Dear ABCC members,
There’s no doubt that these are tumultuous political times globally, but especially in Australia and Brazil. History would say Australia’s economic performance seems little affected by what Prime Minister holds office year to year – although it upsets the party faithful no end when PM’s are handed early retirement by their colleagues. In Brazil, after the first positive year of economic growth after 2 years of contraction, the economic future is very much linked to the politics of the recent general election.
Through these politically choppy waters which our members, their companies, and our diplomatic and trade staff have to navigate, the Australia Brazil Chamber of Commerce’s raison d'être seems to me to be more important than ever. In such volatile times, in which the best business decisions are needed to ensure survival, the ABCC is a safe harbour in which members can share others’ experiences and views before making those difficult business decisions.
The ABCC’s primary objective is to connect and support businesses and business people in both countries with what they need so that their businesses end up being stronger and more successful than if they were not members of the ABCC. To achieve this objective, the ABCC needs to be financially stable and lead selflessly by professionals who can both understand and help solve member needs.
I am pleased to say that 2017/2018 s a year of financial stability and growth for the ABCC and most pleasingly a year during which we able to retain and attract amazing talent to the ABCC Board right across Australia.
High profile events throughout the year including; the September 2017 World Chambers Conference, the 2017 Christmas Party, the farewell reception in October 2017 for 25 university leaders from Brazil visiting Australia under the ABRUEM delegation (Associacao Brasileira dos Reitores das Universidades Estaduais e Municipais) and a number of cocktail events and business briefings with our Australian Ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency Ambassador John Richardson, Brazil’s Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Ambassador Manuel Innocencio Santos and Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner to Brazil, Mr Greg Wallis, were all very well attended by members and guests.
The higher profile events were interspersed with our ever-popular Mix@6 in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane which continue to prove to be a relaxed way for members and friends to connect in a social environment on a regular basis. Our co-chamber associations and events have also been a really great way to share diversity of views and cultures amongst business colleagues working in other countries and parts of the world.
We continued to publish our popular newsletter, Boletim Brazil, which during the course of the year published high quality self-sourced material on many legal, commercial and political issues to do with doing business between Australia and Brazil. None of the above achievements would be possible without the amazing energy and commitment of my fellow directors. Each of them commits their time and effort to the success of the ABCC totally voluntarily. Without that commitment and their energy, the great things that have been achieved during the last 12 months would not have been anywhere near possible and for that I thank them most sincerely.
Finally, it has been a great honour to serve a third year as ABCC President, I take great satisfaction in the successes achieved this year and very much look forward to working with the ABCC in the years to come as we deliver on our vision of creating Australia’s pre-eminent business chamber serving the exciting Latin America market.
The end of 2018 with it's new diplomatic appointments and the ABCC welcomes His Excellency Ambassador Sérgio Eduardo Moreira Lima who recently commenced his post to Australia and His Excellency Ambassador Timothy Kane who is now based in Brasilia. I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Ambassador Santos and Ambassador Richardson for their support and commitment during their posts to Australia and Brazil respectively.
Australian Brazil Chamber of Commerce
This is a modified version of the report delivered at the ABCC’s AGM on 25 October 2018, by Rob Grant, ABCC President.