AUSTRADE’S Washington-based senior trade commissioner has urged Gold Coast businesses to rethink the US as a viable export option, underpinned by new markets in the public sector.
Alison McGuigan-Lewis highlights an undercurrent of change at play that has opened up to foreign companies, with the emerging pseudo-slogan of a ‘new USA’.
“Change has been underway over the last two years, both in terms of public policy and with respect to global trends like the GFC – opportunities have opened up in areas that weren’t available before, the barriers have lessened and new players can come in,” she says.
“The US public sector is the largest consumer of goods and services in the US, having spent US$1.029 trillion in 2008 US fiscal year, and has an appetite to learn about Australian practices and capabilities in a variety of areas.”
McGuigan-Lewis says those areas include aerospace, defence, biofuels, IT, cyber security and resource management.
“The US Government sees the challenges of water resource management, especially because of climate change and Queensland has been the global frontline in addressing these issues.”
AusTrade’s regional director for the Americas, Grame Barty, says the US remains Australia’s most significant commercial partner, investing $95.4 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2008.
“It’s not only the scale of the relationship which makes the US important, but also the range of sectors it encompasses and the depth of the integration of our commercial links,” he says.