The Chamber - Spring 2019

the Chamber 3 A letter from the Chairman T he Chamber has had a fantastic first half of the year. Alongside our domestic events, which have continued to grow in number, we held our 3rd Australian British Financial Services Catalyst (ABFSC) and 1st Australian British Health Catalyst (ABHC) in the UK at the beginning of July. The Financial Services Catalyst has shown continued growth and improvement in content and quality. The programme covered cyber crime, data, open banking, legacy systems, the Fintech Bridge, and included a function at the House of Lords. The inaugural Health Catalyst was a tremendous success. The four day programme focussed on discussing digital healthcare and the care network of the future. Starting in London, the Catalyst went on to travel to Cambridge to visit the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and the Wellcome Genome Campus at Hinxton Hall, home to the Human Genome Project. We are well on the way to establishing a truly significant international bilateral programme as part of the Chamber’s business offering to its Members and the Australian and British business community. I would like to thank the organising committees and sponsors for both Catalysts. We could not have achieved it without your support and expertise, in particular, Andrew Chick, Chair of the Financial Services Catalyst. I would also like to thank Catherine Spence, International Programmes Manager, who joined the Chamber team this year, and Andy Turnbull in managing the Catalysts. She worked tirelessly to produce two seamless Catalysts. We look forward to the Australian British Infrastructure Catalyst taking place across London, Birmingham and Manchester on 30 September – 4 October this year. Places are filling fast with great support from senior figures in both countries. Book now to avoid missing out. More detailed reports of the Financial Services and Health Catalysts can be found on pages 6 and 7 of this magazine. The domestic business of the Chamber was excellent for the second quarter. We held an impressive array of boardroom and business functions in all states. Speakers included; Philip Aiken, Chairman of Balfour Beatty; the Hon Andrew Constance MP, Minister for Transport and Roads (NSW); Paul Bloxham, Chief Economist, HSBC; Shayne Elliott, CEO, ANZ; Grant King, President, Business Council of Australia; Hon Martin Pakula MP, Minister for Jobs, Innovation & Trade (VIC); Tim Reardon, Secretary, Department of Premier & Cabinet; Romilly Madew AO, CEO, Infrastructure Australia; Jennifer Westacott AO, CEO, Business Council of Australia; Elizabeth Ward, DFAT’s Chief Negotiator Regional Trade Agreements Division; John Burton OBE, MD, Urban Regeneration and Howard Collins OBE, CEO, Sydney Trains. Internally, the Chamber is reviewing our offering to Members and seeking to improve our Member experience particularly through our website and online portal. We are aiming to relaunch our online presence in early 2020. Brexit continues to make headlines in the UK and globally. After a leadership campaign following Prime Minister May’s resignation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson assumed office on 24 July. Putting into place a pro-Brexit cabinet, Johnson has clearly stated his objective for the UK to leave the EU on 31 October and has ramped up ‘No Deal’ preparations. Relevant ministers to the ABCC’s work include Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab; International Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss; Defence Secretary Ben Wallace; Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid; Home Secretary Priti Patel; and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom. In a letter to the European Council President, Donald Tusk, on 19 August, PM Johnson reiterated his desire to strike a deal with the EU to avoid a ‘Hard Brexit’, but called for the contentious Northern Irish backstop to be ‘replaced’. This sets up what will undoubtedly be a fractious few weeks, both with Brussels and in the House of Commons, ahead of the Brexit deadline on Halloween. Thank you to all our Members, Sponsors and speakers from this year so far, we look forward to the second half. David Slessar OBE National Chairman, Australian British Chamber of Commerce A full list of all upcoming events can be found at Upcoming events The Rt Hon the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Peter Estlin 11 September, Business Lunch, Melbourne 13 September, Business Lunch, Sydney South Australia: The Defence State 20 September, Business Lunch, Adelaide Australian British Infrastructure Catalyst (ABIC) 2019 30 September – 4 October, Conference, UK Wine Tasting Evening with Plantagenet 24 October, Evening Networking, Melbourne NSW Golf Day 2019 30 October, St Michael’s Golf Club Romilly Madew AO - CEO, Infrastructure Australia 13 November, Business Lunch, Melbourne Workplace Gender Equality Agency Report Business Lunch 19 November, Melbourne 21 November, Sydney 25 November, Brisbane 27 November, Adelaide 29 November, Perth