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I am pleased to welcome readers to this guide on doing business with Australia. It provides a strong and supportive document that will help you to understand and engage effectively with the Australian market. The Australian British Chamber of Commerce is delighted to support this guide as the Australian and United Kingdom’s relationship embarks on a new paradigm. The Chamber has long held the position as the most significant bilateral business organisation between the two countries. In 2020 we are celebrating our 110th year. The Chamber maintains the objective set out at that time to “promote trade and investment between Australia and the United Kingdom.”

Today the Chamber’s network extends across the country with events and activities in six cities and an international programme between Australia and the United Kingdom. Our network of over 25,000 people across almost every industry sector gives us the strength and reach to help businesses connect with potential customers, distributors and with the local supply chains, as well as professional and support services to improve productivity and increase the returns for your business.

Ever since the UK voted to exit the European Union, the Chamber has been gathering information on what our Members’ priorities would be in the AU-UK Free Trade Agreement. This has been in the form of private consultation, Brexit Briefing feedback, submissions, case study forms and the FTA Survey. With this information, the Chamber continues to make representations on behalf of our members in order to deliver an ambitious and comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. Our connections through all levels of government enable those messages to be heard clearly. For those of you with your sights set further afield, Australia’s connections to Asia, in particular through the Free Trade Arrangements with Japan, South Korea and China, are significant considerations as you look to grow your business. I look forward to welcoming you to Australia and invite you to be in touch with the Chamber as you look to enter the market.

The Chamber ensures that our Members have the opportunity to further their business interests by providing:

  • introductions to key influencers and decision makers

  • a platform for introductions to our extensive Membership and business community, connecting you to potential clients and suppliers

  • policy dialogues on an array of sectoral interests, including the Free Trade Agreement Negotiations

  • industry expert seminars and thought leadership

  • bilateral programme of delegations to the United Kingdom and Australia

  • promotion of our Members’ activities and news through our marketing

Like the rest of the world, at the end of March this year we were forced to rethink our 2020 plans. Our schedule of physical events due to take place across Australia and internationally in the UK were cancelled or postponed and we took the programme online. 

In a short time, the Chamber team built a webinar programme that addressed not only the important immediate issues our Membership was facing such as securing grants, cyber security, negotiating commercial rents, the state of the economy and mental health, but also analysed the continuing work of industries such as health; infrastructure; supply chains and logistics; and travel, among others.

Our Membership responded well to these changes with strong support of our online programmes and significantly an extremely strong engagement at the most senior levels.

Facilitating introductions is one of the cornerstones of the Chamber’s services. Although face to face meetings and events have been restricted, we are grateful that our Members have so readily adapted to our new environment of business networking. Members have been more open than ever to meeting new contacts via Zoom. Furthermore, our monthly ‘Virtual’ Meet the Member events have given Members an opportunity to pitch their business and share stories of adapting their operations during COVID-19. Even through the digital platform, we have really felt the strong sense of community among our Members. In this difficult time, our network has come together to support each another.

We invite you to join our group of over 25,000 connections, at over 150 events nationally with over 6,300 attendees annually and our bilateral programme of delegations.

David McCredie OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Australian British Chamber of Commerce

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