Opening new market doorways
A priority for the Australian Government is expanding the opportunities for our exporters by opening more commercially significant and emerging markets.
Latin America countries tick many boxes, with a strategic geographic position, GDP of USD 5.2 trillion (2019), and a growing middle class of 46 million (2018), estimated to grow to 335 million by 2030. Latin America offers promise and opportunity for Australian business to diversify.
One of our most important areas of economic cooperation – mining – has already proven to be a source of strength in recovery. Over 60 ASX listed mining companies operate in Latin America. These vary from small exploration projects to fully operational mines extracting and producing significant minerals and creating thousands of jobs. There are over 100 Australian mining equipment technology and services (METS) companies with offices or representatives based across Latin America.
There is significant potential for Australian companies across a broad range of sectors – mining, education, renewables, services, technology – to bring their expertise and capital to deliver projects that will create jobs and drive growth.
On 14 October 2020, the Australia Latin America Business Council (ALABC) hosted the Annual Business Networking Day on the theme of ‘Latin America: Diversify Your Growth”.
This year, due to COVID-19, this session was held as an online virtual event connecting over 100 business, academic and diplomatic participants from across Australia and Latin America. The event was jointly delivered with the Council on Australia Latin American Relations (COALAR) which had provided a grant of $20,000 in 2020-21 to support ALABC’s development of digital platforms. Keynote speakers were the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham; Chairman of ALABC, Mr Richard Andrews; the newly appointed Chair of COALAR and CEO/Managing Director of Orica, Mr Alberto Calderon; and Vice-President Latin America Economics at Scotia Bank, Mr Eduardo Suarez. A panel discussion about the Latin America Economic Outlook drew together a range of eminent speakers on how companies, government and universities could collaborate to position Latin America as an area for business diversification and growth for Australian companies and organisations.