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Boardroom Briefings by the Australian High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Natasha Smith

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The CACC was proud to welcome the Australian High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Natasha Smith, to boardroom briefings in Sydney and Melbourne to discuss the bilateral relationship between Australia and Canada, especially trade and investment.  She highlighted the key features of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and its benefits for Australian and Canadian businesses. Her Excellency said the connection between the two countries was strong and deep.  The first ever Canadian Trade Commissioner arrived in Sydney in 1895, and 2020 would mark 80 years of having High Commissioners in both countries. PICTURED: H.E. Natasha Smith with Mike McGrath, Managing Partner CMO for PwC. The bilateral trade and investment relationship is also strong and enduring.  But despite this, the CPTPP was the first full free trade agreement struck between the two counties. “The CPTPP is the ‘gold standard’ of trade agreements,” she said. Quoting Jim Carr, the Canadian Minister of International Trade Diversification, Her Excellency described the trade agreement as a bridge that governments build and then it was up to individual businesses to use the bridge. She said the CPTPP opened up new opportunities for businesses across the 11 countries that were part of the agreement. “The agreement provides significant tariff reductions and eliminations that will benefit Australian businesses. Beef is a key example, within five years all tariffs on Australian beef into Canada will be eliminated and wine tariffs have already disappeared with ratification.” Her Excellency said one of the biggest advantages to the agreement was the freer flow of people between the countries to support business growth, through temporary entry commitments. PICTURED: Jack Cowin - CACC Patron, Angela Bogdan - Consul General of Canada to Australia, H.E. Natasha Smith, Minh Dao - Co-Chair CACC Events Committee and Doug Carmichael - CACC President. “I personally...

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What the NHL can teach Australians about diversity

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Did you know the NHL is a world leader in efforts to end homophobia in in sport?  Perhaps even more surprising, hockey’s leadership is largely due to the work of hockey hard-man Brian Burke and his family (Burke is Canada’s politer version of Australia’s Eddie McGuire). The former Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames executive, and his son Patrick, helped found an organisation called You Can Play after Brian’s other son died in a car accident. Brendan Burke was gay and never felt welcome in hockey.  Since 2012, You Can Play has become the world leader in efforts to promote the inclusion of LGBT+ people in sport. On a recent tour of Australia, they shared their secrets around how they inspired the NHL to lead. The visit was organised by the CACC in partnership with the Canadian Government, as well as, Monash University, NAB, Salesforce, and Amnesty International. You Can Play’s tour was designed to inspire Australians, particularly our major sport organisations, and shift the thinking that Australians are doing enough to combat discrimination in sport.  The contrast between Australia and Canada is stark This year every NHL team held LGBT+ Pride events (e.g. Pride Nights) and many teams also sent players to march in local Pride Parades. The NHL’s leadership has inspired other leagues, including Major League Baseball and the NBA, to also join the Pride party. In contrast, just one Australian professional male sport league (AFL) and one team (either St Kilda or Sydney Swans) hold annual Pride Games. Participation in Mardi Gras has also been limited.  During the Australian tour, You Can Play’s team spoke to nearly 300 sport leaders, government officials, and LGBT community leaders at events, meetings, and seminars, including training sessions in Sydney hosted by Cricket Australia/NSW and in Melbourne hosted by Rugby Australia/Victoria, such...

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Understanding the CPTPP agreement and what it means for Canada & Australia

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On December 30, 2018 Canada entered into the widely discussed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) along with six other nations within the Asia-Pacific region. The trade agreement, once fully implemented, will bring together approximately 500 million people from across 11 nations including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, to provide preferential access to markets across four continents.  In both Canada and Australia, there has been extensive discussion among business operators, the media and the general public about the trade agreement and its impact on Canadian and Australian businesses. But what does the trade agreement actually mean for the citizens of these 11 countries? How will it change the way we do business or invest? And, specifically, what does it mean for both Australia and Canada – two countries with uncannily similar histories, growth and cultures despite the oceanic distance?  Tell me simply, what does the agreement do? In simple terms, through the agreement, trade and investment rules are simplified to ensure trade is fairer, more predictable and helps reduce the number of logistic resources required. The agreement seeks to offer foreign direct investors enhanced protection, predictability and transparency for their investments. The agreement also provides greater access to fast growing markets across the four continents – North America, South America, Asia and Australia. So, what does the agreement mean for Australia and Canada? Canada itself has accomplished a significant feat as a result of entering into the CPTPP agreement. Canada is believed to be the only G7 nation with free trade access across the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, putting it in a truly unique place on the global stage when it comes to trade and investment. From a Canadian perspective, the agreement is expected to inject $4.2 billion into...

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