12 Jul 2013 11:19
CANBERRA, July 8 (Bernama) -- Australia's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be able to take up new opportunities in Asian markets under a new 36 million AU dollars (US$32.6 million) national investment unveiled Monday, Xinhua news agency reported. Trade Minister Richard Marles and Innovation Minister Kim Carr said the new National Centre for Asia Capability will be based in Melbourne and Sydney with funding provided for national programme delivery through the University of Melbourne's Asialink centre. "It will tap into the expertise of business and community organisations, peak bodies, training providers and business councils to help business leaders develop a deeper knowledge and expertise of Asian countries and cultures," Marles said. "The centre will forge new partnerships to help businesses develop the Asia-relevant capabilities they need to better access growing markets in our region." Carr said the Australian government is investing in the abilities and relationships that will drive Australia's economic and jobs growth in the years ahead. "This is a timely government investment in building our workforce capability. The government is stepping in to help small and medium-sized firms do this to help Australian businesses to compete and thrive in the century ahead." Marles said making sure that Australian businesses understand and can effectively negotiate in Asia is a key part of the government's response to the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century released in October last year. --BERNAMA EE