Dec 2016
Mon, 19 Dec 2016

CEO Message December 2016

Article by Niels Marquardt
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Season’s Greetings from AmCham!  As the year ends, we look back at 2016 as an incredibly productive year for AmCham Australia. Having moved recently to 48 Hunter Street, Robert Hossary and I are finding that being in the heart of the Sydney CBD has really improved our productivity and our sense of connection to our members here. And in January, AmCham will have a new face in both Queensland and South Australia, as we bid farewell to Robyn and Steve Houghton after more than a decade with AmCham. Let me pause to thank the Houghtons for all they have done to propagate the AmCham spirit in their two states. In Adelaide, that new face belongs to Berni Sewer, and in Brisbane our new General Manager is Alicia Doherty. Both Berni and Alicia bring to their new missions strong connections to both their Australian community and the United States. We are extremely fortunate to have found them both, and I know you will enjoy working with them if you have the chance to do so. Meanwhile, in Perth and Melbourne, AmCham continues to benefit from seasoned leadership under Penelope Williamson and Ray Doyle respectively. All of us and our teams send you our warmest holiday greetings and best wishes for 2017!   

I won’t pretend not to be disappointed by the demise – hopefully only temporary – of the TPP in the aftermath of the US Presidential election. We will remain alert to any opening for progress on regional free trade that might appear. Meanwhile, I see a very prospective 2017 landscape for an improved tax climate in both the US and Australia. Whether it will be lower corporate rates to stimulate the economy or moving in the US to a long overdue and much fairer territorial taxation system, the opportunities are enormous. We are already planning our 2017 Doorknock in Washington June 19-22, by which time we should have a much clearer picture of what will be possible. Please block your diaries now if you would like to join me and the Asia-Pacific AmCham community in seeing first-hand – and even influencing – what the Trump administration and the US Congress will be doing at that time!

We also end 2017 with serious momentum behind a landmark study on the role and impacts of US foreign direct investment in Australia, which we are undertaking in partnership with the United States Studies Centre. This major initiative has been made possible by the extraordinary generosity of AmCham member companies and other supporters. If your company has a compelling story to share about the positive contributions of American FDI in Australia, or about Australian FDI in the US, or if you would like to make a monetary contribution to support this effort, I invite you to contact me to discuss how you can help.

For those interested in visiting the USA, we already have a number of AmCham Trade Missions planned for 2017, in addition to the June Doorknock. The first will be a Defence Trade Mission to Washington D.C. to visit the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Exposition on April 2-6. This will be your company’s chance to build its corporate profile and business contacts among government and military professionals, showcase new products and services, and meet with major players in the industry. Please click here to register your interest. Again in May, we will lead a delegation to the world’s largest Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas. It will run 29 April – 5 May. For your chance to meet with leading global executives from the energy industry, I invite you to register your interest today. We are also planning a Fintech Mission to New York and Boston in October; click here if you’d like us to keep you updated as it evolves.

Global energy markets face a pivotal moment with the change of leadership in Washington on January 20. President-elect Trump has promised to make significant policy changes and reduce red tape and regulation to further unleash America’s potential to produce cheap energy, with widespread repercussions. AmCham therefore is pleased to offer a true Washington Energy Policy insider, visiting Australia just weeks after the new administration enters office. Barry Worthington, Executive Director of the United States Energy Association (USEA) since 1988, will be in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane during the week of February 20, to address members of the American Chamber of Commerce and provide insights on potential changes to America’s energy policy. Look at our website for details of his three presentations while in Australia.

Our 2017 event calendar kicks off with our annual Super Bowl networking events on February 6 in SydneyMelbourne and Brisbane – always a fantastic day! We are also running a series of events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in February bringing together top tax experts from PwC to explore the Facts on US FATCA. Elsewhere, we are very pleased to be bringing our event program to the Top End in 2017 – watch this space for upcoming Darwin events. Meanwhile, Perth’s Financial Toolbox Series – an initiative of our Women in Leadership Committee – continues throughout 2017 by popular demand. In Adelaide, we start the year with a luncheon on February 10 featuring Andrew Cole, CEO of Oz Minerals. Brisbane is bringing you a panel event on February 3 with former Premier of Queensland and current Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, Peter Beattie AC. Peter will also present in Sydney on February 14, plus we have Bill Ferris AC, Chairman of Innovation Australia speaking on March 16. Check out our website for the full list of upcoming events.

Since my last message, we are pleased to welcome PepsiCo as our newest Premium Member! Please view our newest members here, including the following: AT&T Global Network Services Australia Pty Ltd,, Diligent Boards, Executive Central, Great Place to Work Australia, It’s Now Cool, Nespresso Australia, The Red Flag Group, Australian Unity Limited, Richmond Football Club and L-3 Oceania. If you are not already a member of AmCham, now is the time to join and increase your access to opportunity for 2017.

AmCham are now producing and publishing more relevant and interesting content than ever before. We encourage you to view the Access BLOG – please contact our office if you would like to contribute. Plus, get to know us socially on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook! And, check out the expanding library of podcasts on, featuring many CEOs and MDs of a range of AmCham member companies.

Finally, let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and all the very best in 2017. AmCham looks forward to bringing you even more access to opportunity in the year ahead!
Until next time,

Niels Marquardt

Follow me on twitter: @CEO_AmChamAU

P.S. If you would like to increase your access to opportunities, information and services of the Chamber, please select this link and AmCham will send you more updates with information about upcoming events, programmes and initiatives in your state.

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