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ALABC's monthly newsletter, "Latam News," keeps members and supporters abreast of developments taking place in the Latin American markets. Locked articles can be read by paid ALABC members, including Individual, SME, Corporate and Patron.
Features this month include: BHP Billiton signs historic agreement with Pemex  Unlocking opportunities for Australian business    BOOK NOW!                                                  &nbs... Sign-in to read

Latam News 27-02-2017
Features this month include: Carsales.com to expand LatAm footprint                                       Sporting events offer extensive opportunities ‘Cross-Border M&A Deal of the Year’ goes to Pacific Hydro Quantifying market ... Sign-in to read

Latam News 30-01-2017
Features this month include: Sale of Arrium’s Moly-Cop completed Austrade sustainable mining mission to Mexico and Panama Inaugural Latin America Infrastructure Forum Regional Panorama – business news highlights 5 key mobile trends in Latin America  Chile’s mining sector likely to experience labour unrest M... Sign-in to read


Major sporting events in Latin America offer opportunities for Australia

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games and the Lima 2019 Pan American Games are providing a range of opportunities for Australian businesses.

The sporting events require architects, designers, construction companies, event planners and producers among other services.

Marie Hill, Austrade’s Trade Commissioner for Peru, said Australia is internationally known for its depth of experience in all aspects of staging major sporting events.

‘Australian companies have played key roles at major sporting events including Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, FIFA and Rugby World Cup tournaments and the Asian Games,’ said Hill.

‘They have assisted with all aspects of major sporting events from initial construction and planning to Olympic torch design to opening and closing ceremonies.

‘With proven capabilities and a demonstrated record in helping host nations deliver successful events, Australian businesses are ideally suited to assist in Latin America, as event organisers call for tenders and secure suppliers,’ added Hill.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, host of the 2018 Youth Olympic Games from 30 September-12 October 2018, infrastructure opportunities include the development of new facilities and upgrading existing venues.

Key projects include Argentina’s Olympic Park which encompasses an athletics venue, aquatic centre and playing fields for several sports like hockey, where Australia’s expertise in developing such facilities is internationally recognised. Suppliers of sports material and equipment are also in demand.

The 2019 Pan American Games and Para-Pan American Games held in Lima, Peru from 26 July-11 August 2019, offer a variety of opportunities for Australian suppliers to assist with infrastructure, equipment and services.

COPAL, the Organising Committee of the Lima 2019 Pan American Games, will use the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) to manage all Games-related procurement and is expected to announce major infrastructure tenders in mid-March 2017. The details of service projects are also likely to be known once infrastructure projects commence.

‘To date, four local companies have told Austrade of their interest in partnering with Australian counterparts to bid for Games-related projects,’ said Hill.

‘Peru’s two largest infrastructure firms are interested in working with Australian firms who hold sports infrastructure expertise and international experience, as well as suppliers of relevant building products and sporting equipment.’

Hill said these partnerships would assist in bidding on key infrastructure projects which include the athlete’s village, athletics venue, aquatic centre, and indoor multi-purpose sports centres; as well as upgrading existing facilities like the soft roof to Lima’s cycling velodrome and resurfacing sports tracks.

‘Austrade has also generated interest in Australian companies forming partnerships to help establish an accredited anti-doping laboratory in Lima.’

Other potential opportunities include providing services in security, hospitality, transport, traffic management and volunteer training.

‘Further opportunities are likely and a trade mission to Lima and Buenos Aires is planned for March 2017. The mission which will include meetings with event organising committees and facilitate introductions with prospective local partners.

‘The 2019 Pan America Games will provide additional opportunities to build relationships between Australia and Peru on a number of levels through our common sporting interest,’ added Hill.

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games is expected to attract 7,000 attendees from 206 countries and involve more than 3,800 athletes.

While the Lima 2019 Pan America Games is anticipated to involve 6,500 athletes and Para-Pan American Games 1,800 para-athletes in nearly 400 events, attracting over 75,000 visitors.

These events follow Latin America’s success in hosting international sporting events – the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Visit Austrade’s website for more information about the Lima 2019 Pan American Games and doing business in Argentina.

Latam News 21-12-2016
Features this month include: Latam Airlines to fly non-stop from Melbourne to Santiago BHP Billiton secures important deal with Pemex Chile’s Mining Minister awarded an AM by Australia  Argentina’s Vice President to visit Australia in March  Uruguay’s President to visit Australia in April Pedro Villagra-Del... Sign-in to read


David Landers - Speech 2nd Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum Melbourne 6 December, 2016

David Landers 

Speech 2nd Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum 

Melbourne 6 December, 2016  


Download the presentation

Introduction (slide 1) 

Good morning everyone. It’s a great pleasure for me to be here today and to speak with you at this Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum. 

You’ve heard a lot about the Australia-Chile relationship so far, and so today I’d really like to speak to you about “The Big picture through the unique lense of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission” and what this picture could mean for the relationship moving forward.  

As you’re all well aware, the mining sector has been an important block in the foundation of the relationship between our two countries; one that has had significant flow on effects for other parts of the industry. Indeed, there are now over 90 Australian companies providing services and technologies to Chile’s mining industry and Austrade has worked to both support our established companies and also to provide opportunities for new entrants.  

But now, I’m going to focus on our plan to take the Australia-Chile bilateral trade and investment relationship to the next level. Following on from our success in mining, businesses in other industries have begun to enter Chile with greater regularity, whilst more sophisticated trading platforms are enhancing the way in which we do commerce globally.  As both Chile and Australia’s economies diversify, it is these emerging areas that will become the new engines of growth between our two countries, and therefor today I’ll be sharing with you:

1) the trends we have identified beyond the mining sector 

2) How we can boost these new areas by joining forces: Going from competition to competitive complementarity

3) How Australians are using Chile as a springboard for doing business regionally.   

1. Chile 3.0: Beyond mining   
So where is our trade relationship now? 

Chile is Australia’s main trading partner in Latin America. We have an FTA and a double taxation agreement in place. This has facilitated trade between our countries with two way trade in goods and services amounting to just over $1 billion. Chile is home to over 180 Australian companies and other entities.  (Prompt: Move to slide 2)  

Whereas our presence in the region used to be defined by names such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, we have entered a new period of engagement where companies such as SEEK, carsales.com.au, Amcor, Latam Autos, Cochlear, and Nufarm are seizing a different set of opportunities. The trend is not driven by mineral wealth but by the growing wealth of the middle class and increasing connectivity in the region. 
Austrade understands this trend, and through our office in Santiago is working to exploit opportunities across a range of industries to ensure the continued expansion of our relationship:  (Prompt: Move to slide 3)

a. Health:  We are very proud of our capabilities in the health sector. Australia’s medical technologies are making a global impact; solutions such as the cervical cancer vaccine, the cochlear implant (the bionic ear) and multi focal contact lenses are just a few Australian inventions that have transformed the lives of people around the world.    

These solutions are making their way to Chile, where Cochlear implants are helping the hearing impaired and where Truscreen’s portable cervical cancer screening device should soon be providing real time, 99% accurate detection of cervical cancer. 

  We are exploring cooperation in the aged care sector. Chile, much like the rest of Latin America, is trending towards the progressive ageing of its population. By 2050 Chile will have the second largest percentage of senior citizens in all of Latin America with 30.6% of the population. This increase in the ageing population requires a range of public policy responses to address a number of challenges and issues that this demographic trend presents. In the last 20 years, Australia has seen a similar pattern, implementing policies, skills and aged care infrastructure relevant to address the needs of our senior citizens. As such, there is an explicit experience that we can share. 

b. Infrastructure: Our engineering companies, which have established themselves in the mining sector are now successfully diversifying and pursuing opportunities in other sectors.   

With over 15 years in Chile, GHD is leading the charge on this front. Today, GHD is working on major projects across multiple sectors, including: 

  • the engineering study for the repair works of the recently collapsed Tolten bridge;
  • studies for the expansion of one of Chilean Patagonia’s most dangerous navigation channels (the Kirke Channel); 
  • redesigning the promenade of the beautiful southern city of Frutillar and 
  • power plant engineering, to name a few.     

Australian transport infrastructure expertise is also finding a receptive audience as the government looks to double rail cargo and more than triple passenger numbers by 2020 with a US$7.6bn reform. It has already identified Australia as a compatible partner given similarities in the two country’s rail systems and Austrade secured a keynote address slot for an Australian expert in rail communications systems at a major seminar for stakeholders this year and we are of course pleased to be hosting the Vice-Minister for Transport this week.    
c. Agribusiness and Food:  Both of our countries are agricultural power houses.  Our geo-climatic conditions are very similar and we share export destinations. Hence, it’s not surprising to observe increasing cooperation amongst our agencies and a growing number of agri-tech companies exploring opportunities in each other’s countries.  

  There is an increasing number of Chilean wine-tech companies (such as Cargobulk) and enologists in Australia’s wine industry. We see Australian automation equipment companies (GP Graders), seed (Valley Seeds) and water solution (Rubicon, Sentek) companies successfully establishing themselves in Chile. Over the past 24 months we have welcomed farmers from Chilean Patagonia who have visited our shores in search of sheep and cattle genetics and fruit producers seeking water management solutions.   

We are also very excited to share that CSIRO and Chile’s National Institute for Agricultural Innovation are exploring joint cooperation to investigate and find solutions to common challenges in the agricultural sector.  

d. Education:  Productivity is high on the Chilean government’s agenda and there is a renewed focus on skills and vocational education and training as part of the country’s ambitious education reforms. The Australian Qualifications Framework and training packages have become a model to be shared and adapted according to the local needs. The Chilean Skills Council for Mining is an example of this. The Chilean g overnment is set to create 15 new public tertiary level VET institutions, with potential opportunities for Australian institutions across curriculum development and teacher training.  The creation of a new Ministry of Science and Technology has been announced and a greater emphasis on strengthening local research capacity and capability is expected as a result of this.   

What we identify (beyond pure trade) is in fact the opportunity for our companies, educational institutions and science agencies to join forces with their Chilean counterparts to tackle even greater opportunities.   

2. Competitive Complementarity 

 (Prompt: Move to slide 4) 

Both Chileans and Australians are diggers, planters and service providers. To us, that means that whilst we could be viewed as natural competitors, the nature of that competition is highly complementary and makes us ideal partners in a number of fields.  

We both do well on the international business stage and have similar business cultures. Both of our countries are platforms for our respective regions: Australia for Asia and Chile for Latin America. Our universities and research agencies are working together and we offer each other’s companies fertile business environments. These are more than just observations; our companies and research institutions have already developed a number of strong and successful partnerships.   
As is to be expected, some of our strongest partnerships have been in the METS space, where we have seen cases like Seeing Machines team up with GTD and create Seeing Machines Chile. They are well established in the Chilean market and are now exploring opportunities in Brazil and Mexico. Conymet is a well-known Chilean Mining services Company that went to Australia, invested in Duratray, and is now selling Duratray’ s mining truck dump trays to Chile’s main mine operators. Romteck and Vantaz have also teamed up to form a distribution partnership. Thanks to Vantaz, Romteck’s technology is now monitoring mining employee fatigue in both Chile and Peru.  

Like our relationship more broadly, these partnerships are extending beyond the mining industry. For instance, in Agribusiness we can see Rubicon Water teaming up with Agro Riego Tattersall to pursue opportunities in Chile and now Peru.   

We can see that cooperation is growing organically in mining and agriculture, let’s look at a few other potential areas of competitive complementarity:    
a. Services  (Prompt: Move to slide 5) 

Both countries’ services sectors are considerable. In Australia, services represent 80% of our GDP. In Chile, the services sector accounts for 61.5%1 GDP, putting it at the lower end of the developed economies range.  

As you can see from the graph, our service industries are at different stages of development. Australia’s larger and more mature services sector therefore has the opportunity to provide solutions to Chilean businesses in several critical sectors.  

Chile’s services sector is made up of business and financial services, transport and communication, hotels and restaurants and personal services such as education, healthcare and real estate. Australia’s sector correlates well, with financial and insurance services leading the way, closely followed by construction and healthcare. One area where the opportunity for cooperation is high is in:  

Agricultural services. Both Australia and Chile have had to resolve similar challenges in the Agri sector. These range from high labour costs, to water management, to pasture improvement. Our companies and research agencies are already engaged with Chilean counterparts and customers. We see considerable potential in following the steps of mining companies and joining forces to service this sector, where we have common customers in Asia.  
These services areas provide exciting opportunities for collaboration which we look forward to pursuing.      

b. GVC’s:  (Prompt: Move to slide 6) 

A 2013 OECD study reported that approximately 70% of world trade is structured within multinational corporation (MNC) global value chains. That is to say, 70% of world trade is in unfinished goods.  

The income from trade flows within GVCs has more than doubled between 1995 and 2010. For China it has increased six-fold, India five-fold and Brazil three-fold. GVCs are an integral part of the global economy now, and will only grow in importance over time.  

Increased engagement in GVCs by our respective countries is therefore essential to boost our relevance and competitiveness in the global economy.   

This is particularly the case as certain functions of MNC value chain decision making and production nodes move into countries and regions such as Mexico, South Asia and ASEAN to access a trifecta of innovation, cost efficiencies and proximity to significant emerging customer bases.   

Australia’s strong reputation for innovation, a highly educated workforce, urbanised and digitally connected means that Australia is well-placed to take advantage of global opportunities related to the evolving needs of multinationals.     
Austrade is pursuing this strategy through customer access programs, by working with major MNC customers to diagnose and prioritise particular needs in relation to their value chains and then employing a ‘Team Australia’ approach to identify and position best-in- class Australian solutions.   

Chile’s favourable trade and investment openness create an attractive environment for Global Value Chains. Low import tariffs, both at home and in export markets, and engagement in preferential trading agreements position Chile well in Central and South America.   
Chile has easy access to a number of GVC’s operating within its borders. Together we can access opportunities in: Mining, Fisheries (Biomar, Aqua-Chile Marina Harvest, Cermaq) and Agriculture (Ferrero Rocher, Nestle) Another option, which is closer to home and a much more immediate strategy for Austrade is the regional migration of our companies.   

3) Australia-Chile - regional springboards for migration  (Prompt: Move to slide 7)  

Chile is familiar to Australian businesses and provides a direct entry point to Latin America. It’s a great country for Australians to familiarize themselves with the business environment and then grow.  Likewise, Australia is familiar to Chilean businesses and provides an excellent gateway to Asian markets.   
This slide is a good illustration of how Australian companies, universities and science agencies are using Chile as a springboard for regional migration. It shows companies that have set up their operations in Chile (either by establishing a subsidiary or engaging a representative) and have then gone on to either establish offices or pursue opportunities in Argentina, Peru and Colombia.   

Helping Australian companies, universities and science agencies grow and pursue opportunities in neighbouring countries is a key component of Austrade’s strategy. We have agile and closely connected teams posted across the region. We share intelligence about business opportunities and local country conditions, develop valuable networks and have the capability to guide our companies though the unique business culture of each country. We would be very pleased to support Australian-Chilean partnerships in their search for greater opportunities abroad.   (Prompt: Move to slide 8)  

But it’s not all one way, Chilean companies are taking advantage of direct air-services to Asia from Australia and established partnerships and linkages between Australia and Asia to export their goods and services.  And Chinese companies in particular are making investments in Chile through Australian acquisitions, Pacific Hydro is an example.  


There’s no denying the importance of the Mining sector to the Australia-Chile bilateral trade and investment relationship, but I hope I’ve made a case that the complementarity between our two economies extends through a much broader range of sectors. Health, Infrastructure, Agribusiness and food, and Education.  

Moreover, the depth and breadth of Australia’s services sector offering, Australia’s capacity to feed into the global value chains of multinationals corporations that are operating out of Chile in increasing numbers, and finally the access both our countries offer to larger regional economies suggests that the future of our economic engagement will be significantly more weighted toward a variety of more globally integrated sectors.  
It is therefore critical that we work collaboratively to leverage each other’s strongest capabilities and work to open ourselves up to new industries and markets.  

(Prompt: – move to slide 9) 

Thank you.

Latam News 30-11-2016
Features this month include: ALABC launches infrastructure forum for 2017 Australia-Chile Economic Leadership Forum in Melbourne Highlights of 2016 Sydney Dinner Winners of 2016 LatAm Business Excellence Awards Australian mining companies eye Argentina Peru’s Mining Market: Opportunities in a sector primed for growth... Sign-in to read


His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) - Sydney Annual Dinner speech


22 NOVEMBER 2016




Good evening.

It is a pleasure to be with you.

At the outset I want to express my sincere appreciation to Jose Blanco and all those at the Australian-Latin America Business Council.

For 27 years the Council has dedicated itself to forging closer ties between Australia and Latin America.

You have made immense progress and the relationships we enjoy today—economic yes, but also the people to people relationships and our strong cultural ties—owe much to Jose and his team.

My visit earlier this year to Latin America was the first by a serving Australian Governor-General.

And a cracking pace was set.

In 17 days I made State Visits to Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile; as well as an official visit to Brazil—even finding time to meet the Australian Olympians in Rio.

There were many highlights:


  • Meeting President Peña Nieto to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Mexico.
  • Visiting the Australian-funded International Centre for Research and Improvement of Wheat and Corn in recognition of
    its 50th anniversary.
  • Visiting the Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone—Pyramid of the Sun, Jaguar Mural, Butterfly temple.
  • Laying a wreath at Niños Heroés monument.
  • Being made a Distinguished Guest of Mexico City and awarded the keys to the city.
  • Attending a reception with the then interim President of Brazil Michel Temer and seeing the magnificent Olympic
    opening ceremony.
  • It was a wonderful Olympics and Paralymics, the facilities were great and the logistics ran smoothly.
  • Visiting the Australian-funded Pipa social project.
  • Meeting Australians working and living in Brazil.


  • Meeting President Vazquez.
  • Receiving the Key to the city of Montevideo.


  • Laying a wreath at the General San Martin Monument.
  • Being invested with the insignia of the Collar of the Order of the Liberator General San Martin.
  • Visit to the Australian-funded Fundación Botines Solidarios rugby academy.


  • Marking the 70th anniversary of Australia's diplomatic presence in Chile marking with President Bachelet—a woman with
    a long and close connection to Australia—.
  • Laying a wreath at the General Bernardo O’Higgins Monument and then visiting his Crypt.
  • Visiting the Australian-funded San Nectario Foundation School for children with autism and dysphasia.

These are just some of meetings and people who provided unique insights into countries and a continent you all know very well.

And now I’ve had time to reflect—I can see that there were a couple of key messages kept coming through.

From presidents, diplomats and business people—everyone I met wanted our countries to stay close, to stay open and to keep working together for all our benefit.

They understood that our futures are joined.

They understood Australia was a genuine friend.

And they knew that prosperity comes from people and nations embracing each other, recognising all we have in common and working together for our mutual benefit.

Universally, there was enthusiasm for closer bonds between our nations and people:

  • For greater friendship.
  • For more trade and investment.
  • For closer business ties of course but also education and tourism.
  • To capture the benefits of economic growth.
  • And to work as one, for a better planet, for better lives and to tackle the really big issues facing our planet.

We need to have mutually beneficial relations between nations.

There is no place for isolationism, xenophobia, and protectionism; they are not the Australian way.

And they are not the Latin American way:

  • We have recently seen the elections of reform minded governments in Argentina and in Peru with the election of
    President Macri and President Kuczynski.
  • Brazil is moving toward greater trade liberalisation and free markets under President Temer.
  • Peru has just successfully hosted APEC which is all about fostering greater trade in the Asia-Pacific.
  • Peru, Mexico and Chile are also part of the Trans Pacific Partnership.
  • Mexico is here this week for MIKTA.
  • And Argentina is set to play an important leadership role in the world economy as chair of G20 in 2018.

So all my experience, all the evidence, is that multilateralism and global trade continue to be alive and well and very much front and centre of our relationship.

And why wouldn’t it be:

  • Out trade has exceeded the $10 billion mark.
  • Over 280 Australian companies are doing business in Latin America—many of them in mining sector.
  • Nearly 50,000 students come to Australia from Latin America to study, a figure that is growing each year
  • And visitor numbers between Australia and Latin America continue to rise.

There is so much potential still to be taken advantage of.

And this is where I am happily and earnestly doing my bit to promote the relationship and the opportunities that exist.

Whenever I get a chance, I spruik all that we are, and that we can become together.

Admittedly I do it with the zeal of a recently returned traveller.

But I also do it with the opportunities and contacts that come with being Governor-General and armed with a knowledge and appreciation of our countries, the linkages we have and the untapped potential that remains.

I think of Australia and Latin America as trusted friends and trusted partners committed to working together for our people and our nations.

I am honoured to be part of that process.

And of course the Australian Australian-Latin America Business Council is integral to that process.

Together we are, and we will continue to be, firm friends and partners.

Thank you.


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