We were honoured by the participation of the Hon Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade, at our Annual General Meeting Luncheon held in the Macquarie Group boardroom, Martin Place Sydney. This was the first time a federal government minister attended an ATBC AGM Luncheon. The Minister spoke informally about the government’s trade policies, particularly its work to revitalise multilateral trade negotiations. He endorsed the work of the ATBC and acknowledged its contribution over almost three decades in fostering business and other relations between Australia and Taiwan.
Ambassador Dr Gary Lin, Taiwan’s Representative at Canberra, also spoke at the Luncheon. He gave an account of Taiwan’s recent economic and political progress and the generally satisfactory state of Australia-Taiwan relations and developments across the Taiwan Strait.
Following the remarks by the two guests, a good discussion took place round the board table. Cliff Barker moved a brief but elegant vote of thanks, urging Taiwan not just to “Embrace the Dragon!” but also to “Cuddle the Koala!”
Thanks to Macquarie Group for excellent facilities and generous hospitality!
This year, the ATBC proudly hosts the 25th Joint Conference with our Taiwan counterpart, the ROC-Australia Business Council (ROCABC).
We’re determined to make it the best Joint Conference ever held in Australia. The Conference is scheduled for 13–15 August, at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove. I’ve included a registration document with this Bulletin.
The Hon Andrew Fraser MP, Treasurer of Queensland and Minister for State Development and Trade, will host the Conference Welcome Dinner on 14 August. We’ve invited the Mayor of the Gold Coast, Cr Ron Clarke MBE, to the Conference Lunch on 15 August, hosted by the Gold Coast City Council.
I’m pleased to inform readers that the Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Minister for Resources and Energy and Minister for Tourism, has accepted our invitation to speak at the Conference on 15 August. Martin Ferguson was a popular speaker at the 23rd Joint Conference in 2009. He has taken a close interest in the resources trade and investment with Taiwan.
More details about the Conference program are in the registration document attached.
In early May, Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs hosted the 2011 Australia-Taiwan ‘bilateral economic consultations’ (BEC). Dr Heather Smith, Deputy Secretary, DFAT, led the Australian delegation. Mr Liang Kuo-hsin, a vice minister for Economic Affairs, chaired the meeting. I presented a report on behalf of the business community, encouraging the Taiwan government to open the local economy further.
One of the decisions of the 2011 BEC was to try again to encourage investment in both directions. Last year, the ATBC made a major effort to have ‘Taiwan Inc’ look again at the benefits of investment in Australian resources. The effort seems to have been fruitful. A senior investment mission from Taiwan will visit Australia, we hope in time to take part in the
25th Joint Conference.
I must thank Mr Travis Wu for the improvements he has made to our website. He’s improved the overall appearance as well as the interactivity.