Australian Chamber Of
Commerce Singapore (AustCham)

25 Napier Road
Australian High Commission Building
Level 3
Singapore 258507
Tel: 6738 7917
Fax: 6738 7916
website: www.AustCham.org.sg
email: info@AustCham.org.sg
NEW EDITOR

Welcome, Susan Mackie!

The AustCham committee would like to welcome Susan on board as Editor of the newsletter. Many of you may have met her already in her role as Residence Manager for the Australian High Commissioner. Susan has almost 30 years experience as a journalist in Australia and internationally, working for Australian media outlets such as The Canberra Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Courier Mail and The Sunday Mail in Brisbane, Channel 9 and Channel 10. She is a former Chairperson of the Australian Immigration Review Panel and a former board member of QTQ Channel Nine.

For editorial input or feedback, please email to: info@austcham.org.sg

 

AustCham - Westpac President’s Dinner 2003
(From L to R):
Michael Wood, Patrick Grove, Alison Harvey, Lee Hsien Yang, Minister Mah Bow Tan, Philip Forrest, Helen Pilakis, Sean Riley, Michelle Hoodbhoy, Mark Laudi and Andrew McKindlay

The President’s Dinner, held on 28 November 2003, was again a night befitting the premier occasion of the AustCham calendar.

In the elegant setting of the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, almost 300 AustCham members and supporters gathered to honour the recipients of the prestigious President’s Medal, the Young Entrepreneur Award and the AustCham-Austrade Awards for those Australian companies deemed to have significantly contributed during the past year to help strengthen business ties between Singapore and Australia.

In welcoming guests, who included Singapore’s Minister for National Development Mr Mah Bow Tan and his wife Dr Sherrin Mah, US Ambassador Mr Franklin Lavin and AustCham Co-Patron Dr Chua Yong Hai, AustCham President Philip Forrest took a sporting approach to proceedings, joining all Rugby fans present in ruing the three-point loss to England just weeks earlier. But he was quick to say what a fine job England had done.


Minister Mah Bow Tan making
his speech

Everyone to stroke a sponsor, our President admitted that he had to laud the English because the lead sponsor for the evening, Westpac Singapore, is headed by an Englishman, Chris Rand.

Phil Forrest pointed out that it had been a good year for the Australian economy, leaving nobody in doubt that, as he put it, “Australia is open for business.”

He added that although Singapore had

experienced a tougher year, the signs for growth were impressive.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said. “There’ll be a lot more work and you can bet there’ll be a lot more progress.”

In his speech, Guest of Honour Minister Mah Bow Tan, supported these sentiments stating that notwithstanding the economic gloom in the last couple of years, Asia was set to be the most dynamic region in the world.

He said that the close
business and people-to-people ties Australia and Singapore have “provided a compelling case for us to be partners in tackling the great Asian hinterland.”

After the AustCham-Austrade Export Awards were
presented – to Bemco Services for the Service Industry, RMIT
for Business Excellence, Wingara Wine Group for Agribusiness, and to Ripple


Young Entrepreneur Award winner,
Patrick Grove received the award from
Westpac head, Chris Rand
Systems for Best New Exporter - the stage was set for the main two Awards of the night.

First to step to the podium was Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 28 year-old Mr Patrick Grove. Mr Grove drew much laughter when he waved his award on high and declared: “Now my parents might believe I have a real job.”

Indeed. His company Catcha.com, for which he received approval to list on the Singapore Exchange just weeks before the dot.com bubble burst, barely hung on. But as testament to his understanding of the true meaning of entrepreneurship – perseverance – it has now grown into one of the leading media owners in the region. Patrick Grove continues to grow the business and remains positive about listing the company.

The much-anticipated President’s Medal was next and final item on the agenda. Awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Australian and Singaporean business community or has substantially facilitated investment or trade between the two countries, the winner was Singtel’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lee Hsien Yang.


Philip Forrest presented the President's Medal to the winner, Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

The award was to acknowledge the extraordinary achievement of Singtel’s biggest off-shore investment, Singtel’s Optus in Australia.

Within two years, the company was completely turned around, having delivered a profit of A$ 190 million for the half year ending in September 2003, compared to a loss of A$76 million in the corresponding period the previous year.


Mr Lee – whose parents must definitely believe that he has a real job – spoke enthusiastically about his personal and professional involvement in Australia.

He said he had been a “latecomer” in discovering the beauty of Australia, having not visited until well into his adult life. He was now, however, a firm fan, making regular visits for personal and professional pursuits.

In accepting the President’s Medal, Mr Lee paid tribute to the company’s staff and the work they had put in to achieve such phenomenal results.

“The credit goes to them,” he said. “I see this as recognition of their achievements more than a recognition of me.”

And speaking of achievements – though there is no award forthcoming for this – the AustCham Secretariat, under the leadership of Helen Teo, is to be congratulated on yet again ensuring that our night of nights had the perfect tone and atmosphere to honour such worthy recipients.

HOT TOPICS

Australian Passports: Procedural Changes Mean 10-Working Days Turn-Around

It may come as something of a shock to Australians living in Singapore (particularly those who travel frequently on business and regularly need to renew passports) but, like it or not, the days of a rapid turn-around in the issuing of a new Australian passport are in the past. Yes, yet another reminder of the changes global terrorism has wrought, with the subsequent need for heightened security precautions.

As of mid-December last year, the Australian Government has launched a new, more secure passport which involves significant changes to the current processing system. This change affects the time frame for processing passports, taking the turn-around period from as little as just two days in Singapore to approximately 10 working days.

Formerly, Australian passports were able to be produced on-site at the Australian High Commission, Singapore, which meant passports could be issued very quickly. This is no longer the case. Instead, the passports are now produced in only three places world-wide: Canberra, Washington and London.

How will this affect Australians in Singapore?
Australian citizens will no longer be able to obtain a full-validity passport from the Australian High Commission in Singapore at short notice. The full 10 working days, which has always been the standard turn-around time quoted for passport processing (albeit usually vastly reduced in Singapore), will be required. The priority processing option for full validity passports will no longer be available.

How do Australians obtain a passport under this new procedure?
If you are applying for your new passport in Singapore, you will still need to lodge your application at the Australian High Commission. The AHC will continue to conduct passport interviews, accept lodgement of application forms, confirm entitlement of an Australian passport and carry out local identity checks. However, the passport will be produced in Canberra and couriered back to Singapore. The turn-around time for this is 10 working days, calculated from time of lodgement until the new passport is available for collection at the High Commission in Singapore.

What if a new passport is urgently needed?
If you have an urgent and unforeseen need to travel and cannot wait to receive a full validity passport, you will be able to obtain a limited validity emergency passport to meet your travel needs. The emergency passport will look and feel the same as the full validity passport but will have only four visa pages. Its validity will be restricted to meet the immediate travel needs of the applicant and will attract a priority processing fee.

(NB: The application form for the new passports is different to the forms for the previous passports. Only the new forms are now accepted. These can be collected from the Australian High Commission or can be downloaded online at www.passports.gov.au. Guidelines for the photographs required as part of the passport application have also been changed. Refer to the guidelines published at www.passports.gov.au/requirements/photos/html).

 


The Secret Life of Us –
Now You Can Have Your Say

The Senate Enquiry Into Australian Expatriates

It is officially recognised as one of the greatest sustained migrations in the world - the movement of Australians overseas for short-term or long-term experiences as expatriates. Since the turn of the century, the total number of Australians living overseas has exceeded 20 million. And the exodus continues. According to government figures, Australia continues to experience net annual migration with more residents moving overseas long-term than the number of Australians returning.

It will come as no surprise to AustCham members to learn that research shows that Australians are leaving for a variety of reasons. Reasons such as for work transfers, higher salaries and better employment opportunities, skill enhancement or simply for personal development. Often, according to the expatriate advocacy and support organisation the Southern Cross Group, Australians leave because of a desire to travel and for broader knowledge of the world, or purely for a taste of the unknown.

So, is it all just about Me, Me, Me? Is it all just about Us? Of course not. And now, finally, that has been acknowledged.

In a statement that will warm the cockles of many an expat’s heart, The Southern Cross Group states that temporarily or permanently displaced Australians form a veritable army of unofficial ambassadors, promoting Australia’s image in the world and often its economic and cultural interests, frequently contributing much more than many home-bound Australians.

How ironic then, as the Group’s researchers concluded: “Yet, the expatriate contribution is largely unrecognised and, in many cases, undervalued….And travellers who return after long absences can often find major challenges, despite acquiring new skills, in a workplace that might feel it owes them no favours.”

On its website, the Canberra-based Southern Cross Group further adds that: “It is regrettably the case that many in Australia take the attitude that an Australian citizen who no longer lives in Australia is in some sense a lesser Australian.”

In a bid to redress that situation, the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional References Committee is undertaking a far-reaching study of Australian expatriates for inquiry and report by September 1, 2004.

The Senate Committee has called for submissions to be lodged by February 27. AustCham believes it is important it contribute to this inquiry. AustCham has formed a sub-committee to that end to canvass the views of members and to prepare the submission.

This is a rare opportunity to be heard at the highest levels of government. AustCham’s submission is currently being prepared based on responses to questionnaire to members.

The full terms of Reference of the Senate Committee Inquiry are:
The extent of the Australian diaspora; the variety of factors driving more Australians to live overseas; the costs, benefits and opportunities presented by the phenomenon; the needs and concerns of overseas Australians; measures taken by other comparable countries to respond to the needs of their expatriates; and, ways in which Australia could better use its expatriates to promote our economic, social and cultural interests.

Some of the issues that AustCham urges its members to consider in this matter include:
voting rights for non-residents – voting is currently based on residency in Australia. Should there be direct representation for the more than
Health insurance – should non-resident Australians have a right to Medicare? Should they be required to pay the Medicare levy? Why are non-resident Australians unable to maintain Australian health cover?
Taxation – should the general tax thresholds apply for Australian-sourced income of non-resident Australians?

(The Southern Cross Group quoted in the above story has published a new book on the Australian diaspora through its Southern Cross Group Global Exchange project. Titled Australian Expats: Stories From Abroad, information about the publication can be obtained on the group’s website at www.globalexchange.com.au)

INTERVIEW

Owen Howell-Price –
The Humble Retailing Legend

For a man who officially retired – we use the word loosely – in 1993, Owen Howell-Price, Chairman, South Asia, Dairy Farm, still packs a mean punch in business circles.

A member of AustCham “forever”, recipient of its inaugural President’s Medal, and, still ranked second in the Business Review Weekly’s latest list of the Top 20 Australian Executives in Asia (pipped by James Murdoch, no less although now he has moved to a London-based job, Mr Price must be Number 1!), the indomitable Mr Price is legendary in retailing and the region.

Now 77 years young, Owen Price has a self-deprecating humour which reveals itself early on in the quest to pin him down for an interview. He answers his handphone with the greeting “Singapore police department” but backtracks quickly, explaining that he thought it was his wife calling. Asked to be our interview subject for this edition he insists that we must be doing a piece on Antiques.

No, Mr Price. Just priceless treasures.

His life story reads like an original version of “Boys Own Annual”.

Born in a town in Northern Sumatra to his Australian parents, Owen Price learned early on the value of going global.

“My father worked for a US rubber company and I spent the first eight years of my life growing up among children from all over the world, speaking French and Dutch and Indonesian – none of which I can still speak, sadly,” he said. “My teacher in those days was a terribly proper English woman, so, no matter where we were from, we all ended up with these extremely plummy accents.”

Sent back to Ashfield, NSW, to live with his grandparents and to attend school in Australia, the young Owen came to regret the stiff-upper lip British accent he had adopted.

“That wretched accent got me into schoolyard fights with the other kids just about every day,” he laughed.

The hyphenated surname possibly didn’t help. As Mr Price tells it, he is officially Owen Howell-Price. His grandfather, a Minister – the Reverend John Howell Price (aka “The Sporting Parson” because of his passion for racing trotters) - inserted the hyphen to avoid the often embarrassing scenarios which arose because the local Man of God shared the same surname as the local undertaker!

Dispatched to Newington as a boarder at age 11 – a school he “absolutely loved” - the young Owen threw himself into rugby, cricket, tennis, swimming, and the cadet corps. With ample experience of what the real world of war might be like.

“It was during the War years and we had trenches dug around the embankments at the school,” he said. “When there was an air raid siren we all had to run and hurl ourselves into the trenches.”

Following school, he joined the Navy.

“I was selected for Officer Training but then the war stopped. Instead I was posted to the HMAS Hobart at 18 as part of the Occupation Force in Japan. I was in Hiroshima about three months after the bomb. It made a huge and lasting impression on me, that experience, those sights.”

During his Navy years, Owen undertook an economics course by correspondence.

“It bored me stupid so I gave up any thought of going to university,” he said. “Instead I joined an Executive Trainee Course at Woolworth’s. My first task on the job was to find a broom and sweep the floor. Fortunately, I’d mastered floor sweeping in the Navy.”

If he made a good impression at the end of a broom, Woolworths saw even more in the young man. But his passion for rugby threatened to get in the way of advancement.

“I was playing for Western Suburbs,” Mr Price said, “and there was even talk that I might one day play for Australia. But I went through a patch of being concussed at the game every weekend and blacking out at work on the following Monday. Eventually I was summoned into the Personnel Department and told that I had to choose – Rugby or Woolies. Well, what could I do? Woollies paid.”

Owen Price paid off handsomely for Woolworths, too. He spent 27 years with the giant Australian retailer, overseeing much of its expansion to a 700-strong retail outlets, including department stores, supermarkets, variety and fashion stores served by a network of distribution centres plus food and textile manufacturing plants. From executive trainee at the end of a broom, he became CEO of the Company at age 41.

A disagreement with the board – “Mind you, they disagreed with me as well,” he said wryly – led to him joining Jardines Dairy Farm Group in Singapore and in 1981 he was appointed group CEO based in Hong Kong.

Mr Price led the UK-listed Dairy Farm International Holdings into world markets through acquisitions or start-ups in Australia, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Great Britain, Spain and Malaysia.

During his 12 years of Stewardship, Dairy Farm’s net profits grew from $US 13 million to $US180 million and in 1991 Dairy Farm was adjudged by market analysts to be the best managed company in Hong Kong.

At Owen Price’s retirement from active management in 1993, Dairy Farm International and associates had more than 2,300 retail outlets worldwide, plus manufacturing, catering and wholesale interests. It employed 70,000 staff and had attributable annual sales of approximately $US10 billion. The company’s market capitalisation exceeded $US 3 billion and it was listed on five International Stock Exchanges.

Not bad for a man who was once transferred from Sydney to Melbourne to rescue an ailing Woolworths warehouse and look at stock control because, as a superior told him, “you’ll never be any good in retail!”

Owen Price’s retirement has been in name only, largely, he said, because after three months he was very, very bored.

“So it is that I am still on the Board of Dairy Farm, observing and commenting,” he said.

He has also advised the Australian Government on Trade matters, he is on the Boards of Hourglass Watch Chain, Jardines Cycle and Carriage, Disposable Soft Goods and is chairman of Delifrance. He was a long term-director of Paris-based International Food Industry Association and remains a Director of their Asian body.

Owen Price laughs that his own body isn’t doing too well, but continuing to work keeps his mind in good shape. And after 29 years in Asia, this father of two and grandfather of one, believes Singapore will be his permanent port of call.

His wife Louisa, a former lawyer, is Singaporean and according to Owen Price, although they both regard Tasmania as their favourite place to visit, he can’t see them making a move full-time.

“It’s probably a little bit too quiet,” he said. “And Louisa would miss her shopping.”

How could a legendary retailer argue with that!


The Ten Questions:

1.

That Major Moment – I had two defining career moments. The first was my appointment as Woolworths GM at age 41 and the second, my appointment as Chief Executive Officer of Dairy Farm at 55.

2.

The Dizzy Limit – After a 57 year career, there are too many highlights to narrow it down to one or two standouts. Isn’t it wonderful to look back and be able to say that?

3.

Oui, Je Regrette – Regrets? Not really, though my eventual disagreement with the Woolworths board was disappointing. It was short-lived, however. I moved on to so many other exciting things.

4.

Personal Mantra – Never say die! Set goals, have the determination to achieve them and always be forward-looking.

5.

Divine Inspiration – I was very inspired by Sir Theo Kelly who became Managing Director of Woolworths at the age of 29. And Lee Kuan Yew, who I met when he was 35, a great inspiration in the second phase of my life.

6.

Tips for Young Turks – Challenge yourselves. Look outward from Australia. Don’t be insular. If you believe your company has something to offer in Asia, see the big picture, go ahead with determination and remember that what works in your own culture does not necessarily work elsewhere. Be aware that competition is stiff now as Asians have the education and the experience to do just as good a job as anyone else.

7.

Finding the Balance – I don’t have many hobbies. Business is my hobby, doing it and reading about it. Though I do like to travel and swim and I always find it a fascinating experience to accompany my wife shopping to better understand the mind of the consumers.

8.

When I grow up – My childhood ambition was to be a diplomat. I wanted to be an Ambassador. I loved Australia but I wanted to get abroad. Of course I had to let go of that when I decided not to go to University.

9.

Thanks for telling me to – The best personal advice anyone has given me was when a friend in Hong Kong told me I really should marry my wife Louisa. It has been a great joy. A great match. Professionally, the best advice was to take up an appointment in Asia, that it would present great great prospects for development.

10. Goals to kick in 2004 – Basically, I want to stay healthy. I want to learn more about the cultures of countries such as Cambodia and Myanmar, to travel to South America – one of the places I haven’t been. And from the business perspective, I want to encourage more Australian businesses to become involved in Asia. To get themselves up here into this large market with large growth potential..
EDITOR's NOTE

Happy New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai

Happy New Year and Gong Xi Fa Cai to all our members as we settle into 2004 and the Year of the Monkey, hopefully a year in which business will go Ape - in the best possible way, of course!

In keeping with new beginnings, this is my first offering as the Editor of the AustCham newsletter. I would like to say right up front that the aim is not so much to write and compile the newsletter for you as much as with you.

The newsletter is a vehicle for bringing members what we believe to be pertinent and topical information in an easy-to-read, easy-to-access format. But it is equally a vehicle in which members have the opportunity – perhaps obligation is not too strong a word - for input of their own. Please let me have your feedback, your letters to the Editor, your story (and any other) suggestions.

In this edition, we direct your attention to the Hot Topics section which contains two articles we consider must-reads for members; we look at the welcome, if overdue, focus on the lot of the Australian expatriate. We urge you to read the article and to have your say as the Senate Inquiry into Australian Expatriates gets underway. Secondly there is information on new procedures for obtaining Australian passports in Singapore, a particularly pertinent piece given the frequency of travel undertaken by most of our corporate road warriors.

News Bites is a round-up of items from Singapore, Australia and the region which we hope will keep you abreast of little gems of information that might not normally make it into The Business Times but are well worth an airing in our, albeit smaller and less salubrious, production.

We continue our profile interview, but we are presenting it slightly differently. Called The Ten Questions, we meet members or other interesting individuals in Singapore. As well as a brief Who’s Who-type of approach, we fire The Ten Questions at them for a succinct foray into their life and times and the secrets of their success. This issue we catch up with Owen Howell-Price of Dairy Farm fame, who describes himself as an antique but is actually a priceless treasure!

There is even a forum for your personal advertisements where, for a small fee, you can reach (read: lure) the rest of the membership as you try to sell your car, your furniture – or even if you are flogging rental time at your Noosa beach house. (Declaration of Conflict of Interest – the beach house is mine. It’s a bargain. No, really!)

This is just a sample of what your newsletter offers this issue. We hope you enjoy it. With your help, it will only get better.

Have a great year.

Susan Hocking Mackie



Tell us your news

We are very much reliant on members to bring their news to us … and you don’t have to do much, either. A short written note or simply a telephone call to the AustCham headquarters the editorial team will follow up with you. Of course, there is no guarantee of publication, but we really want to hear what is going on in your business and what is of general interest to Singapore-Australia business relations.

The precise format of the ‘news’ section is yet to be finalised but should include a series of 100 – 200 word ‘soundbite’ stories. We seek members’ help here in providing newsworthy leads.

The hopefully broad news category will cover the following areas:

Member’s news: Has your business just headhunted a new director? Have you just merged? What about an exciting new product launch (we cannot accept advertorial material unless it is also newsworthy – newsworthiness is first and foremost).

Current affairs news: news covering eco-political events as they affect Australians, Australian interests and business in Singapore and the ASEAN region.

Major events news: we also hope to cover events of considerable unilateral importance – for example a Federal election result in Australia, a SARS-like situation in Singapore.

But for all of this we are heavily reliant on members to give the editorial team our ‘heads-ups’. In short we want members’ collective involvement in this new project. We hope that members will feed the newsletter’s editorial team news snippets. We also hope to receive nominations from members with respect to possible subjects for the profile and ideas and suggestions regarding the short features.

We also hope to capture a relaxed, typically Australian, tone and flavour to the newsletter. Given the breadth of skill and experience of the Australian community in Singapore, it is clear to see that this project can become highly successful in a short period of time with a little commitment, effort and backing from members.

If you would like to provide any ideas and input for the newsletter, we would love to hear from you.

Thank you in advance for your backing and assistance and we look forward to receiving your news and ideas!

NEWS BITES

TOP 20 Australian Executives In Asia

Is Your Name Here?

Those who didn’t get a Gong in the Australia Day Honours List – which is most of us, again! - have another chance at trying to spot their name among the Nation’s luminaries. We list below, courtesy of Business Review Weekly, that magazine’s pick as the Top 20 Australian executives in Asia:

1. James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Star Group;
2. Owen Howell-Price, Chairman, South Asia, Dairy Farm;
3. Wrix Gasteen, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Leong Asia;
4. Michael Butcher, Chief Operating Officer, Pacific Century Cyber Works and Chairman of Reach;
5. Andre Sekulic, President, Asia-Pacific, MasterCard International;
6. Roger Moore, President, Novo Nordisk Pharma, Japan, Senior Vice-President, Japan and Oceania region;
7. Professor David Nunan, Director of the English Centre and Chair Professor of applied linguistics, Unviversity of Hong Kong;
8. Clinton Dines, President, BHP Billiton in China;
9. Shane Tregillis, Assistant Managing Director, Market Conduct, Monetary Authority of Singapore;
10. Peter Wallace, President, AYC Consultants Inc. and President, The Wallace Business Forum;
11. Graeme Robertson, Commissioner, PT Adaro Indonesia, and President, PT Indonesian Bulk Terminals, and Managing Director, New Hope Corporation;
12. Agnes Nardi, Managing Director, Hutchison Telecommunications (HK) Ltd.;
13. John Anderson, President Levi-Strauss, Asia Pacific;
14. Alan Reid, Managing Director, Reid Corporation;
15. Professor Kennedy Shortridge, Emeritus and Honorary Professor, the University of Hong Kong;
16. Adam Salzer, Executive Chairman, The Salzer Group;
17. Michael Cripps, Chief Representative, Shanghai, Allens Arthur Robinson;
18. Gary Bennett, Managing Director, North Asia, Prudential Corporation Asia and President and Chief Executive, Prudential Japan;
19. Dick Simpson, Chief Executive, Reach;
20. John Hancock, Chairman, Baker and Mackenzie, Bangkok.

 

Winning Wines

In a strong field of 807 entries in the 2003 International Wine Challenge in Hong Kong, Australia topped the medal tally to take home 168 medals: 13 gold, 39 silver, 62 bronze and 54 seals of approval. Only France topped Australia in the gold medal tally, securing 15 gold medals in its total haul of 64, while Chile, Italy and New Zealand were other strong performers. (Editors note: Sadly, and even more frustratingly, the supplier of this information omitted to tell us exactly which wines took out the laurels. As of going to print, despite desperate measures familiar to all serious drinkers, we have still not unearthed the names. Watch this space.)

 

More Fair Dinkum Food at FairPrice

Singapore’s NTUC Fairprice is rolling out five more Australian Pavilions in its stores across the island state following the success of its Bukit Timah store. The five new pavilions, along with Australian Bays in other stores, is expected to boost Australian food exports to Singapore – now valued at A$662 million annually. For the Trivial Pursuit aficionados among our members, you might be interested to learn that of all the Australian products sold in Singapore, half are in four lines of product: confectionery – 14 percent; biscuits – 12 percent; snacks, chips and nibbles – 11 percent; and condiments – 10 percent. The most popular individual products are cheezels, ginger beer and Australian garlic bread!

 

IBA Health Wins Singapore Job

Australian Technology firm IBA Health will install its patient administration and pharmacy computer systems in Singapore. IBA Health supplies information systems to the health care sector in Australia and numerous other countries. The firm’s patient administration and clinical technology allows paperless electronic records of patients to be retrieved by health care professionals using the Internet.

 

An Intelligent Move

Commercial Intelligence SE Asia Pte Ltd, which has been operating as arguably the region’s premier debt recovery organization in Singapore since 1991, has entered the Australian market. CI, with clients including local and international banks, multinationals and public sector bodies, is regarded as being a leader in the recovery of non-performing loans (NPL) and trade-associated debt, working either directly with the creditor or with Export Credit Agencies. CI has finalized the opening of its Australian offices at 15 William Street, Melbourne, and the new director of CI Australia is Tim Le Cornu. Mr Cornu explained that the increasing focus of the Australian government and Australian businesses was to expand revenue through offshore markets. He said this increased the respective need to manage international trade risks and debts.

 

ERG’s Singapore Project Wins Prestigious Sesames Smart Card Award

ERG Group, an Australian-based company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, has been awarded the prestigious Sesames for Best Transportation Application of smart cards for its enhanced Integrated Fare system implemented in Singapore. The award was presented at the Paris-Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre in France during the Cartes and IT Security 2003 trade show pre-Christmas. ERG is a world leader in the development and supply of integrated fare management and software systems for the transit industry and for its smart card systems and services. The group has installed systems in major cities throughout the world, including Hong Kong, Melbourne, Rome, San Francisco and Singapore with installations in progress in Gothenburg, Seattle, Stockholm, Sydney and Washington DC. ERG has delivered systems that support more than 20 million smart cards in circulation and handle approximately 5 billion transactions per annum.

 

Santa Fe Singapore appoints
new General Manager

Santa Fe Relocation Services has announced the appointment of Mr Jason Will as its new General Manager Sales and Marketing. Mr Will has more than 10 years experience in the moving industry. He has worked largely in Australia, Indonesia and, for the past two and a half years, in Shanghai, PRC. AustCham welcomes Jason to Singapore and we wonder how long until Santa Fe’s moving motto becomes “Where There’s a Will There’s A Way”!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Singapore – Australia Free Trade Agreement Luncheon

So you’ve heard about the Singapore – Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) and want to know more? Here’s your chance to hear from Australian and Singapore government representatives about what it means for your business.

Key Speakers:
His Excellency Gary Quinlan - Australian High Commissioner to Singapore
Mr Minn Naing Oo - Deputy Director/Legal Advisor, Ministry of Trade and Industry
Mr Sean Riley - Senior Trade Commissioner, Australian Trade Commission

Topic: “The Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement: What it means for Business”

Date: 
Thursday, 5 February,, 2004
Time: 
12.00pm – Registration
12.30pm – Seat down
1.00pm – Speech by Guest Speakers
1.45pm – Q&A Session
2.00pm – Close
Venue: 
Marriott Hotel, Ballroom 1 & 2, Level 3
Cost: 
$55 member/spouse
$65 guest
(incl. western set lunch, free flow of wines, beer and soft drinks)
Main course is chicken. Order for vegetarian meals must be placed before booking of seats/tables.

 

 

Sponsor's Recognition Night

The High Commissioner and the President of AustCham would like to take this special evening to thank our past major Sponsors to be held at the High Commissioner's Residence.

AustCham members and guests are most welcome to join us for this first ever recognition evening to network with our very special Sponsors. Bring along your spouse/partner and mates for an interesting evening. Numbers are very limited for this function so please book early.

Date: 
Friday, 20 February 2004
Time: 
6.00pm to 8.00pm
Venue: 
High Commissioner’s Residence
9 White House Park
Cost: 
$20 member/spouse
$30 guest
(incl. snacks, free flow of wines, beer and soft drinks)

 

 

Santa Fe Wine & Cheese Night

Event Sponsor:
Co-Sponsor:
Beer Sponser:

Come and share the great taste of Aussie wines and cheeses! With us will be members of the The Australian & New Zealand Association (ANZA), Australian Alumni, British Chamber of Commerce (BritCham), Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CanCham), CPA Australia, Indonesian Business Association of S’pore (IBAS), Irish Business Association (IBA), New Zealand-Singapore Business Council (NZSBC) and Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC).

Date: 
Friday, 19 March 2004
Time: 
6.00pm - 8.30pm
Venue: 
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
Grand Ballroom, Level 4
Cost: 
$35 member/spouse
$45 guest
(incl. raffle draw ticket, wine tasting, cheeses, snacks, free flow wines, beer and soft drinks)


March is
“Celebrate Australia” month here in Singapore, with months of work by the Australian High Commission bearing its annual “fruit” for all of us to enjoy.

Among the highlights are the Commonwealth Bank Australian Film Festival at GV Grand, Great World City from March 11 through to March 17.

Most films were booked out last year so be quick to reserve your tickets in 2004.

Actual Film titles are very “hush, hush” as of going to print, embargoed until the public launch in mid February. But we can assure you it will be yet another week of the best and latest Australian films, plus some old classics, featuring homegrown stars such as Toni Collette, Geoffrey Rush, Judy Davis, Gary Sweet and Helen Buday.

This year also features a classic Australian film that the children will love and the chance to view the less-mainstream work in a showcase of Australian short-film makers.

“Celebrate Australia” also highlights Australian performing and visual arts with exhibitions such as “Images of Icarus” by Theodore Mandziy (of The Australian International School fame); “Ned” by Blood Brothers, and “The Garden of Eden” by Antonija Gros-Jones.

Look out also for “Musica Viva” concerts in the Botanical Gardens and elsewhere around town; the fabulous stand-up comedian Kitty Flanagan, “The Stones” by Zeal Theatre and “Oblong” by Arena Theatre.

For up-to-date film and booking details check the website at www.australia.org.sg

NEW MEMBERS
We are proud to introduce our newest members:

Corporate Membership
Name Company
Duncan Merrin Asian Corporate Services
Cheryl Stanilewicz Austrade
Terry Johnson General Motors Asia Pacific
Wrix Gasteen Hong Leong Asia
Shahzad Nasim Meinhardt
Scott Butcher Parkroyal Hotels & Resorts
Jason Will Santa Fe Transport
Bruce Rosengarten Shell Eastern Petroleum
Muljono Pringgoharjono Standard Chartered Bank

Ordinary Membership
Name Company
Ross Davidson Fraser and Neave
Andrew Glass Bunge Agribusiness
George Lee Hotel Royal
Ken Muldoon DHL International
Sandy Louise Pike Herbalife Distributor
Alfred Shee Australian Alumni
Willie Tan Amici Vicolo Restaurant

Find out more about the AustCham membership in our website.
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If you have a personal Advertisement to place, please email to the Secretariat at info@austcham.org.sg for more details on the rates.

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