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Welcome to Melbourne – Consul General of Canada in Sydney, Andre Francois Giroux

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The Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Consul General of Canada in Sydney, Andre Francois Giroux, and the Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner, Sarah Quigley to two events in Melbourne in May to discuss COVID-19, international trade and expanding into new markets. Hosted by Minter Ellison, the events were the first held in person by the CACC since the start of the pandemic and were an opportunity for business discussions and networking. Consul General Giroux said coming to Australia had been one of the best moves for his family. “When I go home each night to see big smiling faces with everyone so grateful and happy to be here, it really reinforces how wonderful it is to be in Australia,” he said. Consul General Giroux said while it was sometimes easy to forget about COVID-19 in Australia, given the remarkable efforts that had been achieved in controlling the virus, watching the news was a stark reminder that other countries were not fairing so well. Yet he said the importance of international trade to the Australian market meant the border could not stay closed forever. “There will be a time when Australia needs to open its border because international trade is such an important part of its economy. In Canada, two thirds of its economy rests with international trade and it is a similar reality for Australia,” he said. “The Canadian Government is working really hard to ensure we have a post-COVID recovery that rests on the principles of rules-based trade. We have a number of free trade agreements in place, which are crucial to ensuring the free flow of Canadian goods and services to other parts of the world.” When it came to the role of the Canadian Commission in Sydney and the Canadian High Commission in Canberra, Consul...

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Welcome To Australia, Canadian Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner Sarah Quigley

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Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner Sarah Quigley took up her posting in Australia in January 2020, just as the first COVID-19 cases emerged in Australia. She relocated first to Canberra and then Sydney from Vancouver, with her New Zealand-born husband and two young children. Despite arriving in Australia during a difficult time, Ms Quigley said she loved the beauty of the country and the attitude of the people. “I obviously came to Australia at a challenging time, amidst the bushfires and then COVID-19, and I quickly gained an understanding of the resilience and fortitude of Australians, qualities which are shared by Canadians.” As Senior Trade Commissioner, her role is to lead the trade team in Australia and advise on matters of trade promotion and investment to help Canadian businesses grow in Australia by connecting them with funding, support and opportunities. Conversely, she helps Australian businesses invest and expand in Canada. The trade team consists of 14 trade commissioners and trade commissioner assistants across Australia. “We help businesses export abroad by providing them information on the sector, product or service in Australia they are involved in,” Ms Quigley said. “We provide practical exporting assistance to businesses, helping them get their product from point A to point B. We also support businesses through programs like CanExport, which provides financial assistance to businesses looking to break into new markets.” “We provide problem solving assistance in helping businesses assess their potential or provide business contacts here in Australia.” “Another important service we provide is market access, so if businesses are having trouble in a particular sector, for example, navigating a regulatory issue, we work with these businesses to help represent their needs.” She said being a Senior Trade Commissioner was incredibly interesting and rewarding. “The best part about the role is meeting with Canadian companies....

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Future of Business – A Global Outlook for Australia & Canada

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As anyone in business knows, the past year has challenged us in ways we could not have conceived. The COVID-19 pandemic plunged us into the great unknown. It forced us to change direction rapidly while under enormous pressure, to push boundaries and take risks in order to keep businesses running. Despite the challenges, many businesses are emerging from the other side. So, what lies ahead? Canadian and Australian economists contemplated this question at the Future of Business online webinar, hosted by the CACC in February. PWC Australia Managing Partner and CACC board member Mike McGrath said we were still living in uncertain times and grappling with operating in a COVID-normal world. “Deadlines have come and gone, we’ve had lockdowns – both in Australia and in Canada – and vaccination programs are gradually rolling out,” he said. “There have been government stimulus packages and impacts on strategies and purpose. Businesses have tried to hold onto employees and continue their core functions. We’ve seen people transition to working from home and we’ve seen a change in social sentiment as people have reflected on what is important in life. In this context, we want to look at the economic outlook and recovery and where businesses go from here.” Managing Director and Chief Economist for RBC Capital Markets Su-Lin Ong said the pandemic had helped businesses realise the importance of digitisation and research and development. “Businesses that have had digitalisation strategies in place have been able to react quickly and keep businesses going,” she said. “We are going to see more of this in the months and years ahead.” Yet, for many of us who have been working at home for the better part of a year, human connection has become more important than ever. Vice President and Chief Economist for Export Development Canada...

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