ALABC August 2019 E-News | The latest selection of carefully curated digital content on business and political developments across Latin America |

Dear Members and Friends,

Welcome to our August 2019 E-Newsletter.

First of all, it has been an impressive month for events with ALABC. We have enjoyed hosting a variety of events ranging from FinTech development and expansion into the LATAM market to a round table about the Lithium Value Chain and continuing the Ambassador Boardroom Luncheon Series. 

On the 12th of September we are holding our 8th Annual Networking Event at Parliament House in Canberra, which entails bringing together our Patron and Large Corporate Members with the Latin American Heads of Mission, the directors of ALABC, representatives of key allies (e.g. Department of Industry, Dept of Home Affairs, DFAT, Department of Transport, Global Victoria, Trade and Investment Queensland, Austrade, etc.) and invited guests from both the public and private sectors.

We are particularly excited that this year we have secured the attendance of the Minister of Trade and Investment Senator Simon Birmingham at the meeting. 

Please check our events page regularly, as registrations are open for our upcoming networking events.


  • Queensland Annual Dinner, 22 October, Custom House, Brisbane.
  • Victoria Annual Dinner, 31 October, PWC, Melbourne.
  • ALABC 30th Year Anniversary Gala Dinner, 29 of November Sydney. 

We look forward to maintaining regular conversation between both ALABC members and non-members. We are proud of the relationships we have developed and look forward to continue to strive towards business expansion and growth between Australia and Latin America. 

Yours sincerely,

Marcelo Salas
Chief Executive Officer 

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In this issue 

August 2019


Sponsorship Package 2019

Lithium in Australia and LATAM Conference (Brisbane) 

Canberra Networking Day 2019 

Chile: The Gateway To Latin America For Australian Business

Costa Rica is among the Leaders in Global Innovation

Santander to Connect Latin America to Ripple-Powered Remittance Service


Welcome to the New Ambassador of Costa Rica - HE Armando Vargas Araya

A writer and historian, Sr. Vargas Araya is the author of 31 books on different aspects of communications and culture. He received the Gold Medal of the National History Prize and is a member of five national or foreign learned academies. The first Communications Minister in the Government of the Republic, he has served as Ambassador on Special Missions to Argentina, El Salvador and Cuba; five Latin American and European countries have decorated him.

A founding member of the Costa Rican College of Journalists, to which Presidency he was elected, he has been a director, correspondent or manager of information media and news agencies in four countries of the Americas. He has been a university professor and guest speaker at professional events and academic centres in some twenty countries of the Americas, Asia and Europe.

With a considerable international career in the private sector as a strategist on communications and IT, he has been a vice-president or director in satellite communications corporations both in the UK and US. He’s a founding member and the first chairman of the Infocommunication and Technology Chamber.  

Air New Zealand: Supercharging New Zealand's success - socially, environmentally and economically

At Air New Zealand we're acutely aware our success is inextricably linked to the success of New Zealand. Similarly, a successful New Zealand needs a significant and thriving Air New Zealand.

For more than 75 years, we've been part of the fabric of our society. To ensure we're a strong, vibrant business for at least another 75 years it's critical we commit to a purpose that's bigger than ourselves - that is to supercharge New Zealand's success socially, environmentally and economically.
Learn more here >

Chile: The Gateway to Latin America For Australian Business 

Chile is well known as a regional favourite for Australian businesses looking to make their first moves into the Latin America market. Though the region overall is showing signs of impressive growth and a number of regional powers are emerging, Chile remains a firm favourite for Australia’s ambitious companies.

Strong bilateral connections, close geographic proximity and similar economic strengths make Chile an ideal destination for Australian entrepreneurs.
Read more>

Costa Rica is among the Leaders in Global Innovation

Cost Rica is the 2nd most innovative economy in Latin America, according to the Global Innovation Index (GII) developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The study highlights Costa Rica in the indicators of business sophistication, creative production of goods and services, and quality of human resources, which allowed it to climb 6 positions in the ranking with respect to the previous year. In total, our country obtained 38.40 points on a base of 100. 


Read more>

Santander to Connect Latin America to Ripple-Powered Remittance Service

Spanish megabank Santander Group is expanding its use of Ripple’s technology.

The bank is building a “payment corridor” that would let customers in Latin America send money to the U.S. instantly for free via One Pay FX, a mobile app that uses Ripple’s xCurrent software, officials told CoinDesk.

Currently, only customers in the U.K. and Spain can send money to the U.S. over One Pay FX. While the bank would not reveal how many Latin American countries it plans to connect to the corridor, Santander serves Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Mexico.

Read more>

Smartphone Growth - A Driver of E-Commerce in Latin America 

Smartphone adoption has grown rapidly in Latin America, according to a report by GSMA, which also went on to describe the potential for further growth in the future. The Latin American market is quite diverse with some countries already at high smartphone penetration rates, but other markets still in their infancy.

The rapid growth of smartphones has helped the growth of e-commerce. The expected continued growth of smartphone adoption in the region offers the potential for e-commerce to continue to grow.

Read more>

 Brazil makes a smart move to attract and retain foreign investment

Governments around the world are increasingly devising strategies to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) by creating a more efficient, predictable and "investment-friendly" business climate. These improvements make it easier for investors to establish operations, conduct their day-to-day businesses, and expand their investments.

Read more>

Colombia and Australia, growing opportunities

On Wednesday, July 10th, the Australian Ambassador to Colombia and Venezuela, Sophie Davies, was invited by ALABC to a business lunch with 15 representative members from different industrial sectors of Australia. At the meeting, she provided an overview of the current state of the social, political and economic environment in the two South American countries and the current and future trade relations between Australia and Colombia.

Ambassador Davies said that Australia and Colombia are working towards concluding a Free Trade Agreement through negotiations between Australia and the Pacific Alliance (Colombia, Peru, Chile and Mexico) within the year. Australia is looking for a comprehensive, high quality outcome which will strengthen trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.

Colombia’s sound macroeconomic policies, including recent entry to the OECD, have created ideal investment conditions with a controlled inflation rate, solid credit ratings, expanding middle class and a stable political environment. Colombia is Latin America’s fourth largest economy and an important growing market for Australian business.

Colombia is Australia’s eight largest international student source market by total enrolments and the second largest market for English (ELICOS) students behind China. There are nearly 17,000 Colombian students currently studying in Australian institutions. The education sector was worth over A$557 million in export revenue from Colombia in 2018. 
Ambassador Davies highlighted the recent Air Service Agreement signed between Colombia’s Civil Aeronautics Authority and Australia, which now provides airlines with the ability to commence direct or semi-direct flights between Australia and Colombia. There are already close to 66,000 people per annum travelling between the two countries and there is a growing business case for improved flight connectivity.
During the lunch, Ambassador Davies also highlighted the projects Australia has sponsored to support Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, through the Australian Embassy´s Direct Aid Program (DAP). Since the Embassy opened in 2017, DAP has supported ten development projects focused on sustainable mining, sports, agriculture and gender equality as a contribution to Colombia’s post-conflict and poverty alleviation.

Australia has also cooperated with Colombia in the fight against illegal drug trafficking since the year 2000 with the Australian Federal Police.
By David Esteban Cedano

Global Talent Program - Department of Home Affairs

The Government continues to focus on our skills based migration system with a new scheme called the Global Talent Initiative.

The Government is investing $12.9 million in the Initiative which will strengthen Australia's ability to compete for the best and brightest skilled migrants from across the globe.

Internationally, there is intense competition for global talent. Australia needs to be at the forefront in attracting the best and the brightest to help grow a stronger economy and a more prosperous Australia.


Premiers' Address with The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales. Sydney, 2 of August 2019

The Australia Latin America Business Council (ALABC) was pleased to invite  our members and friends to attend the Premier's Address with the Hon. Gladys Berejeklian MP,  Premier of NSW on Friday 2nd of August at a Hotel in Sydney CBD. 

ALABC  in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia,  the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce, the French Australian Chamber of Commerce, German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Australia, La Camara Spanish-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry,  The Australia - Peru Chamber of Commerce and The Australia - Brazil Chamber of Commerce are proud to present the NSW Premier, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP. 



The Future of FinTech/RegTech in Latin America: Opportunities for Scale Ups
Sydney, 15 of August 2019 

On Thursday 15th August 2019, ALABC invited both members and general admissions to attend the Latin American FinTech Conference. With a panel of industry experts and guest speakers, attendees were encouraged to participate in an extensive and intimate Q & A to gain insight as to how Australian based FinTech companies can penetrate the Latin American Market. 

The day was filled with numerous panels discussing different subtopics within the FinTech and RegTech industry, followed by coffee/tea and a lunch break to ensure all participants were given the opportunity to network and interact with supporting connections. 



Boardroom Luncheon with the Ambassador of Mexico
Sydney, 20 August 2019

In a continuation with our Ambassador Series Boardroom Luncheons, an intimate group of attendees had the opportunity to join the Ambassador of Mexico HE Eduardo Patricio Pena Haller in a sit down boardroom style luncheon to discuss business development and growth between Australia and Mexico. 

Topics covered in the meeting included social, political and economic goals and achievements in Mexico and to encourage conversation between Australia and Mexico to enhance business and trade agreements and relationships. 

These Boardroom Luncheons are a unique opportunity for our members to meet and engage directly with Heads of Mission based in Australia. 



The Lithium Value Chain in Australia and LATAM Roundtable
Brisbane, 22 August 2019,

ALABC in partnership with PWC invited a small group of guests to a roundtable panel discussion and Q&A around the challenges and opportunities for collaboration between Australia and Lithium producing countries in Latin America in the global battery value chain. 

Topics that were covered included new material and technology innovation, Lithium Industry Value Chain and opportunities for collaboration and gave insight on the direction the industry is heading. 


Download the presentations

VIII ALABC Canberra Networking Day (Exclusive for Patron and Large Corporate Members only) 


SAVE THE DATE: ALABC Brisbane Annual Dinner 2019

Event details
Date: Tuesday 22 October 2019

Location: Custom House Brisbane
Time: 6.30 pm to 10:30 pm
Cost: Early Bird Price Now Available

 Brasil Investment Forum (BIF 2019)

The Brazilian Government is hosting the third edition of the Brasil Investment Forum (BIF 2019), which will take place in São Paulo on 10th and 11th October. The Forum will highlight investment opportunities in strategic industries in the Brazilian economy, such as infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, technology and innovation. This will be a unique opportunity to learn about recent improvements in Brazil´s business environment.

BIF 2019 will be opened by President Jair Bolsonaro, and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Mr. Luis Alberto Moreno, and will be attended by high-level representatives of the Brazilian Government, the private sector, academia, media and opinion makers.

The Forum will provide a unique opportunity to schedule meetings with high-level authorities from Brazilian ministries and State authorities, regulatory agencies and other government institutions.

Guests can request to be registered directly on the event's website: ( 

Please feel free to contact the Consulate of Brazil in Sydney on  for further information.
Read more >
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Please view the information below and consider joining the Australia-Latin America Business Council using the online form. We also have a downloadable PDF brochure and Application Form suitable for completing and emailing.

Benefits of Membership
  • Generate new opportunities
  • Make valuable connections
  • Have your finger on the pulse
  • Gain access to experts
  • Be supported in your business challenges
How to join :  Please review our fees and benefits below and then submit your application here. 
Want to become a member? Schedule a call with our CEO >
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