October 2020 Message from AmCham CEO

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October 2020

With the Presidential election only a fortnight away, all eyes are on the United States. Will Donald Trump be returned in another poll-defying victory? Or will Joe Biden carry the day, as the pundits are expecting? Whoever is in the White House (or the Senate, or the Supreme Court), Australia will continue to engage with the United States as its most important economic and security partner. Heading into the pandemic, the economic relationship was already strong, and its importance will only increase. According to our landmark study , a remarkable 7% of Australia’s GDP in 2019 was a result of American trade and investment. In fact, every year for the past decade, between 6-7.5% of the Australian economy has been a result of US investment and trade. That is not an insignificant figure: over $131 billion, which is roughly equivalent to the size of Australia’s mining sector.


As we recently heard in the Federal Budget announcement, Australia’s post-COVID recovery will depend on jobs. We will need to grow our economy, including through foreign direct investment, and a key opportunity is to make Australia the most attractive investment destination possible to both new and existing businesses. And with the increased geo-political complexity across the region, now is the time to set a new policy framework that positions Australia as the most attractive hub for businesses looking to set up or expand in the region. The challenge before us is to work together to support the government to capitalize on the opportunity we are now facing. AmCham will do this through roundtable discussions, special events, investment missions (both in person and virtual), policy doorknocks, and a special high-level task force. If your business faces challenges to increasing investment in Australia, please be in touch.


All the while, of course, we will continue to offer complimentary access to our extremely popular including the Live From America series and The Future of Everything discussions. We are also holding in person events in cities where restrictions allow. At lunch at the US Consul General's residence in Sydney, we introduced members to the new DCM from Canberra. Last week we held a sundowner in Perth to commemorate Former General Manager Penelope Williamson’s 25 years of service to the AmCham community. And next week in Adelaide we will host a special reception with South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, US Ambassador Arthur B. Culvahouse, Jr., The Hon Christopher Pyne, and The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson AO to inaugurate AmCham’s new space committee with a focus on the findings of the Building Prosperity report. We will also be hosting in person where possible.


Finally, allow me to thank each and every one of you for your tremendous support throughout this difficult period. The engagement, referrals, proposals and encouragement we have received have been overwhelming. We always felt our work was important, but never has it been more actively appreciated by our members and their guests. Thank you for letting us know how we can support you and help your businesses grow. Your success is our success, and we look forward to emerging from the pandemic stronger and more connected than ever before.


Yours sincerely,

April Palmerlee, Chief Executive Officer

American Chamber of Commerce in Australia


I’m delighted to welcome these new members and here are links to their websites:

Network News

AmCham Premium members were among the first business leaders to meet the new second-in-command from the US Embassy Canberra when he visited Sydney last month. Mike Goldman arrived in Canberra in March 2020, after three years at the US Embassy in Suva, Fiji, where he served as Chargé d'Affaires (2018-2019) and DCM (2017). A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Mike joined the State Department in 2000.

Network News

Australia’s Free Trade Advantage: Featuring the Hon Simon Birmingham with a Spotlight on the USA


Join us as we celebrate 15 years of Australia’s FTA with the USA and explore the significant opportunities for exporters and investors. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear how FTAs can help accelerate your overseas business opportunities.


Network News

Effective October 13, the US Consulate General in Sydney will resume limited appointments for loss of nationality services, in addition to the passport, citizenship, and absentee voting services already offered. Passport, citizenship, and loss of nationality appointment availability will be strictly limited due to physical distancing requirements in their office and public waiting room. Each applicant requires their own appointment. All visitors to the Consulate age 2 and older must wear a mask.


The Consulate has a long waiting list of citizens wishing to renounce their US citizenship. Appointments for services will be offered to individuals in the order they were added to the waiting list.


Network News

If you are an American citizen and plan to vote in the November 2020 election it is important to ACT NOW! Don’t wait, return your voted ballot right away! Remember US embassies and consulates are not polling places; same-day in-person voting is not available outside the United States – but you can get assistance in requesting and returning your absentee ballot. Many states require voted ballots to reach local election officials by the close of polls on Tuesday, 3rd November 2020.


The Department of State is committed to assisting overseas voters in casting their ballots. For instructions on how to vote from Australia click here. For general overseas voting information please see the Department of State’s web site or .

Member Spotlight

The Honourable Christopher Pyne

Chair, AmCham Council of Governors, South Australia

Chairman, Pyne and Partners


Christopher Pyne served as the 54th Australian Defence Minister. He was responsible for delivering the $200 billion build-up of Australia’s military capability, the largest in Australia’s peacetime history.



1. Childhood dream job?

Pope. When that was cruelly ruled out by the Jesuits, Prime Minister.


2. What historical event do you wish you were either a part of, or were able to experience?

The Kennedy White House – the modern Camelot.


3. Most rewarding part about your job?

Creating growth, jobs and wealth in the economy.


4. Personal motto that helps you power through obstacles?

Victory belongs to the most persevering.


5. The biggest risk you took?

Challenging a sitting MP in preselection in 1992 aged twenty four and winning!


6. Best advice you ever received?

Do the job you have as though it’s the one you always wanted and better jobs will follow.


7. Who do you most admire?

My father Remington: he was an eye surgeon, he was professionally successful, recognised by his peers, revered by his patients, loved by his family, respected and sought out by his friends.


8. Something that your social media followers don’t know about you?

I’m obsessed by MasterChef: Back to Win!


9. Dream dinner companion?

My wife Carolyn: she’s my perfect foil.

Company Spotlight

Torrens University Recognised as one of Australia’s Most Innovative Companies in 2020

Laureate International Universities


The 2020 AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies List has recognised the work of Torrens University Australia in creating the country’s first for school leavers, following the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.


The University was recognised as one of the Most Innovative Companies from more than 600 nominated organisations across Australia and New Zealand.


The AFR BOSS assessment measures a top innovation – specifically, how valuable the problem is that the innovation is solving, the quality and uniqueness of the solution, and the level of impact the innovation has had. In addition, internal elements of a company’s innovation culture, strategy, resources and process, which demonstrate a sustainable and repeatable approach to innovation, are assessed.


Recognition for Torrens University came from its development of the nation’s first ever Virtual Careers Expo, with COVID-19 prohibiting TAFE, VET and high school leavers from attending a traditional expo. Torrens University joined forces with other universities and higher education institutions to organise the two-day expo, involving 72 exhibitors, including 35 universities.


Held in May, the Virtual Careers Expo 2020 included chat rooms, live webinars, downloadable videos, campus tours and course guides in one location. The event resulted in over 310,000 visits to the site, with more than 60,000 webcast views and 30,212 file downloads. Without the Virtual Careers Expo, approximately 182,000 school leavers would not have been able to view 87.5% of Australian universities.


The demand for the Virtual Careers Expo platform led to the service being offered in New Zealand in June, where there were 42 exhibitors, 5,600 registrations and 2,300 webcast views.


Read the full press release

Network News

Australia: Australian Federal Budget 2020-21 - Insights for Healthcare

Baker McKenzie

This year's Australian Federal Budget is a significant one for the Australian healthcare industries, expanding existing tax incentives and allowances in order to stimulate investment and innovation. These new tax measures passed Parliament in record time, on 9 October 2020, providing businesses and investors with some certainty in these otherwise uncertain times. These measures are open to foreign investors, as well as domestic companies.


The key takeaways for healthcare:

  • A more generous R&D tax incentive, costed at A$2 billion, representing a welcome retreat from the previously proposed limitations. The laws provide a financial incentive to biotech and pharma companies when conducting clinical trials, and other R&D, in Australia;
  • Expanded and improved instant asset write off which brings forward depreciation deductions. This is the largest single tax reform, and will cost the Budget A$26.7 billion over the next four years;
  • The temporary re-introduction of loss carry-back provisions to support cash flow, costed at A$4.9 billion over the next four years;
  • A$1.5 billion to support a Modern Manufacturing Strategy, providing grants to encourage manufacturing in medical products as one of six areas of strategic interest.


Australia United States Free Trade Agreement 15 Years & Beyond

Webinar Recording | American Australian Association | Embassy of Australia, Washington DC | US Chamber of Commerce | AmCham

AmCham was proud to partner with the American Australian Association, the Embassy of Australia Washington DC, and the US Chamber of Commerce for a celebration marking 15 years of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement.


This webinar was moderated by the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, Australia's Ambassador to the United States and featured keynote addresses by Myron Brilliant, Executive VP at US Chamber of Commerce, and April Palmerlee, CEO at AmCham.


This was followed by a discussion among business leaders in the American Australian community: Steve Demetriou, CEO of Jacobs; Mick Farrell, CEO of ResMed; Steve McCann, Group CEO & Managing Director at Lendlease; Jennifer Nason, Global Chair, Investment Banking at J.P. Morgan; and Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel, VP International Affairs at Lockheed Martin. The panelists discussed the strong economic relationship between our two countries and the jobs, innovation and prosperity the Free Trade Agreement has supported. The program was closed by Ambassador John Berry, President of American Australian Association.


Watch the recording .

Indo-Pacific Business Forum

US Chamber of Commerce

The virtual Corporate Excellence Showcase at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum will highlight outstanding examples of US corporate social responsibility programs in the Indo-Pacific region. Companies are invited to feature their CSR work in the region and share materials such as videos, brochures, and/or testimonials of their company's contributions to the region's economic growth and well-being.


Each company will have a dedicated booth inside the virtual Corporate Excellence Showcase Pavilion with materials showing their contributions to the region.


View the full Indo-Pacific Business Forum agenda .


Lendlease and Aware Super Secure Major Urbanisation Project in New York


International property and investment group, Lendlease, in partnership with one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, Aware Super, announced the acquisition of a 90 percent interest in a 2.6-acre site at 1 Java Street in Brooklyn, New York.


With an estimated end development value of A$1 billion, the major urbanisation project will transform a full city block into c.800 residential for rent apartments. Approximately 30 per cent of these apartments will be designated as affordable housing under the Affordable New York Housing Program. Located on the East River, the project will also include a reimagined public waterfront esplanade with improved connection to the India Street pier and NYC Water Ferry.


Cyberweek 2020

AustCyber- The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network


Monday 26th - Friday 30th October


The full schedule for Australian Cyber Week 2020 is live! There are 20+ events spanning the full breadth of the cyber security landscape - including the National Missing Persons Hackathon, a cyber incident simulation + multiple pitching, networking and Node events.


Click to sign up.


Special Offer

InterContinental Hotel Adelaide

InterContinental Hotel Adelaide is offering AmCham members a special rate of $175 per night for a Superior Room when staying overnight in Adelaide between now and 31 March 2021.


To receive the special rate, please contact the hotel directly.


Email: and identify yourself as an AmCham member.


Phone: +61 8 8238 2400

Survey: 2020 BDO and AusCERT Cyber Security Survey


The fifth annual BDO and AusCERT Cyber Security survey is now open. This annual survey of key decision-makers across Australia and New Zealand, identifies the current cyber security trends, issues and threats facing organisations.


Participating gives you direct access to the survey report, allowing you to:

  • Compare your organisation’s cybermaturity against peers
  • Benchmark your organisation’s currentcyber security efforts with trends in your industry
  • Determine ways to improve your organisation’s cyber security culture, planning and response measure


Take the survey .

Beyond Lockdown – what Coronavirus has taught us about the importance of connection, personally and professionally


As we counted down to 2020 last New Year’s Eve, few of us would have predicted the year ahead would unfold as it has. As we celebrated with friends and loved ones, singing songs, sending best wishes and popping champagne, we had no idea that the months ahead would incur a level of isolation the world has never seen before. We had no idea that the way we connect and interact with others, would change so drastically.


Read Pappyon’s key learnings and insights into what the future holds .

Federal Budget Highlights: 2020-21


A highly anticipated Federal Budget announced late in a turbulent and unpredictable year, the 2020-21 Budget sets out significant taxation relief for individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 recession.


MinterEllison explores the impact and implications across the key focus areas raised in the government’s Budget announcement.


Budget takeouts:

  • The Government will introduce a measure to allow corporate tax entities to carry-back losses to previous income years, in the hope that it will provide cash flow support to previously profitable Australian businesses which are now incurring tax losses as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19.

Read more on MinterEllison's Budget takeouts ....

Tanium Announces $150 Million Funding Round Sparked by Major Industry Partnerships


Tanium, the provider of unified endpoint management and security built for the world’s most demanding IT environments, today announced that it has completed the sale of an additional $150 million in common stock. Existing investors Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC, Baillie Gifford, their respective affiliates, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. participated in the financing. The latest investment brings the total raised by Tanium to more than $900 million, increasing the company’s valuation to over $9 billion.


The financing comes shortly after the company announced a strategic partnership with Salesforce and an investment from Salesforce Ventures in June 2020, which sparked renewed interest from existing investors.


Insights on Demand

Griffith Hack

Click for videos, links and webinars on intellectual property.


If you would like to receive updates on future live webinars please email to be added to the Griffith Hack mailing list or view the for upcoming webinars.

Customer Experience at the Edge

Zebra Technologies

Emerging technologies are changing the way we do business.


Join #ZebraCX Summit on 10 November to learn how leaders in retail, supply chain, healthcare and transport & logistics are leveraging technology to improve the customer experience.


Gain insight into strategies and best practices for building resilience in times of disruption, while increasing efficiency, productivity and profitability.


Choose from various industry-specific breakout sessions for retail, healthcare, transport and technology.


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The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

Website | ABN 62 000 361 633

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