Only a fraction of Australian businesswomen export, so I enjoyed the recent opportunity to open the ‘Women in Global Business’ forum and to encourage women to be brave and bold in venturing into international markets.
The focus of the forum was on trade with India and China, and it could not have come at a better time, as just a week earlier the China Australia Free Trade Agreement passed the Australian Parliament.
China is Australia’s number one trading partner.
And as its economy and middle class continues to grow, the opportunities for Australia are limited only to our imagination.
Opportunities in products and services like agriculture, education, tourism, healthcare, aged care and financial and professional advice, which will see stronger growth for our economy, better living standards for families and more and better jobs for Australian workers.
The new China Australia Free Trade Agreement will open up these opportunities, which is why the Federal Opposition made amendments and supported the legislation through Parliament.
As I write, we are about to embark on the final two sitting weeks before Parliament rises for 2015.
The last parliamentary fortnight is always busy.
Busy with late night sittings and votes to get legislation through before the summer break.
And busy with events including the Prime Minister’s drinks, the Speaker’s dinner and carols in the Marble Foyer.
It’s a time for collegiality and reflection on the achievements of the last 12 months.
And it’s a time to thank our tireless teams and volunteers who go above and beyond to deliver for the people of our electorates.
As you draw towards the end of your working year, I’m sure many of you are preparing to travel home for Christmas.
I wish you and your family a happy and safe Christmas and New Year and a relaxing holiday season.
I look forward to staying in touch next year.