Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR)

COALAR Strategic Plan 2011-2014

The Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) was created in March 2001 by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade, for an initial period of three years. Following a review in 2004, COALAR's mandate was extended for a further three-year period to 30 June 2007. In 2007 the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade decided that the Council would have on-going status with effect from 7 February 2007 and that the continuation of the Council would no longer be subject to periodic review. All eight of the current COALAR Executive Committee members were appointed on 1 July 2010 by the Minister for Foreign Affairs in consultation with the Minister for Trade.


COALAR is a key advisory element of the Government's engagement with Latin America. Under the supervision of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade – exercised on a day to day basis by the Executive of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – it provides advice on a grants program and other activities related to Latin America to advance Australia's business, cultural and diplomatic objectives. COALAR's Executive Committee brings together representatives from business, government, and academia to ensure that the approach to Latin America benefits from a wide variety of experiences and insights, and to enhance links between business and government.

COALAR seeks to complement other government programs and private sector initiatives, leveraging off them where appropriate, and employing its resources to enhance their strategic effects. COALAR supports innovative activities that have clear outcomes, seeking to ensure the benefits of such activities are spread as widely as possible, with a special focus on assisting the initiation of activities that are likely to prove self sustaining thereafter (or 'seed-funding'). A key objective of COALAR is to build sustainable networks between Australia and Latin America across its areas of interest.

COALAR expects to support industry specific events including contributing to Austrade's activities. COALAR will look to sponsor events which showcase "Australia Unlimited" by promoting Australia's branding across industries. COALAR aims to promote Australia as a centre for global investment in infrastructure, and as a regional financial centre. COALAR expects to support projects which would help Australian companies to compete in the marketplace over time for significant, country specific events, for example, the construction, staging and logistics of major sports events in Latin America, including the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

As a rule, COALAR would not support activities that directly benefit the commercial interests of a single enterprise, such as market research or narrow promotional activities, or where other sources of funding (including commercial funding) would be more appropriate and readily available. All activities supported by COALAR must be clearly seen to support COALAR's objectives, and meet appropriate standards of probity, efficiency and value for money.

Mission Statement

To achieve these objectives, the members of COALAR will undertake a range of outreach activities – including personal contact with key decision makers in government and business. The Council will also support collaborative activities in five priority areas:

In addition, during the 2011-2014 triennium, COALAR will investigate and support activities in new areas including science, energy technology, agribusiness, youth and mid career leadership and sports cooperation.

Outlined below are the goals and strategies that will be engaged by COALAR to meet the Council's objectives across the priority areas outlined above.

Goals and strategies

Goal 1

To enhance and strengthen links between Australia and Latin America, particularly in the areas of business, education, sustainability, tourism and cultural promotion.


Goal 2

To influence corporate Australia to initiate closer engagement with Latin America.


Goal 3

To increase awareness and understanding of Australia in Latin America and of Latin America in Australia.


Business Plan

The Council will develop an annual business plan of activities.


COALAR's Strategic Plan 2011-2014 activities will include: