Japan–Australia Infrastructure Networking Meeting

On 28 July 2016, the “Japan-Australia Infrastructure Networking Meeting” was held at the Embassy of Japan in Canberra. With the background of Australia’s growing economy and population, the Australian Government has announced plans to implement a large number of major infrastructure projects in coming years. Therefore, the meeting aimed to provide Japanese businesses seeking to enter the Australian market with an opportunity to meet with relevant Australian firms, while also enabling the participating companies to establish ties that may assist in deepening their engagement in public-private partnerships (PPPs) and lead to the establishment of consortia in future.
 
The meeting was attended by 121 people (53 from the Japanese side and 68 from the Australian side) and 73 organisations (39 from Japan and 34 from Australia). Many of the participants at the meeting represented either Japanese companies seeking to enter the Australian infrastructure market or Australian businesses regularly involved in the formation of infrastructure-related consortia in Australia. The meeting was also attended by representatives of Australian state and federal governments responsible for infrastructure-related policy development and procurement. As an indication of the importance attached to the meeting by Japanese firms in particular, representatives from numerous Japanese businesses not yet established in Australia travelled from abroad to participate in the meeting, not only from Japan, but also from Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere.
 
During the meeting, keynote addresses were delivered by Mr Alex Foulds, Executive Director, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development; Mr Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Infrastructure for NSW; and Mr Bob Seidler, Vice-President and Chairman, Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee (AJBCC). Presentations focusing on the strengths of Japanese businesses and as well as their respective strategies concerning the Australian market were also made by JFE Steel, Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, and Obayashi Corporation. Meanwhile, Australian companies and government representatives outlined the characteristics of the Australian market and introduced a number of major infrastructure projects on the horizon.
 
Based on requests received in advance from participating businesses, one-on-one meetings were also conducted in parallel with the main meeting. These meetings were held between Japanese and Australian firms as a way of establishing new links that may lead to the formation of consortia at a later stage. In total, 79 one-on-one meetings were held, with 56 organisations (32 from Japan and 24 from Australia) participating. In addition, over 90 percent of Japanese businesses attending the event were involved in at least one of these separate meetings over the course of the day.
 
At a government-to-government level, reflecting on the outcomes of this meeting and building on the joint statement made by Prime Ministers Abe and Turnbull on the occasion of Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to Japan in December 2015, a meeting focusing on the development of transport infrastructure is also planned to be held between the secretaries of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and Australia’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. For example, this meeting will provide an opportunity for Japan to share with Australia the ways in which the Japanese Government has linked public transport projects with urban planning, while also enabling Japan to learn from Australia’s expertise and experience in relation to the use of PPPs in connection with infrastructure project delivery. (Summary of the meeting)
 
The Embassy will continue to support the efforts of Japanese firms to deepen their engagement in the Australian infrastructure market moving forward.

 

Address by Ambassador Kusaka
 

Keynote by Minister Constance
 

Presentation by Japanese business