House of Representatives Committees

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Building Australia's Trade and Investment Relationship with South America

List of Recommendations

Chapter 3: Coalition Building, Economic and Regional Considerations

Recommendation 1

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, along with the New Zealand Government, urge the Mercosur countries to reinvigorate the CER-Mercosur dialogue.

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government pursue as a priority the development of an Australia-Mercosur free trade agreement.

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the Australian Parliament, under the Inter-Parliamentary Union, establish an Australia/Andean Community Parliamentary Group.

Recommendation 4

The Committee recommends that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, along with its portfolio partner Austrade, develop a strategy to establish Australia as a bridge to Asia for the economies of South America.

Chapter 4: Building a Sound Trade and Investment Relationship

Recommendation 5

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government establish an Australia-South America Foundation.

Recommendation 6

The Committee recommends that the Australia-South America Foundation be serviced by a secretariat located in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that the Australian diplomatic missions in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela and the consulates in So Paulo, Brazil and Lima, Peru, promote the activities of the Australia-South America Foundation in South America.

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in cooperation with Austrade, form a South America Working Group to enable greater cooperation and information exchange between governments, both federal and state, business and business forums on the opportunities, activities, initiatives and developments in South America.

Recommendation 9

The Committee recommends that the Prime Minister visit the South American region.

Recommendation 10

The Committee recommends that the visit of the Prime Minister to South America be followed closely by the Minister for Trade visiting the region accompanied by Australian business representatives.

Recommendation 11

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government, in partnership with industry, establish an exchange program for young executives between Australia and the countries of South America.

Recommendation 12

The Committee recommends that, as an initiative of the Australia-South America Foundation, the Australian Government investigate the development of a program to provide the less developed countries of South America with the opportunity to capture the expertise and skills of people who have retired from the Australian workforce.

Recommendation 13

The Committee recommends that the Australian Tourist Commission substantially increase its efforts in South America to capitalise on the tourism potential.

Recommendation 14

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs introduce the Electronic Travel Authority into Argentina, Brazil and Chile, followed by the other South American countries.

Recommendation 15

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs introduce a visa category that allows persons to be sponsored by Australian business to work not only in the company in Australia but to undertake formal study at the same time.

Recommendation 16

The Committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs revise its visa processing requirements in South America to streamline the process and reduce the compliance costs to applicants.

Recommendation 17

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government reassess priorities for the negotiation of double taxation agreements and move to negotiate double taxation agreements with more South American countries.

Recommendation 18

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government give consideration to Australia becoming a member of the Inter-American Development Bank.

Recommendation 19

The Committee recommends that AusAID provide a budget allocation for development projects in South America in cooperation with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Chapter 5: Government Support for Australian Companies

Recommendation 20

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide the Australian mission in Caracas, Venezuela, with additional resources to allow an appropriate level of service and support for the development of Australian trade and investment interests in the markets of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Recommendation 21

The Committee recommends that the Canada, Latin America and Caribbean Section of the Americas Branch in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade be realigned, with the Canada desk to be placed in another section.

Recommendation 22

The Committee recommends that Austrade examine the resources provided to the Americas regional office in Canberra and the level of information flow coming from the Trade Commissioners to harmonise more effectively its relationship with Austrade South America.

Recommendation 23

The Committee recommends that Austrade, in consultation with its portfolio partner the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, implement an information exchange strategy between the partners to ensure greater awareness and knowledge of potential and available business opportunities for Australia in South America.

Recommendation 24

The Committee recommends that Austrade review its user pay cost structure and introduce a concessional fee-for-service rate to assist small to medium enterprises to enter emerging markets.

Recommendation 25

The Committee recommends that the Australian Government provide an additional budget allocation to assist the introduction of the concesssional fee-for-service by Austrade.

Recommendation 26

The Committee recommends that Austrade show separately the information on key performance indicators for South America in its Annual Report.

Recommendation 27

The Committee recommends that Austrade implement a publicity strategy to raise the profile of South America within the Australian community as a potential export and investment destination.

Recommendation 28

The Committee recommends that the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio, as part of its Brazil sectoral papers series under the Latin America Action Agenda, prepare a paper on the services sector.

Recommendation 29

The Committee recommends that Austrade improve the quality of its presentation at international fairs and expositions to ensure that Australia is properly promoted.

Recommendation 30

The Committee recommends that EFIC actively participate in trade shows in South America focusing on the benefits over the long term rather than taking the short term outcome approach to participation.

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