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Business Envoy February 2022

Global Insights - Dispatches from the diplomatic network

Korea: Coffee diplomacy growing demand for Australian products

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the Republic of Korea, Australia was the Country of Honour at Seoul Café Show 2021, Asia's biggest food and beverage business platform. The Australian pavilion featured speciality coffee demonstrations, promoted Aussie blends, held business-matching activities and promoted Australian tourism and lifestyle. The first mega public event since the Korea government introduced its living ‘with Corona' policy, the show attracted 100,000 in-person visitors. This is because Koreans love coffee! Recently Melbourne-style cafes, often established by those who visited Australia on the working holiday maker program, have gained popularity among young Koreans. And independently owned Aussie-style speciality coffee shops are now more visible not only in Seoul but in other regional areas such as Jeju, Ganereung and Busan.


Australian coffee promotion by the Australian Embassy, Seoul
Australian coffee promotion by the Australian Embassy, Seoul.

India: Australia steals spotlight at Asia's largest tech event

Australia had the highest profile and largest foreign presence at the Bengaluru Tech Summit. Led by Prime Minister Morrison, Australia's 320-strong virtual delegation included ministers, policy makers and CEOs. As a country partner, Australian content had prime positioning – viewed 40 million times including by 27,000 delegates from 48 countries. Over the course of the three-day event, 15 Australian panellists showcased Australia's cyber, critical tech and innovation credentials, and promoted market access programs and visa pathways into Australia.

Prime Minister Morrison announced two major initiatives under the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to deepen bilateral technology engagement – a Consulate-General in Bengaluru and Centre of Excellence for Critical and Emerging Technology Policy in India. These initiatives will enhance access to India's technology marketplace and accelerate growth in Australia-India collaboration from cyberspace to outer space.

New South Wales: Australian agrifood - Harnessing the power of data-driven research

Australian food production and global food supply chains are going digital, thanks to work led by the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). The CRC invests in new data-driven technology such as artificial intelligence, advanced data analytics and blockchain to make Australian agrifood systems more productive, sustainable and globally competitive. A global collaboration between Australian agtech company, The Yield, Bosch, Yamaha Motor and University of Technology Sydney is building the next generation of automated horticultural technology. Trials are underway at Treasury Wine Estate vineyards in Australia and the US, piloting new robotic and sensor technology. And in 2021, for the first time ever, Costa Avocadoes sent a shipment of its premium Lovocados to Asian markets by sea freight, rather than air, using data modelling to determine optimum transport conditions and measure robustness of the fruit throughout the supply chain.

Victoria: Australia's booming medical technology sector

The medical technology and pharmaceuticals (MedTech/MTP) industry has experienced strong growth, with exports growing 16 per cent per year since 2016. The MTP sector is now the eighth largest export segment in Australia, worth around $8.2 billion. CSIRO estimates the sector will be worth $3 trillion globally by 2025. Victoria is home to 37 per cent of Australia's MTP organisations, producing over 47 per cent of Australia's pharmaceutical exports. Australia has cemented its reputation for high-quality, fast and cost-effective clinical trials. From 2015-2019, the number of trials increased 22 per cent and are estimated to contribute $1.1 billion to the economy each year. The Australian Government offers a research and development tax incentive of 43.5 per cent for trials and 35 per cent of Australia's national dedicated phase 1 facility beds for human clinical trials are in Victoria. Many large, global MTP companies have their headquarters or manufacturing plants in Victoria, including Symbion, Pfizer, Ego Pharmaceuticals and CSL – one of the top five companies on the ASX and Australia's largest medical technology company. Victoria also hosts several of the world's leading medical research universities and institutions.


Melbourne’s world-class biomedical precinct in Parkville.
Melbourne's world-class biomedical precinct in Parkville. Peter Bennetts courtesy of Plenary Group.


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