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The world’s international food and beverage buyers were attracted to the diverse range of food and beverage products showcased by over 150 Australia companies at Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) 2016.

 

Held in Singapore from 12-15 April, FHA 2016 is Asia’s premier international trade event for the food and hospitality industry. The biennial event attracted exhibitors from over 70 countries including Australia.

 

ProWine Asia, a satellite event of the successful ProWein in Dusseldorf, was co-located with FHA for the first time and included nine Australian wineries participating.

 

Chris Rees, Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for Singapore, said Australia was well positioned to benefit and expand its exports of high-quality produce.

 

‘Demand for Australia’s premium food is rising across Asia thanks to our strong reputation among consumers and as a result many exhibitors received interest and leads from around the region,’ said Rees.

 

‘Our reputation for quality, safe produce is well recognised throughout Asia and Australia’s meat, dairy, fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood and wine are all in demand.

 

‘Austrade’s Food and Beverage teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brunei, Myanmar and Hong Kong organised buyer delegations from their respective markets to connect with exhibitors at the Australia Pavilion,’ added Rees.

 

Buyers from Asian markets like Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were especially interested in specialty cheese products and Australian vegetables like leafy salad lines, kale, broccoli, carrots and onions.

 

Similarly, Australian wineries attracted the attention of buyers from Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand at FHA2016.

 

FHA2016 attracted a record 3,198 exhibitors from 71 countries/regions, 58 international group pavilions. The event also welcomed more than 72,000 attendees from over 100 countries/regions, a 13.3 per cent increase from the 2014 event.

 

Source: Austrade

The German technology conglomerate, Siemens AG, has invested A$20 million in a state-of-the-art service centre in Perth.

 

The centre is acting as a remote service hub so that equipment and key plant can be monitored anywhere in Australia. Experts can connect to equipment remotely in order to perform trouble shooting and reactive services.

 

Cloud-based data analytics are also being utilised to optimise plant and equipment performance.

 

The new Perth centre includes a A$5 million Specialised Test-bed for electric motors – the most sophisticated of its kind in the country – capable of testing the widest breadth of motors under load, as well as a 20 tonne balancing machine to ensure that shafts and rotors can be precision balanced before returning to the field.

 

At the official launch of the centre in Perth, Siemens Global Head of Customer Service, Dr Thomas Moser, explained that the operational phase represents about 95 per cent of equipment lifecycle costs, compared to just five per cent or less in the capital investment phase. ‘So high tech service becomes critical to drive increased overall equipment effectiveness while reducing these operational costs,’ he said.

 

The new hub in Perth is the third Australian service centre Siemens has invested in during the past two years: the other centres are spread across the Australian continent – in Tonsley, South Australia, and Rockhampton, Queensland.

 

Siemens has had a presence in Western Australia since the 1930s.

 

Source: Austrade

Australia seems to be the most preferred destination for the global rich, with Sydney leading the pack with the biggest net inflow of millionaires, as some 4,000 of them shifted base to the city in 2015, says a report.

 

Overall, the figure for the entire continent stood at 8,000 as Melbourne and Perth attracted 3,000 and 1,000 high net worth individuals (HNIs) and secured second and eighth positions, respectively, according to a report by New World Wealth.

 

“Sydney, Melbourne and Perth all benefited from millionaire inflows from China, Europe, the UK, the US and South Africa. Other Australian areas such as the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Noosa and the Sunshine Coast also experienced inflows,” the report said.

 

Tel Aviv drew a large chunk of millionaires from Europe, especially France. The city was ranked third, with as many as 2,000 HNIs making this city their domicile.

 

Other Israeli cities such as Herzliya, Jerusalem and Netanya too saw inflows.

 

There were large millionaire inflows to San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver from China and South-East Asia, while Dubai pulled in many from North Africa (Egypt, Algeria and Morocco) and Turkey.

 

Interestingly, in 2015, London saw an inflow of 3,000 millionaires, but 2,500 super-rich left the city and moved to other parts of England. A large number also moved overseas, mainly to English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US.

 

“Most of the millionaires who left London were UK-born whereas almost all of the millionaires coming into the city were from other countries,” the report said, adding “this may be a trend that continues in future as several wealthy UK-born people remain “concerned” about the way London and the UK in general had changed over the past decade or so.

 

Paris saw the biggest outflow, with as many as 7,000 millionaires heading to the exit door. The other cities with large outflows of millionaires include Rome (5,000), Chicago (3,000) and Athens (2,000).

 

The factors responsible for millionaire migration varied widely. For Paris, it was rising religious tension and lack of opportunities; for Rome, economic slump; for Chicago, rising racial tension and rising crime levels, and for Athens, economic slump and migration crisis with Syria/Turkey.

 

Millionaires refer to individuals with net assets of $1 million or more excluding their primary residences.

 

Source: The Hindu

Australia's 2016-17 Federal Budget sets out a long term economic plan to ensure Australia continues to successfully transition from the mining investment boom to a stronger, more diversified new economy.

 

The Budget was handed down by the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, on 3 May 2016, who confirmed that Australia is growing faster than all major advanced economies and is well above the OECD average.

 

Initiatives in the 2016-17 Budget include a recommitment to the A$1.1 billion National Innovation and Science Agenda, A$50 billion investment in critical infrastructure, and a ten year enterprise tax plan

 

Infrastructure

 

Investment in roads, rails and dams is central to the A$50 billion initiative in critical infrastructure for the period 2013-14 to 2019-20, with the Australian Government keen to attract greater private sector involvement in financing and delivery.

 

Funding for infrastructure initiatives in the Budget include:

 

  • A reallocation of A$1.5 billion for Victoria’s Monash Freeway, Murray Basin Freight Rail, and M80 Ring Road.
  • A$490 million for the Forrestfield-Airport Rail Link, plus A$261 million for the Perth Freight Link, Section 2.
  • A$200 million for the first stage of Queensland’s Ipswich Motorway.
  • A$594 million in additional equity for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail.
  • A$115 million for preparatory activities for the Western Sydney Airport.
  • Agreements under the Asset Recycling Initiative are close to being finalised, which will unlock over A$23 billion in State and Territory infrastructure spending, including the Sydney and Melbourne Metro projects.

 

Sectoral Commitments

 

The 2016-17 Budget also outlines commitments to agriculture, water infrastructure and boosts to competitiveness and productivity in the resources and energy sector through mineral exploration, as well as a commitment to renewable energy.

 

National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility: A$2 billion to support major water infrastructure projects such as dams, pipelines and aquifer recharge projects. The Budget also provided an additional $9.5 million for the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund in response to strong demand by funding additional water infrastructure feasibility studies in northern Australia.

 

National Resources Development Strategy: A$100.5 million will be invested in Geoscience Australia over four years from 2016‑17 to produce geographical modelling of mineral, petroleum and groundwater resources in targeted areas across northern Australia and South Australia.

 

Clean and Renewable Energy Innovation: A$1 billion in existing funding from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will be allocated to establish a Clean Energy Innovation Fund, which the CEFC will jointly manage with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The Clean Energy Innovation Fund will provide debt and equity financing to assist emerging clean energy technologies to become commercially viable.

 

Source: Austrade

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut its benchmark interest rate to a historic low of 1.75%, the first reduction since May 2015.

 

The bank cited lower-than-expected inflationary pressures for the cut, from the previous rate of 2%.

 

Data published last week showed inflation is at a record low - well below the target band of 2%-3%.

 

Investors in Australia cheered the bank's move. The benchmark S&P ASX 200 jumped 2% to close at 5,353.80.

 

"The board judged that prospects for sustainable growth in the economy, with inflation returning to target over time, would be improved by easing monetary policy at this meeting," said Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens in a statement.

 

The rate cut comes hours ahead of the federal budget for 2016-17.

 

Small tax cuts and increased spending on health, infrastructure and education have already been foreshadowed or announced to be part of the budget.

 

It is also seen as an unofficial election campaign launch. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will dissolve parliament and call an early election on or before 11 May.

 

Chinese manufacturing

Elsewhere in the region, other Asian stock markets were higher on Tuesday following positive trading sessions in the US and Europe on Monday.

 

In South Korea, the Kospi index closed up 0.4% at 1,996.41.

 

Trading in China restarted after a long weekend and the Shanghai Composite index closed up 54.32 points, or 1.85%, at 2,992.64.

 

Investors shrugged off a private survey which indicated a mild contraction in China's manufacturing activity. The Caixin Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 49.4 in April, compared with 49.7 in March.

 

A reading below 50 indicates a contraction. The PMI tracks activities in factories and workshops.

 

The data differs from China's state figures released at the weekend, which showed a reading of 50.1 for April, compared with 50.2 in March.

 

In Hong Kong the Hang Seng index fell 390.11 points, or 1.85%, to 20,676.94.

 

Source: BBC