In April 2014, Managing Partner John Toigo hosted a boardroom lunch on behalf of the Australia Taiwan Business Council (ATBC) for Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk, Taiwan business leaders and members of the National Executive Committee of the ATBC. The purpose of the lunch was to exchange ideas and explore ways to best promote business opportunities not only in Brisbane but South East Queensland and Australia. Brisbane shares a sister city relationship with Kaoshiung city in Taiwan. Kaoshiung is Taiwan’s second largest city, Taiwan’s major industrial city and the country’s main seaport.
In 2013, Taiwan was Australia’s 7th largest export market. It is Australia’s 5th largest market for black coal, our 4th largest market for Iron ore, and a major agribusiness customer that sources nearly 50% of all its beef from Australia.
For over 30 years, the ATBC has and continues to play a strong role in promoting commerce between Australia and Taiwan. Unlike other bilateral business associations, the ATBC occupies a unique position: in the absence of formal diplomatic relations between Australia and Taiwan, the ATBC acts as a bridge and a channel of communication between the two countries. Not only does the ATBC possess a deep understanding of Taiwan’s economy, business culture and laws, it also understands the subtleties and complexities of Taiwan’s relationship with mainland China and of the Australian government’s “one China policy’”
Over the last 20 years, ClarkeKann has built Australia’s pre-eminent Taiwanese practice focussed particularly on major Taiwanese corporates investing in Australia. Our practice has developed on the back of significant investment from Taiwan into Australia, including the largest ever single investment in Australia in 2013 with the US$1.15 billion investment by Formosa Plastics Group to establish the Iron Bridge (iron ore) Joint Venture with Fortescue Metals Group, which we highlighted in the last issue of CK MOMENTUM.
In recognition of our role with Taiwan, John Toigo, who leads our Taiwan Practice, recently accepted an invitation from the ATBC to join its National Executive.