study will also be presented as part of the breakfast session, from Marco Renai, founder and partner of Health Lifestyle Clinic based in Bundall on the Gold Coast. Mr Renai will demonstrate how he uses LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to connect and stay in touch with his clients.





IT MAY have been dominated by discussions on the war in Syria, but the G20 Leaders' Summit in St Petersburg last week was far from the failure described by many sections of the mainstream media. Significant progress was made on global trade, jobs, tax, anti-corruption and finance issues, according to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Business progress was high on the agenda at the St Petersburg G20 Leaders Summit.


According to the ICC, the G20 Summit maintained a focus on shared economic objectives for re-balancing the world economy through sustainable growth and jobs.

Among the detailed commitments was the G20 declaration's call to achieve a trade facilitation agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in December.

This standalone agreement could increase global GDP by US$960 billion annually, generate US$1 trillion in world export gains, and thereby create 21 million new jobs, according to a recent study commissioned by the ICC and conducted by the Peterson Institute.

The untold business story from St Petersburg was the steady progress G20 leaders are achieving between Summits on their shared economic agenda to increase sustainable growth and encourage job creation.

"The substantive nature and the deep degree of policy stewardship embodied in the Leaders' declaration is evidence that the annual Summit is only the most visible part of an ongoing, collaborative and productive process that has evolved since the G20's inception at head of state level in 2009," said ICC secretary general Jean-Guy Carrier.

"The work carried out by G20 officials over the last year has produced agreements on trade, trade finance, protectionism, taxation, anti-corruption and other measures central to the global business agenda."

G20 leaders spoke confidently about the value of their deliberations and conveyed highlights of their work programme to business leaders invited to a special session for social partners.

Members of the ICC delegation participating in the so-called Business-20 meeting with G20 Leaders included Mr Carrier, ICC chairman and president Harold (Terry) McGraw III, who is also the chairman, president and CEO of McGraw Hill Financial; ICC G20 Advisory Group chairman Marcus Wallenberg, who is also chairman of Sweden's SEB; and Mexico's Cinépolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez.

During the meeting, French President Francois Hollande told business leaders, "Agreements reached between G20 governments have the objective of creating economic growth and jobs, particularly for the young. We have also given a strong signal on trade, and there is a convergence of interests to agree."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized that the G20 had agreed strong measures to fight protectionism, which she said is the worst enemy of jobs and of growth.

President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso highlighted the importance of the G20's extension of the stand-still on protectionist measures to 2016 and the G20's consensus to "get a deal done" at the December WTO Ministerial Conference in Bali.

"ICC has been promoting policy recommendations to the G20 on these issues for several years," the ICC's Mr Carrier said.

"It's both rewarding to see progress and gratifying to receive endorsement from G20 leaders on the crucial role of Business-20 contributions," said Mr Carrier.

"The special session for social partners, held within the framework of the G20 Leaders' Summit, represented a significant development in the ongoing government-business dialogue in the G20 since Korea sponsored the first Business-20 Summit in 2010."

For the fourth consecutive year since Seoul, ICC and CEOs of the ICC G20 Advisory Group served as a strategic partner in the Business-20, holding leadership positions in the policy development process, publishing recommendations and progress reports on G20 implementation, and meeting with G20 leaders, sherpas and government officials.

"Remarks from UK Prime Minister David Cameron, reiterating that the G20 takes business issues seriously, are encouraging," Mr Carrier said. "This validates our mission, as the voice of international business, to press for the inclusion of business priorities in deliberations by G20 leaders."

Business attaches great importance to the G20 process, especially given that many of today's major economic problems require a global approach.

The ICC prepared a concise list of progressive outcomes emerging from discussions at St Petersburg:

  • The G20's agreement to freeze the introduction of protectionist measures by extending the standstill agreement until 2016 is a significant achievement amidst different perspectives on trade, and one that, due to the resolve and commitment of G20 nations, will stabilize conditions to generate growth and more jobs. If the G20 builds on this type of consensus and begins the process of removing trade barriers, global GDP could increase by as much as US$7 trillion.
  • In the face of proliferating Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs), the timely recognition by the G20 of the need to ensure consistency between RTAs and WTO principles and rules for the multilateral trading system provides essential leadership to the world's trading partners, especially with the emergence of preferential trade pacts between large trading blocks and in a world where trade is increasingly organized on the basis of global supply chains.
  • The G20 mandate to the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) can be strengthened by including an assessment of the impact of banking regulations on trade finance so as to avoid restricting the availability, stability and sustainability of trade finance. Increasing the availability of trade finance by 5% could increase global production and jobs by 2%.
  • The G20 commitment "... to facilitate domestic capital market development and improve the intermediation of global savings for productive long-term investments, including in infrastructure and to improve access to financing for SMEs" is critical to encouraging private sector investment and SME generated jobs and growth. ICC, through its network of more than 6 million companies, stands ready to work with the G20 and intergovernmental organizations to realize these objectives.
  • In the lead-up to Australia 2014, ICC encourages G20 leaders to mandate multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to frame and promulgate global project preparation guidelines for sustainable infrastructure projects. These measures will help identify 'bankable projects' for investors and provide the confidence to begin supplying capital to the US$600 billion annual shortfall in infrastructure investment projected over the next 25 years.
  • The establishment of a high-standard multilateral framework for investment, led by G20 countries and based on ICC Guidelines for International Investment could help restore FDI flows by as much as 25% and help create a more stable and predictable investment environment while lifting impediments to the mobilization of private capital.
  • ICC has for many years led the fight against corruption on behalf of world business and therefore welcomes continuation of the dialogue between the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group and the Business-20 group on anti-corruption, as an effective means to reduce remaining challenges. Implementation of Business-20 recommendations could result in the eradication of $1 trillion in bribes, and lead to a 1% increase in economic growth in developing countries and a 5% increase in investment.
  • The G20 endorsement of the OECD action plan addressing base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) is a welcome development. As the G20 takes its BEPS work forward, ICC encourages close consultation with the business community to develop an international tax system that promotes the transparent and non-discriminatory treatment of foreign investment and earnings and eliminates obstacles to trade and investment.
  • The extended mandate for the G20 Energy Sustainability Working Group (ESWG) is important to the G20's ability to address cross-border sustainable development challenges, clean energy, and energy efficiency. A key priority for the G20 should be to address recurring business recommendations on energy efficiency, especially given their potential to spur investments and reduce economic leakages caused by inefficient energy consumption. Energy efficiency improvements have the potential to generate $1 trillion in annual energy cost savings in the OECD alone. 

The Australian representatives on the ICC G20 Advisory Group were Corrs Chambers Westgarth CEO and partner John Denton and ANZ Bank CEO Michael Smith. However another key contributor is Australia's Andrew Liveris who is chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company, headquartered in the United States, who has also been on US President Barack Obama's economic advistory panel.

Other members of the Business-20 group include Yassin S. Al-Suroor, president and CEO, A'amal Group (Saudi Arabia); Cesar Alierta Izuel, executive chairman, Telefonica (Spain); Emilio Azcarraga Jean, CEO, Televisa (Mexico); Antonio Brufau, Chairman & CEO, Repsol (Spain); Paul Bulcke, CEO, Nestle (Switzerland); Carlos Bulgheroni, Chairman, Bridas Corporation (Argentina); Kimball Chen, Chairman & CEO, Energy Transportation Group (United States); Marijn Dekkers, CEO, Bayer (Germany); Eduardo Eurnekian, Chairman and CEO, Corporacion America (Argentina); Pierre Froidevaux Chavan, Chairman, ICC Mexico (Mexico); Victor K Fung, Chairman, Li & Fung (Hong Kong); Kris Gopalakrishnan, Executive Vice Chairman of Infosys Ltd (India); Ilham Habibie, CEO and President Director, PT Il Thabi Bara Utama (Indonesia); Rifat Hisarc?kl?oglu, Chairman, Eskihisar Group and President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (Turkey); Alexander Izosimov, Partner, Deep Roots Capital (Russia); Sheikh Al-Thani Khalifa, Member of the Board of Directors, Doha Insurance and Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Qatar); Seung Youn Kim, CEO, Hanwha (Korea); Young Tae Kim, Chairman, Daesung (Korea); David Kinyua,, Chairman, Aberdares Water Company (Kenya); Gérard Mestrallet, CEO, GDF Suez (France); Yogendra Kr. (YK) Modi, chairman and CEO, Great Eastern Energy (India); Raghu Mody, chairman, The Rasoi Group (India); Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO, Novozymes (Denmark); Mahendra Sanghi, chairman, MK Sanghi Group (India); Martin Senn, CEO, Zurich Insurance Group (Switzerland); Jean-Pascal Tricoire, president and CEO, Schneider Electric (France); Peter Voser, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell (United Kingdom/Netherlands); Gérard Worms, vice chairman, Rothschild Europe and chairman of the ICC (France); and Zola Tsotsi, chairman, Eksom Holdings (South Africa).


* ICC is the largest, most globally representative business organisation in the world. Its global network comprises more than six million companies, chambers of commerce and business associations in more than 130 countries, with interests spanning every sector of private enterprise. ICC represents business views and priorities to the United Nations network of agencies, the World Trade Organization, the G20 and other international and regional intergovernmental bodies. ICC's worldwide network of national committees operates at the doorstep of governments in over 90 countries, enabling ICC to channel business priorities to policymakers and stakeholders where it matters most. More than 2000 experts drawn from ICC's member companies feed their knowledge and experience into crafting the ICC stance on specific business issues.

The Peterson Institute report, Payoff from the World Trade Agenda 2013, can be found at:



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