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

Dear Members and Friends,

I am including in this newsletter our Annual Report May 2019, which highlights what we have done to fulfil our mission. You will see, as you review this annual report, that in the last year we have accomplished a number of key initiatives proposed by the Board or initiated because of input from our members.

ALABC is grateful for the excellent relationship maintained with the Latin American Ambassadors, our strategic partners, stakeholders, members and sponsors that provide valuable support and feedback on our activities. We have been spending a great deal of time working on the future of ALABC, to ensure that it will be there to serve our members well in the long term.

Regarding our flagship events, I would like to invite you to save the following dates in your calendar: 

  • ALABC Annual Networking Day, 12 of September, Parliament House, Canberra.
  • Queensland Annual Dinner, 22 October, Custom House, Brisbane.
  • Victoria Annual Dinner, 31 October, PWC, Melbourne.
  • ALABC 30th Year Anniversary Gala Dinner, Sydney. 

We encourage everyone to get involved, participate in our events, and also to contact me with your feedback and ideas. 
Yours sincerely,

Marcelo Salas
Chief Executive Officer 

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In this issue 

June 2019


Calendar of Events 2019
Sponsorship Package 2019

Fintech in Latin America
Colombia hoping to be 'Latin American Silicon Valley,' president tells Euronews


Welcome our new Board Member, Aileen Croghan 

Aileen joined ALABC as an SME member following a twenty-year career with the Australian Government in international development, foreign affairs and trade, including working overseas in the Pacific, Asia and Latin America. This focus follows a complementary and extensive career in education and training at state, national and international level. She continues her engagement in international relations on a consultancy basis with a strong commitment to support Australia Latin America linkages.

Boardroom Luncheon with the first resident Ambassador of Panama to Australia HE Marcelino Aviles Valdespino.

On the 20th of June, the Chairman of ALABC Mr. Richard Andrews and Mr. Stephen Lewis, Commercial Manager of First Quantum-Cobre Panana, hosted a lunch in Sydney with the Ambassador of Panama HE Marcelino Aviles Valdespino. We would like to welcome and extend our gratitude to Ambassador Aviles and to our sponsor First Quantum-Cobre Panama. The event was an intimate conversation with a small group of our Patron and Corporate members and selected guests.

This event was part of the Latin American Ambassadors Series, a unique opportunity for our members to meet and engage directly with the Heads of Mission based in Australia. 

Boardroom luncheon with the Australian Ambassador to Colombia
Sir Stamford Hotel, Circular Quay, Sydney CBD
Wednesday 10 July 2019, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM


Joint Chambers Event: Premier's address with the Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, NSW Premier

Friday 2 August 2019, 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

The Australia Latin America Business Council (ALABC) is 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. 

The Premier will discuss the NSW boom and how trade will benefit the state.
This will be the major multi-Chamber event in NSW this year. Give your business prominence through table sponsorship, meet executives from other business communities, and get to know diplomats from the countries represented at this significant event.
The goal of the conference is to identify where the gaps are in the areas of Fintech and Regtech, and in particular, what are the specific problems and challenges in the Latin American Region.
Experts predict that Latin America’s Fintech Market could exceed $150 bn by 2021. This event will describe the opportunities for Fintech/Regtech, Blockchain, Cyber Security and Artificial Intelligence in Latin America.

  • Panel 1: A new banking paradigm/Financial Inclusion in Financial Services in Latin America
  • Panel 2: Doing Business in Latin America regulation, standards, consumer behaviourPanel
  • Panel 3: Technology Leaps: Opportunities in Latin America
  • Panel 4: Potential Latam-Australia Fintech Bridge/Regional Fintech Programs/Government Grants
Learn More

Colombia hoping to be 'Latin American Silicon Valley,' president tells Euronews

Duque told Euronews: “This is a sector that has become a very important engine of young employment, it has become an engine of integrating the arts with the fourth industrial revolution. When I assumed office, these sectors were heavily taxed, so we tried to reduce taxation on corporations in order to have more investment.

Fintech in Latin America

One of the main differences between the Latin American region and developed countries is that there is still a significant part of the population in the region that lacks access to formal financial services.

The figure is currently 49%, which represent an unbanked population of 300 million people, making financial inclusion one of the main goals of the 21st century for governments, development agencies, multilateral banks, and NGOs in Latin America.
Read more >

Australia-Latin America Mining Sector: What Can One Provide to the Other?

The mining industry in Australia dates all the way back to the 1850s, making the mining sector one of the most established industries in the country. Is also a huge contributor to Australia’s US$1.323 trillion-dollar GDP, accounting for around 7% of that total.
Australia’s mining industry is mainly export-oriented being one of the top 5 producers of gold, iron ore, lead, zinc, and nickel in the world. Australia also has the world’s largest uranium and fourth largest black coal resources. The country top export destinations are: China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Hong Kong.
Read more >

Overseas students flocking to Australia

Brazil, Australia’s fourth major contributor for international students, continues to grow, while it’s South American neighbour Colombia has also climbed the rankings from 11th to become Australia’s ninth-biggest marketLatin America represents the third largest region in terms of internet users, just behind Europe and Asia.This year, Australia has recorded more than 17,000 Brazilian students, a fraction still of the 140,000 from China, but representing a 6 per cent increase on 2018 and 35 per cent increase on 2017 numbers.

Colombia’s numbers are now above 12,000, representing a 20 per cent rise on 2018 and 56 per cent on 2017. Chile’s year-on-year enrolments have also climbed 33 per cent, Argentina is up by a similar proportion and Mexico is up by 9 per cent, as Australia’s international market diversifies.

But while the total student intake from Latin American markets is climbing, the higher education sector has not been the biggest beneficiary of the surge.
Read more >

 Latin America offers important lessons for APEC 2019

At a time of increased protectionism undermining the global economic system, the existence of APEC and similar organisations is vital to the survival of an integrated political and economic system. 

The hosting of APEC in Chile in 2019 presents an opportunity for economies in the Pacific Rim to understand the true costs of anti-globalisation better. No other region is better placed than Latin America to shed light on the costs of de-globalisation and inward-looking development strategies.

Read more >

The World's Largest Swimming Pool Is So Insanely Huge, You Can Actually Set Sail in It

Just keep swimming … literally!

That’s certainly one of the mantras for the world’s largest swimming pool, located at San Alfonso del Mar, a private resort in Algarrobo, Chile.

The pool, which was developed by Crystal Lagoons (a company founded by a Chilean businessman known for building other man-made lagoons around the world) holds the first-ever “largest man-made lagoon” title in the Guinness Book of World Records, according to House Beautiful.

The mind-bogglingly large lagoon also holds 250 million liters of filtered ocean water, the outlet reports

Starting a Cannabis Business: Understand the Different Industries in the Market

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a component of cannabis, remains a prohibited substance in most countries worldwide. However, in recent years a series of political, legislative and judicial processes in different parts of the globe have given rise to various reforms in favour of the medical and therapeutic use of cannabis. This trend is sweeping through the Americas, in particular in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is where the largest number of available experiences is concentrated, and where regulatory changes are occurring successively.
Read more >

Order of Australia Honour for Jose Blanco, Chairman Emeritus of ALABC

ALABC is pleased to announce that Chairman Emeritus, Jose Blanco, has been appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division) in the Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours List announced by the Governor General of Australia on 10 June 2019.

The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent means by which Australia recognises the outstanding and meritorious service of its citizens. The citation for the honour awarded to Jose is: For significant service to Australia-Latin America business relations. Jose was Chairman of the Australia-Latin America Business Council from 1991 to 2017 and continues to serve as Chairman Emeritus of the Council.

Through his leadership of the Council, role as managing director of Banco Santander in Australia from 1990 to 2012, and ongoing work with Blanco Partners, Jose has been and remains at the forefront of promoting the business ties between Australia and the Latin America region. 
Since its inception, NOJA Power has fuelled growth by offering clients across the globe innovative, robust, safe and environmentally friendly products that offer years of reliable service. The products’ quality has been recognised through multiple awards across several years from Australian Government authorities and various international bodies such as the Latin America Business Council.


Factories in Australia and Brazil incorporate advanced in-house test facilities to ensure our products are routinely checked during the development and manufacturing process.

NOJA Power’s vision is to be the world leader in medium-voltage outdoor switchgear. The company has moved towards achieving that vision with the installation of more than 50,000 NOJA Power OSM series Automatic Circuit Reclosers in over 87 countries worldwide.
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. 
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