Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will lead a business delegation to the United States today to launch the inaugural Australia United States Business Week (AUSBW), a program that will visit six major US cities between 16 and 25 February.

AUSBW 2016 will promote US investment in some of Australia’s key sectors by familiarising US investors with Australia’s capabilities through roundtables, market briefings, site visits and industry summits.

Around 240 Australian companies will take part in AUSBW, which will be held in America’s key commercial centres of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Boston and New York.

“The US is the largest foreign investor in Australia and the source of much of the world’s commercial innovation and new ways of doing business,” Mr Robb said.  

“It is also the top destination for Australia’s foreign investment; since the commencement of our free trade agreement with the United States a decade ago, two-way investment has more than doubled to over $1.3 trillion.

“Through AUSBW, we are looking to reinvigorate an already strong relationship. In particular, AUSBW represents an effective platform to inspire US investors with Australia’s new $1.1 billion national innovation agenda,” he said.

In 2014-15, the US was Australia’s second largest two-way trading partner for services and third largest export market.  Australian firms exported about AU$20.5 billion in goods and services in that year.

“Australian business people from agribusiness and food science, resources and energy, medical technology, digital technology and tourism will have the opportunity of learning more about the US market, making personal contacts and informing US investors directly about the opportunities in Australia,” Mr Robb said. 

Mr Robb said his visit to the US comes just after Australia signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, a major new trade pact that will join together 12 economies representing 40 per cent of global GDP into a free trade zone across the Pacific.

“The TPP offers great benefits to the Australian economy in terms of tariff reductions and market access for services, so we are keen to see it ratified by nations such as the US, which after all is the key player in the global economy,” Mr Robb said.

AUSBW is part of the expanded series of Australia Week trade missions and promotional events that were funded in the 2015-16 Federal Budget. It will build on the success of the Australia Week events in China, India and Indonesia. 

It is also a key aspect of Australia’s economic and public diplomacy in the United States, which included the G’Day USA promotional program in 2016. 

Separate to AUSBW, Mr Robb will lead our first business mission to Havana, Cuba for discussions with local business figures and the Cuban Government about Australia’s capabilities in infrastructure, mining, energy, agriculture and education, as well as healthcare, medical research and tourism.

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