The Chamber - Winter 2022

the Chamber 3 A letter from the Chairman W e have already almost raced through the first half of 2022 and, when I reflect on the past six months, I am delighted to note how positively our bilateral partnership continues to progress and how the numerous developments in our relationship have been reflected in the Chamber’s own growth. Since the signing of the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement in December, we have waited patiently for the ratification process and were pleased to see the establishment of a new Trade Bill announced in the UK in early May. This is not only a crucial element in ratifying the Agreement, but also demonstrates a clear commitment from the UK Government to bolstering international trade at a time when it is being challenged globally. While we await implementation, I invite you to read Delivering Opportunity: A review of the AU-UK Free Trade Agreement. This report, compiled in partnership with our Principal Sponsor, Harrow Advisory, draws on a broad survey we conducted in February of this year as well as in-depth interviews with leading executives across both countries. It reveals the very optimistic outlook from businesses ready to capitalise on this gold standard Agreement, and further points to their keen desire to tap into an expanded market of experience, skills and capabilities. In early May, we also bade farewell to our dear friend and staunch supporter, The Hon. George Brandis QC, former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. The Chamber had the pleasure of hosting three intimate boardroom events in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne to honour the departing High Commissioner and his many achievements in strengthening the relationship between Australia and the UK. On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank George for his guidance and support throughout his term. We are indebted to his service and look forward to working with him in another capacity in the future. The Chamber also looks forward to the appointment of a new High Commissioner after the Federal Election, who will have a crucial role as the Free Trade Agreement is ratified and co-operation steps up across a broad range of areas. We have had a very busy first quarter, with an outstanding calendar of in-person and online events, including our national lunch series with The Hon. Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment; our 13th annual KPMG Budget Breakfast and our International Women’s Day breakfasts in Sydney and Melbourne. The Chamber team has been working tirelessly to deliver exceptional events and continues to strive for maximum relevance across our Membership offerings. We are delighted to return both our Health and Infrastructure Catalysts to the United Kingdom in late June and September, respectively. These international programmes act as key bridges between industry leaders in Australia and the UK, assisting us in building stronger networks to tackle pressing issues across our healthcare systems and infrastructure sectors. For more information, I encourage you to reach out to our International Programmes Manager, Jennifer Cramond. Finally, I would like to introduce our newest staff member, Matthew Joyce, Victorian Commercial Partnerships Manager. As you may already be aware, Matthew joined the Chamber in early May and has been doing great work since then. We are delighted to have Matthew on board as this marks a significant opportunity for further growth throughout the State and moreover, enhanced support for our Victorian Members. As always, the Chamber looks forward to another quarter of assisting Members in growing your businesses and bolstering the strong bilateral relationship between Australia and the UK. Andrew Low National Chairman, Australian British Chamber of Commerce