Meet Amelia Walsh, Trade and Investment Commissioner at Austrade

amelia walsh

Tell us about Austrade and what they do for Australian businesses in the region

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) is the Australian Government’s international trade promotion and investment attraction agency. We generate market information and insights, promote Australian capability, and facilitate connections through our extensive global network.

Our team of 17 in Singapore help connect Australian businesses into the market across our major export sectors from edtech to dairy products and energy services companies. For Aussie scale ups (like logistics tech company MatchBox Exchange) we use our Landing Pad program to help companies scale across the ASEAN region. We also attract productive foreign direct investment into Australian projects – a great example was Singapore’s Neuron Mobility who entered Australia with their last mile transport offering when they deployed 600 e-scooters in Brisbane, after Brisbane City Council selected them from nine other global and local competitors.

What’s your role all about?

Connecting the (little red) dots!

As Trade and Investment Commissioner the hint is in the title, I have both an export (trade) and investment attraction focus but there are many similarities in the work – knowing your sectors, knowing your customer, providing insights that aren’t readily available online and most importantly making connections. We work as a Team Australia in Singapore to service clients and depending on the client that could mean working with our CSIRO, DFAT or AustCham colleagues, the States and Territories with a local presence, or our Austrade teams in Australia and around the world to bring the most value to clients.

What’s the hot topic in your sector right now?

Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy put us on the map worldwide for our ability to bring industry, researchers and both federal and state government together in Australia’s push to create a new industry of renewable hydrogen exports. Nearly every company we talk to wants to have a hydrogen conversation, across the whole value chain. Recently the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) shortlisted seven hydrogen electrolyser project applicants as part of a competitive funding round for renewable hydrogen deployment projects. The aim is to fast-track the commercialisation of electrolyser technology to contribute to the goal of producing hydrogen for less than $2 per kilogram. Projects are across the country in Western Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria. It’s really exciting to see such practical steps forward to realising the goal of exporting renewable hydrogen from Australia.

Why are you a member of AustCham in Singapore?

AustCham members are a seriously impressive network and we find it valuable to connect new Australian companies in market with members who are often willing to provide some unfiltered advice. Although we aren’t meeting in large groups at the moment I’ve been enjoying getting to know the members more through the new newsletter profiles.

Where are your go-to places in Singapore for great coffee?

Common Man or Carrotsticks and Cravings for a breakfast meeting, House of Anli, MAVRX, Toby’s Estate and Anti:dote at the Fairmont for an espresso martini.

48 Hours in Singapore – What Are Your Must-Do Experiences?

Start with a long walk in MacRitchie Reservoir before lunch in Dempsey at Culina and then you’re going to need some reflexology at Natureland. Have a happy hour drink in the courtyard of Raffles for some great people watching, then walk over to Swissotel The Stamford and head to the 70th floor for some amazing views and drinks at SKAI bar, then come down to earth for a delicious food coma at Prego. If you feel like a nightcap take a walk along Keong Saik Road and pick a spot based on your mood.

Day two rent some bikes and head along the river – you can cycle all the way from Robertson Quay down to Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay, where you can pick up some chicken rice at Satay by the Bay (or satay of course).  For retail therapy you can visit Design Orchard for some local Singaporean fashion and accessories. Later in the day head to The Singapura Club in Little India and have a drink outside then a wander around the streets and dinner at Meat Smith. If you’re up to it, night cap at Atlas Bar.

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COVID-19: Support for Australian businesses

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