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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.
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.



Victorian Government | Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources - Platinum Partner of the inaugural Latin American Infrastructure Forum (‘Forum’) in May 2017

The Australia-Latin America Business Council (‘ALABC’) is pleased to announce that the Victorian Government, through the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, has become a Platinum Partner of the inaugural Latin American Infrastructure Forum (‘Forum’) that the ALABC will be hosting in May, 2017.

The Forum will be held in Melbourne on May 23, 2017 and will give Australian business an unprecedented opportunity to learn about the infrastructure developments taking place across the Latin American region. Through comprehensive presentations, panel discussions and one on one meetings, Forum participants will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • the current economic status of the major markets in Latin America;
  • the critical role that infrastructure development  will play in underpinning productivity growth and  the increased competitiveness of these markets;
  • the pipeline of projects on offer in each market and strategies for accessing them;
  • the issues that need to be taken into account when investing in or participating in projects in the region.

Read the full media release below


Hofmann Engineering and Vantaz Australia win Australia Latin America Business Excellence Awards 2016

The Awards were introduced in 2002 by the Australia-Latin America Business Council (ALABC - www.alabc.com.au) and the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR - www.dfat.gov.au/coalar/). Since then, the Awards have continued as an annual event, with COALAR as the exclusive sponsor.

The 2016 Awards were presented at the ALABC Sydney Dinner held at the Amora Jamison Hotel on Tuesday, November 22. In the presence of 150 guests, the Awards were presented by His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor General of Australia.


The 2016 Awards attracted a very high calibre of applications. The ALABC Committee overseeing the Awards program considers that, in the current economic climate, the breadth and nature of the applications highlights the growing diversity of the business opportunities in the region.


Read the full media release below

Latam News 31-10-2016
Features this month include: Karoon Gas on cusp of transformational deal in Brazil Victoria opens new trade office in Latin America Inaugural Infrastructure Forum to be hosted by ALABC in 2017 Governor General of Australia to attend 2016 Sydney Dinner  BOOK NOW! Microsoft and Votorantim to invest in startups in Brazi... Sign-in to read

Latam News 29-09-2016
Featured this month: Origin & Glencore to sell energy assets in Chile LatAm Autos delivers record revenue growth Australia-Peru business links continue to expand Austrade Mission to Panama Launch of 2016 Business Excellence Awards Chile energy auctions delivers positive news Cuba releases new economic guidel... Sign-in to read

Latam News 25-08-2016

Latam News 25-08-2016

Featured this month:

  • Australia fast-tracks commercial ties with Mexico 
  • 2016 Brisbane Annual Dinner 
  • Launch of 2016 Business Excellence Awards
  • APEC CEO Summit seeking Australian representation
  • Latin America Mining & Investment Summit
  • Venezuela signs agreements to promote mining
  • Argentina’s Central Bank relaxes foreign-exchange restrictions

Article attachments


2016 Australia-Latin America Business Awards- Now Open

Australia-Latin America Business Awards 2016

Since 2002 the Australia-Latin America Business Council (ALABC) and the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR) have recognised outstanding contributions to the development of Australia's commercial links with the Latin American region through their "Australia-Latin America Business Excellence Awards".

Since their inception, the Awards have grown in prominence and have been presented to a broad range of outstanding companies, institutions and individuals, all of whom are connected by their shared commitment to the markets in Latin America and by the success that they have had in engaging with the region.


The Awards are open to all applicants and membership of the ALABC is not a prerequisite in order to nominate. All applications are assessed by a committee established by the ALABC and this year’s Awards will be presented at a gala function that will be hosted by the ALABC in Sydney on 22 November 2016.

 The deadline for submission of applications is 5.00pm on 31 October 2016.


Award Categories

The Awards are offered in the following three categories so as to ensure that all applicants are able to compete on an equitable basis:

A:  Entities that have more than 200 employees

B:  Entities that have between 20 and 200 employees

C:  Entities that have less than 20 employees


Applicants will be required to show one or more of the following:

  1. a proven commitment to one or more of the markets in Latin America;
  2. success in the export of products or services to Latin America;
  3. the development of a successful investment strategy in the Latin America;
  4. an outstanding contribution to furthering the development of relations between Australia and the Latin America region.


Award Benefits

The three (3) finalists in each category shall receive one (1) ticket to the ALABC dinner of their choice in 2017;

The winners of each category shall receive:

  • one (1) year’s free membership of the ALABC;
  • acknowledgement on the ALABC website for one (1) year;
  • recognition of their achievement at the ALABC dinners in 2017


For further information, please contact Mya Bilbao, ALABC Secretariat on (02) 9431 8651 or email: secretariat@alabc.com.au

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