Agency deal to boost WA

WA’s business community will emerge as the real winner with the recent announcement of a cooperative agreement between the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) and WA Department of Commerce and Trade (DCT).

The letter of agreement is the first step the two agencies will take toward a long-term cooperative agreement in providing local businesses with direct access to the vast joint resources, and shared knowledge held by two of the country’s leading export facilitation agencies.

Austrade’s WA state manager John Yeudall and DCT’s CEO Richard Muirhead were instrumental in creating a closer working relationship between the two trade agencies.

Mr Yeudall acknowledged the cooperative agreement would provide a wealth of information to help local export businesses build long-term strategies for business expansion.

“This agreement is a catalyst for a long-term strategy involving partnerships with the State Government and allies in a bid to provide a higher level of export assistance,” he said.

“Businesses from agribusiness to automotive, manufacturing to mining, whether rural or metropolitan, all stand to gain by this new cooperative partnership.”

Mr Muirhead said the agreement signified a new era in export facilitation.

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Following a business meeting facilitated by Trade Minister Mark Vaile in southwest China earlier this year, WA’s Portman Ltd has signed a $1.5 million iron ore supply contract with a major Chinese steel producer.

The deal involves the supply of 50,000 tonnes of iron ore to the Kunming Steel Mill this month, with the potential for ongoing sales of up to 400,000 tonnes per year worth an estimated $12 million.

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Austrade is close to a formal agreement with its Greek counterpart that will have the Business Club Australia concept employed as a major part of the Athens 2004 Olympics.

This follows an initial meeting last week between senior Greek business leader Dr Panos Lagos, Investment Project Manager for Greece’s equivalent of Austrade, ELKE, the Hellenic Centre for Investment, and Austrade’s Global Manager – Olympics and Sport David Faulks.

n Trevor de Carteret is Austrade’s Regional Trade Commissioner for WA

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