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Business Envoy December 2019 - Celebrating Australia’s diversity in business banner

Indigenous business goes global

Austrade and Supply Nation led an Indigenous Australian business mission to Canada with a focus on opportunities in mining equipment, technology and services and construction.

The business mission coincided with the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF), dedicated to strengthening ties between indigenous entrepreneurs, held in Vancouver from 9-10 October 2019.

The wide-ranging program of engagements and activities developed by the Austrade and Supply Nation, an Indigenous supplier diversity organisation aimed at government and corporate supply chains, included meetings with multinational energy and resources firms.

The mission delegates participated in indigenous-to-indigenous business matching events with the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Suppliers Council and the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business. They also joined representatives from the National Indigenous Australians Agency and Supply Nation to discuss Australia’s Indigenous Procurement Policy with representatives from the Canadian Government’s Ministry of Indigenous Relations.

In addition to the delegates of the Austrade-Supply Nation trade mission, more than 60 Australian participants attended the WIBF event. Austrade co-hosted a joint reception for attendees with Canada, New Zealand and the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business, taking the opportunity to highlight Australia’s dynamic Indigenous business sector.

It was clear that there was a strong sense of common purpose among the Australian delegation and participants at the Forum. The Australian group included representatives from the National Indigenous Australians Agency, Indigenous Business Australia, the Northern Territory Indigenous Business Network and Kinaway Chamber of Commerce, supported by the Northern Territory and Victorian governments respectively. As well as representatives from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Austrade.

The business mission provided the Indigenous business delegates with an overview of indigenous procurement in Canada and the opportunity to engage with Canadian companies operating or seeking to expand into the Australian market. With Australian Indigenous businesses seeking to work with Canadian companies both in Australia and in Canada, and vice versa, there are growing opportunities for Australia’s Indigenous businesses to enter global supply chains. Australian delegates are following up on these opportunities and are looking forward to Darwin’s hosting of the WIBF in 2021.

At this year’s Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply Australasia Conference, DFAT was announced as the winner of the 2019 Award for Diversity and Inclusion category, recognising our commitment to expanding the Indigenous procurement policy and engagement of the Indigenous business sector in the delivery of our Development Cooperation program.

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