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Amb Todd Mercer on Australia’s ‘bright future’ working with Chile and Ecuador

Amb Todd Mercer on Australia’s ‘bright future’ working with Chile and Ecuador

In the latest interview for our Q&A series, Biz Latin Hub's Chelsea Heywood connected with Todd Mercer, Australian Ambassador to Chile and Ecuador, to learn about his experience strengthening Australian relations in the region. Todd shares his insights on his experience engaging with Latin America, and the development of Australia's relationships and activity in Chile and Ecuador through the work of the Embassy. Learn about Ambassador Todd Mercer’s professional diplomatic career and the Embassy in Santiago’s efforts to further develop Australian ties with Chile and Ecuador. 1. You have previously worked in Latin America, as Deputy Head of Mission in both Chile (2003-2006) and Mexico (2012). What drives your interest in supporting Australia’s diplomatic and trade relationships with the region? Todd Mercer, Australian Ambassador to Chile and Ecuador Setting aside my personal interest in, and family connection to, Latin America -- I studied Spanish at university and my wife is from Chile -- I am enthusiastic about promoting Australia’s interests in Latin America, because I can see enormous potential for us to build on what is already a set of positive and substantial relationships. For trade-dependent countries like Australia and Chile, diversification of our markets is more important than ever as we recover from the economic impact of Covid-19. To illustrate what is possible in Latin America I would point to our experience with education services in this part of the world. In the 20 years to 2018-19, the value of Australian education services in Latin America increased...

How Businesses Can Sell on Amazon Australia

How Businesses Can Sell on Amazon Australia

Amazon has come a long way. The e-commerce platform operates in 14 worldwide marketplaces and has become one of the world's largest online retailers. In December 2017, Amazon was launched in Australia and became one of the most used e-commerce platforms in the country. Amazon's success in Australia owes in large part to increased online shopping, population growth and the country's isolated geographic location. Currently, this multi-billion dollar business now has two warehouses in Australia. Countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Hong Kong and Canada, are the preferred destinations for Australians to make cross-border purchases, an interesting opportunity that executives looking to do business in Australia ought to consider. Should your business consider selling on Amazon Australia?  In 2017, Amazon was launched in Australia and became one of the most used e-commerce platforms in the country. Online shopping is big in the United States and it is still somewhat establishing itself in Australia. US Amazon accounts for 50% of all e-commerce operations, while online shopping in Australia makes up just about 9% of total retail sales. The Australian marketplace is a great opportunity to build a foundation for long term sales. Think about the goldmine in reviews waiting to be acquired over time for multiple products. This can help distinguish yourself as a reputable seller from the competition once you establish your business. This will not make you an instant millionaire, however, with a carefully planned strategy, you will reach success in the...

How is Australia’s Open Banking Regime Changing the Financial Landscape?

How is Australia’s Open Banking Regime Changing the Financial Landscape?

Australia has and continues to be an extremely friendly environment for foreign companies looking to expand in the country. In fact, a 2019 World Bank Survey places Australia as one of the friendliest countries in the world to do business. Currently, Australia's new open banking regime only adds to the attractiveness of the country. Australia's legal frameworks, regulations and institutions provide a friendly environment for foreign investment particularly for access to credit and monetary borrowing. Australia excels in its legal rights index and has a profound respect for good corporate and business practices. Furthermore, Australia’s judicial processes rank very high in comparison with other nations that may appeal to foreign investors. Likewise, the bureaucracy involved in starting a business is considerably low permitting fast incorporation procedures. Learn why the new Australia's open banking regime is an important addition to an investor friendly environment. Australia’s new open banking regime Australia’s Open Banking Regime will be rolled out in phases. Since July 2020, the Australian Consumer Data Right Act is in force bringing to life the new open bank regime. However, note that the new regime will be rolled out in stages. In the first stage, consumers can freely share their banking details or data with registered providers regarding deposit and transactional accounts. Consumers can also share their credit and debit card data in this stage. In the second stage starting November 2020, consumers can share data regarding investments, personal loans and joint...

Nicholas Baker, Trade Commissioner & Counsellor Commercial at Austrade, Shares Insights on Australian Trade Connections and Opportunities

Nicholas Baker, Trade Commissioner & Counsellor Commercial at Austrade, Shares Insights on Australian Trade Connections and Opportunities

Dr Baker shares his insights on Austrade's new client services and trade opportunities in Latin America post Covid-19. This month, Biz Latin Hub’s Chelsea Heywood was privileged to connect with Dr Nicholas Baker, Trade Commissioner and Counsellor Commercial for Australia’s Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), based in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Dr Baker shares his insights on Austrade’s new client services and trade opportunities in Latin America post Covid-19. Learn about Dr Baker’s experience as a trade professional and the efforts of Austrade to strengthen trade ties in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. You have extensive experience in supporting Australia’s trade relations from a number of posts in Europe, South America, and now Central America and the Caribbean. What drives your passion to develop Australia’s trade relations? Helping Australia increase its exports, encouraging productive foreign investment and attracting more international students to be part of Australia’s amazing education sector seem like pretty lofty goals; or almost like motherhood statements. In reality, what has driven me and continues to drive me is that trade, investment and education are linked to people, to aspirations, to innovation, to values, building relationships and bringing something new or different to a country or a region.  Then there is the prosperity it creates, not only in monetary terms but also the exchange of new ideas and transfer of technology that international trade and investment can create. International business is all about expanding...

Why is Western Australia a Global Hub for Energy and Mining Innovation?

Why is Western Australia a Global Hub for Energy and Mining Innovation?

The state of Western Australia (WA) thrives on being a global hub for energy and mining innovation. WA is the most diversified mining and energy province in the world and the largest producer of iron ore. The resources sector in this state is so prominent that it represents 1/3 of WA’s Gross State Product (GSP). Along with innovation initiatives and future development plans to increase WA’s competitiveness, this sector is expected to grow and strengthen even further. Global strength in energy and mining WA produces over 40 types of minerals used worldwide. WA produces over 40 types of minerals from tungsten to titanium, gold, and nickel. In fact, mineral and petroleum exports account for 90% of the state’s total exports. Homes, phones, robots, satellites, and airplanes around the world are made with WA minerals. WA’s resource sector ecosystem has long developed since the formation of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) in 1901. Today, the CME employs 80% of the sector’s workforce. Six of the top international energy companies have also recognized the state’s talent and resource abundance by developing their bases in WA.  Energy and mining innovation Innovation leads to increased competitiveness, stimulating economic growth, and higher living standards. There are many organizations and initiatives in place to develop the energy and mining sector in WA as a world-leader. To drive innovation, the CME and the Cooperative Research Centre for Optimising Resource Extraction created an innovation hub to explore new technologies. This hub...

How is Fintech Changing Australia’s Financial Sector?

How is Fintech Changing Australia’s Financial Sector?

Over the past 4 years, Australia’s financial sector has been characterized by substantial development in fintech. Fintech, a combination of “financial technology”, refers to the use of innovative technology to offer financial services and improve their delivery. Using specialized software and algorithms, fintech transforms the way people manage their financial operations and processes. Australia's fintech ecosystem has matured, become profitable, and positioned itself globally. In this article, we'll describe the nature of fintech in Australia, how it’s changing the financial sector, and future opportunities to leverage. Fintech in Australia today Australia’s fintech industry is expected to reach a value of AU$4 billion in 2020. The financial sector is the largest sector in Australia and is experiencing significant disruptions by fintech. According to the Global Fintech Adoption Index, 58% of Australians use fintech and the adoption rate keeps growing. This easily places Australia as one of the world’s strongest and most dynamic fintech marketplaces. There are three main types of fintech in Australia’s financial sector: wealth and investment, lending, and data analytics/big data. Today, there are over 800 fintech companies in Australia, and close to 25% of them are profitable. In fact, seven of these Australian companies made it in the Fintech 100 list in 2019, a ranking of the top 100 fintech companies in the world. Australia’s fintech industry is expected to reach a value of AU$4 billion (approximately US$2.78 billion) by the end of 2020. In addition, according to the...

Perceptions of Doing Business in Latin America: Cautious Optimism For Future Growth and Opportunities

Perceptions of Doing Business in Latin America: Cautious Optimism For Future Growth and Opportunities

In June 2020, the Biz Latin Hub team launched a survey asking for information about individuals’ perceptions about doing business in Latin America. In June 2020, the Biz Latin Hub team launched a survey asking for information about individuals’ perceptions about doing business in Latin America. We received a range of responses from 75 business owners, executives, government officials and other specialists operating in over 40 countries worldwide. 57.3% of respondents are considering expanding into the region in the future, with many expressing cautious optimism at economies' abilities to bounce back after the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out what the key takeaways from our survey indicate about people’s perceptions on doing business in Latin America. Perceptions on doing business in Latin America: who took part? 75 people responded to the Doing Business in Latin America survey. Of our respondents, nearly half (48%) were business owners, operating in Latin America and across other regions of the world, including the United States, Europe, Asia, the South Pacific, and the Middle East. 29 respondents (38.6% overall) were business owners operating in Latin America. Many survey participants were operating across more than one country. Of all respondents, 66 people (88%) noted they were working or operating their business within Latin America, and 39 respondents (52%) were operating outside of the region. A third of all respondents were running or working in a company that operates in 5 or more countries, and 16% of all respondents claimed to be operating across 10 or more...

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