Water Journal : Water Journal December 2013
WATER DECEMBER 2013 Bob Herbert, Australia's Water Supplier Advocate, proudly dons the 'champion' title in developing and promoting the Australian water industry abroad. He works closely with the Australian Water Association's waterAUSTRALIA network, Austrade and the Department of Industry to pinpoint business opportunities for suppliers looking to tap into the international market. Here AWA talks to Bob about his role in shaping and sharing a positive picture of our country's water capabilities across foreign markets. Q: What does your role as the Water Supplier Advocate involve? A: My role was appointed by the Commonwealth Government and I lead, advocate for, and assist Australian suppliers from the water industry to grow their capabilities and business domestically and into international markets. This is done by identifying and promoting platforms to maximise supplier involvement in water projects. Q: What industry experience do you bring to the role? A: I've worked closely with industry throughout my entire career, including the manufacturing and construction sectors. A large part of my career was actually with the Australian Industry (AI) Group, where I worked as Director for 30 years and was Chief Executive for eight of those. It's the valuable insights I've received over the span of my career that have provided me with a continuing interest in helping Australian industry take advantage of the opportunities that international business affords. Q: What projects highlight the capabilities of the Australian water industry in the local and international markets? A: The Australian Water Supplier Compact has been established through an agreement between waterAUSTRALIA, the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA), the Industry Capability Network and myself. The Compact demonstrates a commitment to breaking down the barriers to supply into the water industry and, therefore, increasing supplier access to business opportunities. Internationally, I think the key projects opening the gateway to international markets including the US, Asia and Latin America are waterAUSTRALIA's Supplier Access to Major Projects (SAMP) US program, the Australian Water Solutions Mission to China and a mission to Latin America in 2014. These all provide Australian suppliers with an 'in' to foreign markets through increased business networking and de nitely help to remove the complexities of doing international business. Q: How have the current economic experiences changed the opportunities for the Australian water industry? A: I think the Australian water industry has gained a reputation for its agility and robust water policy when dealing with challenges such as our sporadic rain and drought patterns. Now more than ever it's vital for local suppliers to boost their competitive edge through international collaboration whenever possible by accessing opportunities picked strategically by waterAUSTRALIA. Q: What are some of the project success stories and what opportunities did they foster? A: Last year's mission to Singapore for Singapore International Water Week was a great success, providing an opportunity for the participating companies to showcase their capabilities to the international market. The mission helped to identify $60M worth of business opportunities and negotiations that are still in progress. I look forward to another successful delegation to Singapore next year. The SAMP program also continues to prove a success, running missions to the US including WEFTEC in October 2012 where companies identi ed and are still pursuing $12.3M in international business opportunities. The SAMP program is in the planning phase of more upcoming missions. Q: You are part of the Australian Water Solutions Mission to China delegation. Can you tell us a bit about this? A: I'm leading this Mission to Beijing for the Water Expo China + Water Membrane China 2013 (WEC 2013), which is supported by the Australian Department of Industry. This mission will provide several Australian suppliers with opportunities to present their products and/or services to the Chinese market through an Australian exhibition pavilion. Delegates will also have the opportunity to present their offerings to Chinese water authority leaders and potential buyers in an interactive seminar and take advantage of business-matching provided by Austrade. We hope this will unlock further opportunities for collaboration between both markets in the future. If you'd like to to get in contact with Bob please email: WaterAdvocate@innovation.gov.au AWA waterAUSTRALIA update waterAUSTRALIA is developing pathways to build international business for domestic suppliers through a range of initiatives aimed at growing and promoting the capabilities of the Australian water industry. If you are a small- to medium-sized business and are interested in creating demand for your products and services in foreign markets, consider joining one of the following international missions aimed at cultivating international business opportunities: 10 Special Update DOING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AWA's waterAUSTRALIA speaks with Bob Herbert.
Water Journal November 2013
Water Journal February 2014