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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 27 October 2011) . . Page.. 5174 ..

trade mission. The pilot was developed in consultation with the ACT Exporters Network, the NICTA e-government cluster, the AIIA collab-IT network, the defence export unit and Austrade. It is all about helping Canberra companies enter the market and to grow in that market by playing to their strengths, strengths that many Canberra companies have developed through servicing the Australian government.

More broadly, Mr Speaker, in the 2011-12 territory budget, the government increased funding for trade connect, a program that assists ACT companies to build export opportunities and enhance their competitiveness in international markets. Trade connect does this through a dollar-for-dollar step-up funding grant program for specialist services and activities. The government continues to work in partnership with local business to help them crack the very lucrative international markets that are out there.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Can the minister now advise the Assembly what businesses are going on this trade mission that he mentioned in the previous answer?

MR BARR: I think it is worth noting that this is the fourth ACT trade mission to Washington since 2003, and the companies participating in this mission include Intelledox, Isidore, NICTA Auto Map, Aspen Medical, Seveno, Quintessence Labs, Random Computers and ThinkPlace.

Over the last 10 weeks these companies have been looking at every aspect of their businesses to see that they meet the requirements from an American public sector client perspective. They have been updating their web sites, preparing white papers with Australian references, developing partner strategies and looking at opportunities for representations in the market.

The businesses have done this with the guidance of a fantastic local export success story, Stuart Rendell, who has acted as a mentor to this group of companies, providing his experience and expertise to all of the companies involved in the exporting services to government pilot.

Each company will have its own business matching program whilst in Washington. There will also be a number of networking events scheduled to provide companies with access to business leaders and US public sector decision makers. With the support of previous ACT government trade missions, there are a number of local companies who have already been very successful in the US market, and I will name a few: Tower Software, the Noetic Group, CEA Technologies, EOS and Kord Defence.

The ACT government will continue to find ways to work with business to better highlight the capabilities of local businesses and to build these important relationships with the US government.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

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