Roundtable with Xavier Simonet & Gerald Thomson

On Thursday 11 April 2024, the Perth USAsia Centre hosted Xavier Simonet, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), and Gerald Thomson, First Assistant Secretary (Southeast Asia Strategy and Development) at the Office of Southeast Asia at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). 

Trade and investment are at the heart of Australia’s economic stability – one in five Australian jobs depends on trade, while investors contribute to one in 10 Australian jobs. But in the face of global conflicts, US-China competition, and technological disruption, safeguarding and promoting Australia’s trade and investment interests has become more complex than ever. 

To navigate this complex international environment, Australia needs to diversify its economic partnerships. Southeast Asia in particular offers a dynamic market with many opportunities – but more work needs to be done to raise awareness of the region’s potential in Australia. The Australian Government can play an important role in helping the Australian business community benefit from and contribute to the region’s growth potential.


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