The Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia’s goal to help its members “internationalise” their events and services took a giant leap forward with an historic meeting between Austrade representatives in five countries in the Asia-Pacific region and EEAA members.

EEAA chief executive Joyce DiMascio said the meeting with trade commissioners and business development staff in five countries was a welcome break-through in relations with the Federal Government agency responsible for promoting international trade, investment and tourism.

The exchange was designed to discuss the capacity of exhibitions to drive trade and investment in key industry sectors that aligned with Australia’s areas export capability including: Food and Food Service, Agribusiness, Mining and Energy, Healthcare and Organic Products.

“This meeting was a major break-through for our industry and the first time in our history that we have had access to Austrade on this scale. Valuable information was exchanged about how to tackle these opportunities,” Ms DiMascio said.

“We were honoured to have access to such experienced trade commission staff. This positive step forward has the potential to give our members direct access to buyers across Asia. By getting this level of cut-through within Austrade we can begin to further internationalise Australian exhibitions,” she said.

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb urged the EEAA and Austrade to keep working on the initiative as it had the potential to generate new markets for Australian export.

“I am pleased to see such positive new developments in areas of obvious export capability and I commend the EEAA and Austrade on this initiative. We have deliberatively moved the tourism portfolio into trade and investment to ensure Australia grows its visitor economy,” he said.

The detailed briefing with senior Australian trade officials in Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Seoul, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney was facilitated through Austrade’s Sydney office by video conference. It was attended by major organisers and export-ready suppliers based in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.