Guy Barnett, Minister for Trade,
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is continuing to grow and expand access to world markets for Tasmanian products and this has been boosted by the appointment of the first-ever Singapore-based Trade Advocate.
Singapore is a strategic gateway into many ASEAN economies which are experiencing strong growth and increasing wealth, presenting new opportunities for our exporters into lucrative and influential international markets.
Mr Udai Panicker has been appointed as our Singapore-based Trade Advocate and will be supported by the team at Tractus Asia to open up new trade opportunities and grow our market presence.
Mr Panicker will lead a push to unlock greater access not only across Singapore but also to the wider Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region with his existing connections into Malaysia and Indonesia but also including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Country Manager for Tractus in Singapore, Mr Panicker is an established and respected consultant with tech start-up and B2B marketing and sales experience who is set to draw on his years in buyer-to-buyer matching to help us expand sales in the region.
Tapping in to Tractus provides us a strong in-region presence to help Tasmanian companies enter markets and expand their business across Asia backed by more than 25 years of operation and five offices across the ASEAN region.
Singapore accounts for 21 per cent of our total goods exports and the ASEAN region is an identified market for trade expansion for Tasmanian businesses. This appointment is a key part of our plan to increase the value of our exports to the region above the current $792 million a year.
Mr Panicker was selected as Tasmania’s first Trade Advocate to Singapore following a rigorous world-wide selection process designed to secure the best available representation across this significant market.
This builds on the strong relationship between Singapore and the ASEAN region. As Trade Minister I recently met with the former Premier of Tasmania, Hon Will Hodgman, who is now serving as High Commissioner of Australia to Singapore, to discuss Mr. Panicker’s appointment and the opportunities for trade between Singapore and Tasmania.
The announcement comes as Tasmania recorded its largest ever international merchandise trade for a 12-month period. The recent preliminary ABS exports data, year to May 2021, found that Tasmanian exports hit a record $3.802 billion and also showed our exports to the ASEAN region growing by 4.3 per cent.
Mr Panicker is Tasmania’s third Trade Advocate appointment under our Tasmanian Trade Strategy 2019-2025 and Trade Strategy Annual Action Plan 2021, joining appointments already made in the US and Japan.