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Aust tertiary students urged to consider global opportunities

18 April, 2007

The Australian Government is advancing the nation’s exporting future with the launch of the 2007 Austrade Export Plan Competition for tertiary students.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Greg Hunt, launched the competition at RMIT University in Melbourne recently.

Hunt congratulated the 2006 competition winners who have set the bar for this year’s entrants.

“Students of international trade are Australia’s future business leaders,” Hunt said.

“Last year’s winners studied international trade through an Advanced Diploma at RMIT.  The students devised a plan that led to the Melbourne-based Swords Select Wines entering the China wine market.

“Students, like the team from RMIT, that participate in this unique competition can open their eyes and their minds to the increasing opportunities for current and future exporters.

“Austrade’s Export Plan Competition encourages entrepreneurship in young Australians by exploring the export potential in their local area and studying a local business in depth.  This project gives students a head start when it comes to business and exporting.

“This competition will inspire students to both support their local companies and think seriously about exporting as tomorrow’s future business leaders,” he said.

The 2006 winners of the Export Plan Competition team members were Georgia Beattie, Nicholas Shiells, Yan Yan, Kellie Mortimer, Ronita Aghakhan and Michael Clarke.  The team researched the potential of Swords Select Wines to enter the China wine market through Shanghai’s Luwan district. Swords Select Wines has since successfully exported a container of Australian wine to this market.

Hunt said the Export Plan Competition helps to forge stronger links between tertiary institutions and the local business community.

“The students gain an appreciation of business planning decisions and overseas market selection while the businesses gain an understanding of their export capabilities and potential markets,” he said.

The Export Plan competition runs until October.  Each State winner will receive $500.  The national winner will receive $2,000 and attend the Australian Export Awards Gala Dinner and Awards presentation at the end of the year with the owner of the business studies and the student’s lecturer.

It is estimated that more than 200 students benefited from the 2006 competition.

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