City Of Fresno Gives A Warm Welcome To Autrade
11/09/2006

City of Fresno welcomes representatives for ‘Austrade’ as they expand their international operations and interests and open a new Australian trade district office in Fresno.

The Australian Government’s official trade promotion agency “Austrade” has expanded its international operations through the opening of a new Australian trade district office in Fresno. Brian Carnahan, with over 20 years experience in international marketing of agriculture, agribusiness and irrigation products and who has already served with Austrade for a year in Phoenix, has been appointed District Manager, Fresno.

Mr Carnahan’s appointment will lead to increased trade opportunities between central California and Australia, one of the fast-growing economies in the Asia Pacific Region. A particular focus of trade activity is across the agricultural industry sector, which received major tariff reductions in the Australia-United United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) when it came into effect on 01 January 2005.

Australia and the USA have long been recognized as partners in peace and partners in prosperity. Covering all areas of trade and investment, this comprehensive 21st century Agreement extends and intensifies Australia’s already strong economic, political and defence relationships with the USA. Elimination of 99% of Australian manufacturing tariffs and duty-free access to Australia’s agricultural market for Californian businesses are just two of the benefits now available.

Tasked with building relationships and identifying opportunities with customers to assist Australian exporters partner with US companies, Mr Carnahan believes Australia has much to offer the dynamic region of Central California.

“The USA will benefit from working with and sourcing the innovative and high tech products and services I see coming through from Australia”. he said. “Australia isn’t competing, but adding value to our agricultural production culture.”

Australia experiences similar farming conditions – for example drought – regularly encountered in the USA. Mr. Carnahan confirmed, “Aussie companies have pioneered solutions dealing with issues we face on our farms today such as water conservation, irrigation, and crop management technology. Australia is also a leader in RFID technology using radio frequency to identify and track animals throughout their lives”.

Australia’s numerous economic strengths offer great potential as a partner for American business and investment. With nearly 8,000 Australian companies already exporting to the USA, expansion across America will result in greater access to new international customers, generating more outcomes for Australian exporters and local businesses and farmers.

“Australian companies are actively engaged in the Californian agricultural economy with companies like Fosters Wine Estates and several other smaller companies supplying products and services to the wine and agricultural sectors”, said Mr David Lawson, Australian Consul-General and Trade Commissioner based in San Francisco. Queensland Cotton is another Australian company which has operations including warehouses and marketing offices right here in Fresno.

Mr. Lawson is confident success for Australian exporters into the world’s largest economy will become even more promising with representation in this dynamic region. “Twenty seven Australian companies exhibited at the World Ag Expo in 2006 and many of those companies are now working with Californian companies to reduce their costs of production. Fresno is the gateway to this robust and unique economy.” he said. ”It is an ideal location for Austrade to open a new district office so we can work closer together to further integrate our two economies by increasing trade and investment relationships.”

City of Fresno invites you to meet Australia’s Consul-General, David Lawson and Austrade District Manager, Brian Carnahan today at City Hall, 10:30 a.m. in the Press Room (meeting room C) for an informal meet and greet as we welcome them to our great City.

CONTACT: Rhonda Jorn, Public Affairs Officer (559) 621-7777

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