December 2020 ALABC E-Newsletter

Dear {Contact_First_Name},

The directors of ALABC were able to share their insights on plans for 2021 and welcome opportunities for potential events next year with our member companies at our virtual end of year drinks. We were extremely pleased to have Jeanne Johns, the Managing Director and CEO of one of our Patron Companies, Incitec Pivot, at the meeting to share their plans with us for the coming year. In addition, we were also very pleased to have Jason Stirbinskis, Managing Director of Los Cerros, Rolf Fandrich, Co-Founder and Business Development Director of Voconiq and Liliana Harris, Business Advisory Partner at Mazars also share insights about their companies over the past year. 

I would like to remind our members, that the Australia-Chile Business Council will be starting activities early in the new year and if you are interested in joining this binational advisory group, please do so by following the instructions here

ALABC has a number of events related to specific industries planned for the coming year that can be viewed in our upcoming events page on our website. Please remember to save the date to ensure you secure your place. 

In the next few months, ALABC will be strongly advocating for a comprehensive globally connected strategy for Latin America. Australia needs to expands its horizons, diversify markets and reduce the dependency on Asia. It is not about the reallocation of priorities, or the broadening of perspective, it's actually thinking bigger and being enthusiastic about the world.

I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday period. We hope that 2021 brings more health and recovery as we strive towards growing the business links between Australia and Latin America. I look forward to connecting with you all in the new year. 

Yours sincerely,

Marcelo Salas

Chief Executive Officer 

Australia-Latin America Business Council


Dan Tehan MP takes over as Trade Minister

Behind Dan Tehan’s country drawl is a man well versed in diplomacy, political theory and international relations.

“Our prosperity has been built on trade and our future relies on it,” Tehan says, describing Australia as a “trading nation”.

“Trade creates jobs, drives innovation and underpins our economic growth. Trade is a mutually beneficial relationship between nations that enhances friendships, understanding, respect and co-operation.”

In his early 30s, Tehan was a highly regarded Spanish-speaking young Australian diplomat in Mexico, Central America and Cuba. 

He later joined the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry then worked as deputy director of the Liberals Victorian division before he entered Parliament at the 2010 election.

“Australia’s relationship with the world has been an enduring interest and passion of mine. I have always strived to engage constructively with all nations, and this will be the approach I will continue to take,” he says.


COALAR Grant Round

The Council on Australia Latin America Relations has opened a new Special Grant Round which replaces the 2020-21 grant round postponed earlier this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Special Grant Round has the focus theme of ‘Economic Recovery’ and will support innovative activities that use digital technologies to strengthen relationships between Australia and Latin America and contribute to COVID-19 economic recovery. A shorter period of 1 April to 30 September 2021 is available to undertake activities.

Timeline for the Special Grant Round

  • Opening date – 19 November 2020 at 1800 AEDT
  • Closing date for submitting applications – 4 January 2021 at 1200 pm AEDST instead of 23 December 2020 at 1800 AEDT
  • Successful applicants notified – early March 2021
  • Unsuccessful applicants notified – early March 2021
  • Processing of grant agreements for successful applicants – early to end of March 2021

Global Victoria Global Gateway Grant Program

As part of the $15.7 million Export Recovery Program, the Global Gateway will support established Victorian exporters to stabilise their businesses and adapt their export strategy in response to the challenges they have faced as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Eligible businesses can apply for one-off grants of up to $50,000 to engage professional services providers for activities including market intelligence, market access and marketing and promotion, in order to facilitate new channels to engage or diversification into new markets.
If you require engagement of services for market intelligence, market access or marketing and promotion, we recommend the following ALABC members:
Full details about Global Gateway, including program guidelines, eligibility criteria, and FAQs can be found here.

Austrade's Digital Services 2021

Austrade is making it easier for businesses to go further, faster with services delivered online, in person and via partners. To support Australian businesses anytime, anywhere in the world Austrade is reimaging existing services and developing new ones. These services will help businesses unlock more opportunities, more often, making it easier to find export markets, understand exporting rules and get the latest insights. 

Businesses going global can also connect with Austrade and other government services through the advisory centre, staffed by experienced specialists.  In 2021, Austrade will provide more tailored information and digital services based on where a business is in its global growth journey, from new to experienced exporters, through a fully integrated online export guide.

Learn more about Austrade's Digital Services  and try Austrade’s new digital tools, currently in beta for Food and Agriculture businesses.


The World’s Top Lithium Producers

Last week I read a press release that piqued my interest. Vancouver-based Lithium Americas Corp. announced that they had received an environmental impact statement (EIS) from the U.S. government for a proposed lithium mining project in Nevada.


How other nations are feasting on China's beef with Australia

At the China International Import expo in Shanghai last month, the Argentinian Beef Association was ready to pounce on Australia's misfortune.

Argentina has maintained strong diplomatic relations with China since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Beijing sent tonnes of medical equipment to Argentina as COVID-19 began sweeping through Latin America. Even though they all had to endure 14-day quarantine to attend, 58 representatives of the beef association were in the hall to show off its sirloin and rib eye.



Establishment of the joint business council the Australia-Chile Business Council

On November 12, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Australia-Latin America Business Council and the Chilean Federation of Industry (SOFOFA) for the establishment of the Australia-Chile Business Council ACHBC), to foster closer friendship and promote economic, trade and investment between Australia and Chile.


A new hydrogen reality: Fuel from wind and water

Siemens Energy, alongside several international companies, is developing and implementing the world’s first integrated and commercial large-scale plant for the production of climate neutral e-fuel. Introducing the Haru Oni project (Highly Innovative fuels (HIF) pilot project), which is harnessing the strong and steady winds in the Magallanes, Chile’s southernmost region.


Chilean mining explosives major Enaex to buy Downer Blasting Services in Australia

Downer EDI Ltd has announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its blasting services business Downer Blasting Services to Enaex SA. Enaex is a subsidiary of the Chilean company Sigdo Koppers Group, which has operations in five continents, and is the largest producer of explosive-grade ammonium nitrate in Latin America.The sale price represents an enterprise value of A$62 million.


BHP to restart ore mining five years after fatal dam burst

BHP and Brazilian miner Vale look set to bring more supply into the booming iron ore market, with the gradual restart of the infamous Samarco operation underway.

WEG consolidates its business strategy as a global mining player

WEG business strategy, along its 60 years of business activities, has always been based on offering reliable, safe, technological and high-performance products and solutions. In particular for the mining segment, WEG keeps a close eye on specifications for tough mining environmental conditions to allow customers to have operational safety for existing and future expansions.

In addition, to ensure customers having their plants operating efficiently, WEG has been providing customized and optimized solutions with flexibility, prompt service support complying with the requirements and applications of each mining operation. 


When will Air Travel go back to normal with Latin America?

Date: Thursday 11th February 2021

Time: 9am-10am (AEDT)

Time in Latin America

The Covid-19 pandemic has been financially devastating for airlines around the world, including in Latin America, where LATAM Airlines, Avianca and Aeroméxico have all filed for bankruptcy protection this year.

However, there are signs of improvement: commercial operations have returned in Brazil and Mexico faster than in the United States, and Chile is picking up quickly. 


Foreign Exchange Strategies for Latin America

Date: Thursday 18th February 2021

Time: 8:30 AM AEDT

Please join ALABC in collaboration with the Cambridge Global Payments team for an update on Latin American markets, as well as:

  • Key challenges facing organisations operating in the region
  • Currency risk mitigation strategies and how to positively impact your bottom line
  • Cambridge services as they relate to Latin America and other exotic currency locations


Craig Killaby: APAC Treasury and Market Analyst, Cambridge Global Payments

Frank Koufalas: National Business Manager, Cambridge Global Payments



At Sharp EIT we know how critical our products and services can be to your day-to-day operations – and that’s why we place such a strong emphasis on our ability to help keep your business running. Our years of expertise in Office Printers, Digital Signage and Managed IT Services will assist you to work smarter, perform more efficiently and streamline your business processes.

Contact Ed Gaete >>

Blanco Partners Christmas Address 2020

2020 will undoubtedly forever be associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Beyond the dramatic loss of human life worldwide and the profound global social and economic disruption, the pandemic has undermined the process of globalization, providing political fodder for nationalists and protectionists.

There are indications that it will have a long-term impact on the free movement of people and goods, prompting many businesses to remodel their supply chains and to invest in more resilient and local patterns of production. The complex China-centred global supply chains on which so many Western companies have come to rely are being questioned, as is the danger of over-dependence on the Chinese market.


Austrade's 2020 Annual Investment Statement and Investor Recognition Event

We would like to extend the invitation for you to watch live this year’s Annual Investment Statement from the Minister for Finance, Trade, Tourism and Investment.

Minister Birmingham delivered an address outlining the Australian Government’s investment promotion priorities and agenda in continuing to attract productive foreign direct investment to Australia.

As part of the Australian Export & Investment Awards program for 2020, Minister Birmingham also recognises and celebrates three international investors who have demonstrated outstanding resilience and commitment to Australia, despite the immense global disruption and challenges caused by COVID-19.

Watch here >>


Emesent is a world-leader in drone autonomy, LiDAR mapping, and data analytics. Founded in 2018, Emesent has since built a reputation for delivering high-quality data capture in the mining, infrastructure, survey and mapping industries.

Our flagship product, Hovermap, is a smart mobile scanning unit that combines advanced collision avoidance and autonomous flight technologies to map hazardous and GPS-denied environments. Hovermap is uniquely versatile, it can be handheld, drone-or vehicle-mounted to map challenging, inaccessible areas. With a wide range of applications, Hovermap is being used by customers around the world.


Perth Australia-Latin America Business Luncheon 2020

On the 10th December the Board of Directors of ALABC along with some of our corporate members met for virtual end of year drinks via Zoom to discuss ALABC's plans for 2021. 

We were also fortunate enough to hear from some distinguished member companies including Jeanne Johns, the Managing Director and CEO of Incitec Pivot, Jason Stirbinskis, Managing Director of Los Cerros, Rolf Fandrich, Co-Founder and Business Development Director of Voconiq and Liliana Harris, Business Advisory Partner at Mazars. 

We greatly appreciate everyone's feedback and welcome the opportunity for collaboration in the new year. 

Jose Blanco's speech >>

ALABC Member's App to help you stay connected

Staying in touch has been difficult for all of us during this pandemic. With the Member's app, you can interact with fellow members anywhere from your mobile device, update your member profile, including your address, phone, email and Linkedin. You can even email and call fellow members, so it’s easier for you to stay in touch and build a community.

You will find it easier than ever to register and attend events using the mobile app. You can view your event calendar and event details, and register for events directly from the app.

You can also keep on top of your existing event registrations by viewing your tickets, adding events to your calendar, and make online payments.

Please view the information below and consider joining the Australia-Latin America Business Council using the online form. 

Benefits of Membership

  • Generate new opportunities
  • Make valuable connections
  • Have your finger on the pulse
  • Gain access to experts
  • Be supported in your business challenges
How to join: Please review our fees and benefits below and then submit your application here.