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Skills for business success in Asia



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MINISTER FOR

INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY and COMMERCE SENATOR JOHN BUTTON

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EMBARGOED TO 11.45 AM, SEPTEMBER 11, 1991

SKILLS FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS IN ASIA

A new program designed to help Australian business men and women tackle the language and cultural barriers they face in Asia was launched today in Canberra.

The Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce, Senator John Button, and the Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, Dr Neal Blewett, joined the Managing Director of Austrade, Mr Ralph Evans, in launching the Asia-Pacific Fellowship (APF) Program.

Under the program, business managers and graduate employees will be awarded fellowships to work and study in Asian markets to increase their understanding of local business practices, cultures and language skills.

Senator Button said the Government would spend $10 million over the next three years to fund the fellowships.

"The Government's commitment reflects the importance of Asia to Australia's economic future," he said. "Many Australian companies are getting into new markets in Asia. But others think the region is 'too hard'. The Fellowship Program will assist

companies meet the challenge of Asia."

Dr Blewett said Asian markets made up six of Australia's top 10 trading partners.

"Austrade estimates that between 1989 and 1994, Australia's annual export sales will have increased in real terms by $1-3.1 billion to North and South East Asia, compared with increases of $1.6 billion to North America and $2.6 billion to Western Europe.

"The Fellowship Program will assist many Australian companies wanting to take advantage of the fastest growing economic region in the world."

Mr Evans said the Fellowship Program would target Asian markets where understanding and expertise in the local business practices, language and culture would provide the greatest commercial advantage.

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The target localities were : Japan, Republic of Korea, People's Republic of China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Taiwan. The Program has two types of Fellowships :

- Graduate Business Fellowships - Management Executive Fellowships.

Mr Evans said the fellowships would enable managers and graduate employees, nominated by Australian organisations, to work and study in Asian markets gaining familiarity with local business practices and language skills, and an understanding of their culture. -

Applications are invited from Australian organisations which are currently engaged in international business in Asia or which are interested in expanding their operations into this region. Applications close on 6 November.

Guidelines and application forms are available from : Austrade's Manager, Asia Pacific Fellowship Program, GPO Box 2386, Canberra ACT 2601, Telephone (06) 276 5690, Facsimile (06) 276 5103.

MORE INFORMATION Mike Roberts

Office of the Minister (06) 277 7580

Julie Lovell Public Relations, AUSTRADE (06) 276 5126