The ACT Exporters’ Network provides a forum for exporters to network, share knowledge and expand their export activities….. and it’s been doing it for 10 years!
To celebrate this milestone members of the Network got together to remember past successes, as well as plan for the future at the Export Network – Towards 2020 Symposium and Gala Dinner on 4 August 2011.
Brand Hoff, Andrew Barr MLA and Peter Yuile
Andrew Barr MLA, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Economic Development joined with the Network in its celebrations, cutting the cake with Peter Yuile, Deputy Chief of Austrade, and Brand Hoff, Export Hero and Chair of Canberra Business Council (CBC). Having representatives from the ACT Government, Austrade and CBC was an important reminder of how the Network first began, as well the strong ongoing relationship between these three organisations as the importance of exporting to Canberra’s economy and community is recognised.
Canberra’s economic reach has always extended far beyond its geographic size – often referred to as punching above our weight. On the global scene Canberra’s exporters have shown resilience against downward trends, with the ACT increasing the value of its exports in 2009-2010 by 8 per cent, to $1.1 billion. We were, in fact, the only Australian jurisdiction to record growth in exports over this period.
But Canberra’s exporters know they cannot be complacent, and one of the aims of the Symposium was to identify key issues facing exporters, and look to solutions to assist exporters to continue their strong record of success and growth. Canberra’s exporters, through the Network, have had a strong record of providing input into development and delivery of key government initiatives including International Business Development Strategy, ACT Education Export Strategy, ACT Export Census, participation in the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and 2011 Trade Mission to Malaysia, and the ACT Chief Minister’s Export Awards – and the Symposium provided another avenue to continue to provide valued and relevant input.
Following the Symposium, which included a combination of guest speakers and workshop sessions, the exporters and other members of Canberra’s business community met for dinner at Old Parliament House. BRW’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year and Chief Executive, Freelancer.com, Matt Barrie, was the keynote speaker at the dinner and challenged guests as he shared stories of his entrepreneurial initiatives and achievements in developing Freelancer.com, which is the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace connecting over 2.5 million professionals from around the globe.
But before dinner guests heard from Matt Barrie, the ACT Exporters’ Network revealed another exciting initiative – the ACT Trade and Investment Ambassador Program. Just as the Symposium provided an opportunity for exporters to learn, share and develop strategies to assist our vibrant export community to grow even stronger, the ACT Trade and Investment Ambassador program is about telling the world about Canberra as a place to do business, study, live and visit. The program recognises that exporters travel regularly as they build relationships in existing markets and develop new ones and that they are perfectly placed to sell Canberra to the world. This program designates 12 Ambassadors to take on this honorary role more formally for a period of two years, at which time other successful and active exporters will take their turn in this role.
CBC’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms Chris Faulks, announced the names of the inaugural Ambassadors, with Andrew Barr again making time to celebrate with the Network and presenting the Ambassadors with their certificates. Ambassadors named at the dinner were Michael Cliff, Greg and Marita Corra, Brent Juratowitch, Glenn Keys, Peter Murphy, Professor Stephen Parker, Stewart Rendall, Dr Ed Roberts, Rod Sandison, Professor David Widdowson and Philip Williamson.
The ACT Exporters’ Network would like to acknowledge the generous support of the ACT Government in sponsoring Export Network – Towards 2020, as well as their ongoing willingness to listen to, and work with, Canberra’s exporters.
Being able to share experiences, share knowledge and encourage each other in their exporting journey, while drawing on assistance from those that provide assistance and support for exporters, is what the ACT Exporters’ Network is all about. If you would like to be involved in our events, or find out more about the Network, please visit our website (www.actexportersnetwork.com.au) or contact the Network Manager, Pam Faulks at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 6247 4199.