Australia will provide 35 million dollars to set up a National Centre for Asia Capability, aimed at increasing knowledge of the business community and assist the organisations to engage with the region. Trade Minister Richard Marles and Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr announced the government's decision in Canberra yesterday. "The new Centre will be based in Melbourne and Sydney with funding provided for national program delivery through the University of Melbourne's Asialink," they said. The Government will provide the money over 10 years to help fund the new Centre. "The Centre will act as a hub, drawing existing resources together to better use their potential," Marles said. "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," he said. "The Centre will also forge new partnerships to help businesses develop the Asia-relevant capabilities they need to better access growing markets in our region," he added. Carr said the Australian Government was investing in the abilities and relationships that will drive Australia's economic and jobs growth in the years ahead. "This is a significant and timely Australian Government investment in building Australian workforce capability," Carr said, adding "The business community wants to build skills, supply chains and other key networks but small and medium-sized firms are not always able to make these international connections on their own. "The Government is stepping in to help them do this - to help Australian businesses compete and thrive in the century ahead. "We want them to get a head start on the opportunities of the future as we grow and transform our economy and our core industries," Carr added. Marles said making sure that Australian businesses understand and can effectively negotiate in Asia was a key part of the Government's response to the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. The Centre was the brainchild of an Asialink taskforce, which found last year that most corporate board members and executives have little experience in Asia and do not speak Asian languages. Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/australia-funds-35-million-dollars-for-asia-business-centre/articleshow/20986198.cms
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