28 Mar

CEO Report - March 2018

The Chamber has enjoyed a terrific start to the year, with significant steps in the bilateral relationship, a strong line up of domestic activity and positive  progress in the three bilateral catalyst programmes later in the year.

Bilateral News

As you can read in more detail in the newsletter attached there have been a number of significant steps in the bilateral relationship in recent weeks.

The Fintech Bridge

Heading the list of achievements is the UK Australia Fintech Bridge, signed by Chancellor of the Exchequer the Rt Hon Philip Hammond and Australian Treasurer the Hon Scott Morrison. This Bridge will provide further impetus to Australia and the UK Fintech scene with Government and Regulators now working to encourage mutual recognition between them. Further, the agreement gives clear guidance to both the UK Department for International Trade, Austrade, Fintech bodies at both ends and the Australiana British Chamber of Commerce to play our role in encouraging the business to business links that will accelerate the opportunity for expansion of businesses between these two markets and into global markets more broadly.

Visit of HMS Sutherland

The HMS Sutherland visited Australian ports over the period, hosting events in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, between participating in exercises with Australian counterparts. The visit was a useful reminder of the depth and strength of our defence relationship.

Ministerial Visits

There have been a large volume of Ministerial visits between the two countries over the last two months including visits to the UK by The Hon Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister and The Hon Steven Ciobo, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment. UK visitors to Australia have included The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Defence and The Rt Hon Mark Field, Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Trade Working Group

Further to a recent visit to the UK by Remo Moretta from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Trade Working Group will meet again in April in Australia. They are progressing a range of items for closer ties between our economies, including some that can be delivered before the Free Trade Agreement as well as setting out the broader future for the economic relationship in a post-Brexit environment. Significantly the meeting of the EU Leaders last week has paved the way for the transition period up to the 31st of December 2020, and an ability for the UK to begin negotiating FTA’s with third countries after Brexit on 29 March 2019.

The Chamber will continue to provide industry engagement opportunities including last Monday’s Horizon Scanning event in Sydney for both British and Australian businesses to engage in the process. Should you wish to provide your views, please email policy@britishchamber.com

Domestic Programme

The Chamber has completed 26 events across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. The highlights of the programme thus far this year have been events with The Hon Christopher Pyne; The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Charles Bowman; Her Excellency Menna Rawlings CMG; and The Hon Jacinta Allan; David Duffy, CEO of Clydesdale Yorkshire Banking Group; our International Women’s day events in Sydney and Melbourne; and the Commonwealth Games lunch with representatives from the four Home Nations in Brisbane.

Among the topics covered, events focussed on the bilateral relationship, including Brexit; defence; the economy and finance; infrastructure; and sport.

I encourage you to look at the forward events at the bottom of the newsletter and join us at one of these in the coming months. If you have visitors to Australia we would be delighted to see how we can involve them in our programme. Additionally we are keen to support senior Australian figures in opportunities with our sister business the Australian United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

International Programme

A large volume of work is being completed in preparation for the three international programmes this year, Fintech and Cyber Security in the UK in July; Infrastructure in Australia in October; and the new Health Catalyst in November in the UK. I encourage you to let us know if you are keen to participate, sponsor or provide suggested content for these programmes to Andy Turnbull, aturnbull@britishchamber.com

I would like to take the opportunity to thank our Principal Sponsors and members for their ongoing support of our expanding programme, our Board and National Council and State Committees for all their work on a very successful first quarter.

I look forward to continuing to update you on our work over the coming months. I would welcome the opportunity for our team to hear from you and your colleagues about your business and how the Chamber can play a role in your success.


David McCredie
Chief Executive Officer
Australian British Chamber

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