An economic development agency in Calgary, Alberta is leading a delegation of city companies to Australia for the first time ever in an effort to further develop trade relationships between the two countries.
From a general perspective, there are already many similarities between Canada and Australia. Both nations are large, relatively isolated, and sparsely inhabited.
There are also great synergies when it comes to trade and industry, specifically in the resources sector. This particular mission, headed by Calgary Economic Development, will see the delegation looking to build awareness of Calgary as a global energy centre with particular expertise in natural gas.
“There are natural synergies between Canada and Australia in dynamic and booming resource sectors,” said Canadian Consul General Mario Ste-Marie. “Together, with vast opportunities for growth, this also brings technical challenges that we can work together to overcome. The Alberta oil and gas sector has made advancements in technology and innovation and has positioned itself as a vital supplier of products and services to the global marketplace. Canada is open for business and a reliable global partner of choice for natural resources, trade and investment.”
Australia is Asia-Pacific’s third-largest LNG exporter and the fourth-largest LNG producer in the world, exporting an estimated 17.9 million tonnes in 2009-10 valued at about AUD $7.8 billion.
The transformation of the LNG industry in Australia to meet surging demand in Asia is of particular appeal to Calgary Economic Development with around $200 billion worth of LNG projects planned and production anticipated to triple to 60 million tonnes a year by 2020.
“This will be the first time Calgary Economic Development has led a trade mission to Australia,” said John Hankins, vice-president of investment and trade development with Calgary Economic Development. “Like Alberta, Australia is rich in gas deposits and has been experiencing strong growth in this sector. Alberta companies possess many of the products and services that would support the Australian oil and gas industry.”
Hankins added that a partnership between the two nations makes sense due to a number of factors.
“Australia’s stable government, strong financial system, similar legal and accounting structures, high quality of life and experience working in South East Asia, make them good partners for Canadian companies who are thinking about expanding to other regional markets,” he said.