Australian Business in ASEAN 2020
AustCham ASEAN produced its annual survey report, providing unparalleled insights into the confidence and plans of the Australian business community in ASEAN. In April 2020 this annual survey report included an Impact of COVID-19 overlay which assisted key policy makers as to the key challenges business across ASEAN were facing during the early phase of the pandemic.
In July 2020, AustCham ASEAN released a supplementary survey which provided further information and updates as to the impact of COVID-19. Comparative data was gathered and was used to further inform both the government and private sector as to the resilience of business across the region.
The insights from these reports are utilised to inform key policy makers as to the opportunities and challenges in each individual member state and across the region. The latest edition of the survey is now available here.
Business Community Briefings
Following the analysis of the data gathered from the Impact of COVID 19 Surveys in April and July 2020, AustCham ASEAN joined together with the Australian Government and Austrade to provide virtual briefings to the business community across ASEAN. With valuable insights as to the impact of COVID-19 on business across the region, AustCham ASEAN was well placed to assist on briefing organisations as to the key challenges and most sought after assistance across ASEAN.
ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting: August 2020
As the recognised voice for Australian business within ASEAN, AustCham ASEAN presented the key findings and outcomes from the work undertaken across the year, and the CEO forum as part of the Special Summit to ASEAN Economic Ministers and counterpart Australian and New Zealand Trade Ministers on 18 August 2020. The relevant ASEAN Economic Ministers expressed particular interest in the factors affecting investment choices and the key challenges resulting from the impact of COVID-19 across different ASEAN Member States.
Advocacy relating to the Impact of Financial Relief Assistance to Australians Living and Working in ASEAN
AustCham ASEAN prepared a briefing letter to the Australian Government on behalf of Australian individuals and businesses on the impact of COVID-19 on Australian living and working overseas. This letter discussed key items of interest such as:
- the impact of quarantine restrictions, and limited house auctions on the capital gains tax exemptions for house sales for Australians who are considered non-Australia residents for tax purposes;
- tax residency implications for non-Australian residents temporarily in Australia who may be forced to stay longer than they originally intended as a result of the pandemic; and
- superannuation obligations where a foreign resident remains in Australia beyond the three-month threshold as the ATO had indicated that an Australian employer may have STP reporting, PAYGW, Fringe Benefits Tax and superannuation guarantee obligations.
Thematic Working Groups
AustCham ASEAN’s Working Groups offer members an ASEAN wide advocacy and networking platform for the exchange of information on key issues and opportunities, and as a collective form an effective vehicle from which to drive change in the region.
The working groups are initially concentrating on the following thematic areas:
Agri-food and supply chain logistics
Digital transformation and Industry 4.0
It is envisaged that the thematic areas will be expanded to cover education, infrastructure/energy, and tourism & aviation in response to the needs of Corporate Members. In addition, AustCham ASEAN will focus on areas which align with the advocacy and commercial priorities of the working group’s members.
Australian Business in ASEAN 2019
AustCham ASEAN produces an annual survey report, providing unparalleled insights into the confidence and plans of the Australian business community in ASEAN. The insights from this report are utilised to inform key policy makers as to the opportunities and challenges in each individual member state and across the region. The latest edition of the survey is now available here.
Addressing Non-Tariff Barriers in the Agri-food sector in ASEAN
Following a key recommendation from the CEO forum at the special summit, AustCham ASEAN has partnered with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to form a Working Group focussed on understanding the impact non-tariff measures have on market access and cost for the Agri-food industry. Bringing together key industry bodies across food & beverage, meats, grains, and dairy, this working group will identify a constructive way forward to reduce the burden of such measures in ASEAN.
Capturing the ASEAN food opportunity for Northern Australia
Following the release by the Australian government of the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia in June 2015, it emerged that closer economic integration with our northern neighbours (the ASEAN region) is an ideal way to catalyse development in Northern Australia, however, there are significant barriers before the region can capitalise on this opportunity. Partnering with the CRC for Developing Northern Australia, AustCham ASEAN is examining the barriers of entry for a number of high potential commodities in key ASEAN markets, and developing an action plan as to how they may be overcome.
The Australian business community in ASEAN now has a voice directly at the heart of ASEAN policy making. AustCham ASEAN was recognised by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and the ASEAN Secretariat as a Joint Business Council and the voice for Australian business operating within the region at the ASEAN level. This provides Australian business with direct access to working groups and committees on issues of importance to Australian business such as Non-Tariff Measures and Barriers, healthcare integration, trade facilitation, and standards and conformance.
Australia-ASEAN Special Summit 2018
In March 2018, the Australian Prime Minister welcomed the 10 ASEAN leaders to Sydney for the inaugural ASEAN-Australia Special Summit. AustCham ASEAN played a crucial role in preparing the business element of the summit, with the CEO forum bringing together 130 CEOs from across Australia and ASEAN to discuss concrete ways that the business relationships could be strengthened. In preparation for the Summit, a survey of the Australian business community was undertaken, with focus groups conducted in the areas of:
Digital transformation and industry 4.0;
Tourism Destination Development and Aviation;
Future Energy and Supply Chains;
Agri-food and Supply Chain Logistics; and
These then formed the basis for discussion at the CEO forum and were instrumental in the business recommendations that followed the summit.
ASEAN Smart Cities Network
As the chair of ASEAN for 2018, Singapore chose a theme of ‘Resilient and Innovative’, with the ASEAN Smart Cities Network as a key initiative to implement this theme. The Network is a collaborative platform where cities across ASEAN work towards a common goal of smart and sustainable urban development. Through the ASEAN-Australia Smart Cities Initiative AustCham ASEAN was involved in assisting the Australian government to select which cities would be initially supported under this program. In addition, this work was showcased to ASEAN leaders and dialogue partners, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, at the November Leader’s Summit in Singapore.
ASEAN Economic Ministers – Closer Economic Relationship
As the recognised voice for Australian business within ASEAN, AustCham ASEAN presented the key findings and outcomes from the work undertaken across the year, and the CEO forum as part of the Special Summit to ASEAN Economic Ministers and counterpart Australian and New Zealand Trade Ministers, who expressed particular interest in the factors driving investment choices across different ASEAN Member States.