February 2021 ALABC E-Newsletter

Dear Members and Friends,

I am pleased to welcome you to our first ALABC E-Newsletter of 2021. It is great to hear that many of our members are well an on their way to returning to stronger growth. We are looking forward to keeping our members engaged in our upcoming activities and supporting your business expansion in this rapidly evolving business landscape.

We recently finished planning our calendar of events for 2021 and as you would expect, we will be-re-instigating our traditional annual dinners in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane. We will continue with webinars throughout the year and hosting boardroom luncheons with Ambassadors, Senior Government officials and business leaders. Our AGM will be held in May and our ALABC-COALAR Networking Day in Canberra is scheduled for October. Please remember to save the dates to ensure you secure your place. 

We will also be expanding on our bilateral relations with specific countries in the Latin American region and establishing binational leadership forums with Peru and Brazil, in addition to the one already established with Chile. The Australia-Chile Business Council is established and if you are interested in joining this binational business leaders forum, please do so by following the instructions here

With the support of COALAR, we will continue to enhance our digital tools to help our members maximise their networking opportunities as well as providing easy access to data and key insights regarding countries in the region.

During 2021, 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 about thinking bigger and being enthusiastic about the world.

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.

Yours sincerely,

Marcelo Salas

Chief Executive Officer 

Australia-Latin America Business Council


Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Australia’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (JSCFADT) has received a reference from the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment for an inquiry into expanding the membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The JSCFADT has adopted the inquiry and referred it to the Trade Sub-Committee to undertake.


A guide to 2021 Latin American Elections

In 2021, nine countries in Latin America hold elections—five of them presidential contests—while reeling from the pandemic's devastating impact. AS/COA tracks these elections through articles, poll updates, podcasts, and more. 


How Latin America is Fast Becoming the Capital of FinTech

For much of the past decade, FinTech startups have pushed the envelope in the financial services sector. In doing so, they’ve posed a significant challenge to incumbent institutions.

That challenge has now turned into a growing market share for FinTech businesses that looks like it’s only going to increase with time.


Latin American economy will improve, but region must better educate its next-generation workforce

The good news for Latin America is that the economic crisis tied to 2020’s coronavirus pandemic has hit rock bottom, and that the region’s economy will grow in 2021. However, is that it will be a slow-motion recovery, and Latin America will be the world’s region that will grow the least this year. That’s the bad news.


Latin America’s 2020 Climate Leaders and Laggards

2020 was a turbulent year in Latin America. Few countries in the region were not touched by massive protests, political upheavals, economic woes or catastrophic storms—with the COVID-19 pandemic on top of it all. Despite this, some leaders in the region have continued to make much-needed advances to curb climate change, particularly, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica. 


Latin America needs a new social contract

In Mexico city and Lima covid-19 patients are once again being turned away from hospitals with no beds to spare, while in Manaus, in northern Brazil, a new variant of the virus is killing a hundred people a day. The pandemic’s recession pushed 33m Latin Americans below the $5.50-a-day poverty line last year, according to the World Bank. Governments in the region are struggling to line up vaccines. So it may seem like a strange moment to be talking of a new social contract—an abstraction.


UK applying to join Asia-Pacific free trade pact CPTPP

The UK will apply to join a free trade area with 11 Asia and Pacific nations on Monday, a year after it officially left the EU.

Joining the group of "fast-growing nations" will boost UK exports, the government says.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership - or CPTPP - covers a market of around 500 million people.


Cuba opens up its economy to private businesses

Cuba has announced it will allow private businesses to operate in most sectors, in what is a major reform to its state-controlled economy.

Labour Minister Marta Elena Feito said the list of authorised activities had expanded from 127 to more than 2,000.


Unlocking opportunity through cross-industry collaboration

Australia’s resources industry has developed some world-leading technology to boost its own productivity and efficiency but we are missing a bigger opportunity from this innovation.

Adrian Beer, the chief executive of the government’s industry growth centre METS Ignited, says there is demand for this technology in other industries such as defence, energy and agriculture that could create a major tech sector in Australia.


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.


Apply for up to $250,000 in grant funding to attend or exhibit at IMARC 2021

We're starting 2021 off with the exciting news that the International Mining and Resources Conference + EXPO (IMARC) has been listed on the Schedule of Approved Business Events for the Australian Government’s $50 million Business Events Grants program. An initiative providing financial support to Australian businesses to attend exhibitions and conferences with grants between $10,000 and $250,000.


Business Matchmaking Forum

To explore trade opportunities in sectors such as agribusiness, chemicals& life sciences, industries 4.0 manufacturing, textiles, apparels and accessories on behalf of the Colombian Ministry of Commerce invitation is open to the ProColombia's Business Matchmaking Forum85 which will be held virtually from the 22nd February to 5th March 2021. 

Register here >>

Welcome to the new Ambassador of Paraguay His Excellency Mr Armando Vidal FERNANDEZ GALTE

Graduated from the Diplomatic and Consular Academy “Carlos Antonio López” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay and specialised through training by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Republic of China-Taiwan. He has a Bachelor in International Business from the South-eastern University in the United States of America. With over 28 years at the diplomatic service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has appointed Mr Galté to Sao Paulo, Montevideo, Miami, and New York, holding leadership roles within the Ministry at the Paraguayan capital.


Welcome to the new Ambassador of Uruguay Her Excellency Mrs Dianela PI

Deputy Sub-General Director for Political Affairs and Director for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (December 2017 – 2020).


Deputy Permanente Representative of the Uruguayan Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (February 2015 – December 2017).


Welcome to the new Ambassador of Guatemala His Excellency Mr Ronald RECINOS

His Excellency Ronald Recinos is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Guatemala to the Commonwealth of Australia since October 2020.

Prior to taking up his position as Guatemala’s Ambassador to Australia, Mr Recinos was the President of the Board of Directors of the Quetzal Port Company in Guatemala and the legal adviser to the President of the Republic of Guatemala.



Are you aware that in Latin America the construction of one of the most important infrastructure works is being carried out to increase this region's trade with Asia?

Latin America is developing its first Bioceanic Corridor. A dedicated 2,000km highway connecting the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, and traversing four countries (Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil).


Brazilian lending company Creditas raises $255 million as Latin America’s fintech explosion continues

Creditas, the Brazilian lending business, has raised $255 million in new financing as financial services startups across Latin America continue to attract massive amounts of cash.

The company’s credit portfolio has crossed 1 billion reals ($196.66 million) and the new round will value the company at $1.75 billion thanks to $570 million raised in outside financing over five rounds.


Mining and Oil Opportunities in Cuba for Australian Companies

Cuba has announced it will allow private businesses to operate in most sectors, in what is a major reform to its state-controlled economy. Experts on Cuba's tangled and complicated economy say the step essentially opens up almost all economic activity on the island to some form of private enterprise.

Please join ALABC along with a panel of industry experts who will discuss the opportunities that Cuba is offering to Australian companies who are operating in the mining and oil industry. You will hear directly from business professionals based in the region and in Australia who will provide valuable and relevant insights related to this topic.  

Date: Thursday 25th February 2021

Time: 8:30 AM (AEDT)

Register here >>

Ambassador Series Boardroom Luncheon with the Ambassador of Colombia HE Mr. Alberto Jose Mejia Ferrero

Please join ALABC in this intimate boardroom luncheon discussion featuring the Ambassador of Colombia to discuss the current economic and social state of the country and how Australia can do business with the region. 

Date: Thursday 11th March 2021

Time: 12PM - 2PM (AEDT)

Please register quickly as places are limited to a maximum of 25 people due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Register here >>

When will air travel return to normal in Latin America?

Please join ALABC in this collaborative webinar on the trajectory of air travel between Australia and Latin America post pandemic. Register today to hear from a panel of expert speakers provide first hand insights on the aviation industry and when we can likely expect to resume international travel. 

    Date: Thursday 25th March 2021

    Time: 8:30 AM (AEDT)

    Register here >>

    Digital Infrastructure: Why it matters for your business? 

    The Asia-South America digital gateway—a submarine cable connecting Chile and Australia, plus the 5G networks rolling out across the Latin American region and resulting projects will enable the technology to be deployed in regional areas, providing opportunities for data driven businesses and especially benefiting mining, agtech, fintech, medtech companies offering IOT and AI-enabled solutions in Chile and in Australia.

      Date: Thursday 22nd April 2021

      Time: 8:30 AM (AEST)

      Register here >>


      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.


      Beaver Process Equipment

      We're inspired by seeing our customers succeed. Whether you're an engineer, fitter, planner, or maintenance super, we're here to help you get your job done. We help you make good decisions and choose the right products to design, build, run, and maintain the plants and pipelines that drive our economy.


      Nomade Unique Experiences 

      Nomade is a Sydney based commercial and marketing representation company for unique experiences of South America, that uses their deep understanding and knowledge of the tourism industry in both South America and Asia / Pacific to deliver sustainable and profitable commercial plans for our clients.

      Corporate Nomade_Final.pdf




      Safescape has developed a mine-ready underground electric light vehicle for the Australian mining industry.  It is apparent that the benefits of battery electric vehicle (BEV) technology such as low maintenance cost, high up time, zero emissions, low heat generation and safer operational controls make this technology highly desirable for mining companies and particularly for underground mines.


      Mexican bill would reform tax law for subcontracted services

      Subcontracted services are a widespread feature of Mexican business both through third-party personnel providers and, more commonly, through related-party service companies. For decades, Mexican businesses often have maintained their employees in legal entities that are separate from the operating entity.


      New Premises for Duratray International Western Australia

      We are proud to announce that due to our growth in Western Australia, Duratray International moved to a new location earlier this year.

      This larger and more modern facility located in President Street, Welshpool, Western Australia, allows us to better cater for our customers in WA and provides our staff with a state-of-the-art workspace.


      Synergy Resource Capital

      Synergy Resource Capital is an investment and corporate advisory firm focused on identifying resource and technology opportunities, mainly Australian and Latin American, and bringing together capital, ideas, and partners to unlock value. Based in Sydney,  Synergy has allies globally, demonstrating deep experience across capital markets, corporate advisory, and acquisition of resource assets.

      The firm relies on its cross-cultural acumen, an extensive network of contacts and analytical capabilities to work closely with clients, partners, and investors to acquire, invest in and develop assets throughout these regions, as well as with companies seeking funding for expansion and growth, or divestment.


      Austrade's Digital Services

      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.  


      Perth Australia-Latin America Business Luncheon 2020

      On the 19th of November 2020, ALABC hosted our first in person event since the height of the COVID-19 crisis. The luncheon was a huge success having accommodated for members and friends of ALABC to gather together to discuss insights and business opportunities post pandemic. 

      A special thank you to our two speakers, Vanessa Torres and Steve Garwin who gave insightful and relevant skills and resources to better the business links between Australia and Latin America. 

      Event photos >>

      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.