Mission Statement

Water and Wastewater Industry Trade Mission to Australia

September 12-15, 2011

I. Mission Description

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) is organizing a Trade Mission to Australia September 12-15, 2011, to help U.S. firms find business partners and sell equipment and services in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, Australia. This trade mission is designed to provide a key opportunity for U.S. suppliers of water and wastewater treatment equipment and services to explore the Australian market. This mission will be led by a senior Department of Commerce official and will include business-to-business matchmaking with local companies, market briefings, and networking events.

II. Commercial Setting

Australia is the 14th-largest export market for U.S. goods. The USD12 billion trade surplus with Australia is one of the largest trade surpluses the United States has with any country.  In addition, Australia has weathered the global financial crisis better than many other countries, and has managed to enjoy continuous economic growth. The U.S.–Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) allows U.S. products to enter Australia duty free. U.S. exports to Australia have jumped 56 percent since the FTA was signed in 2005.

Australia possesses a sound legal system, which is hospitable to foreign investors and exporters, and generally provides strong Intellectual Property Rights protection and enforcement.  Reports of corruption remain low, and Australia maintains rule of law, transparency, a strong banking system, and a strong Australian dollar that increases the competitiveness of U.S. products and services.

Water and Wastewater Treatment

Despite the recent flooding that for the moment eased the drought situation in Victoria, New South Wales (NSW), and Queensland, Western Australia still faces critical water shortages.

Although water storage levels have improved in most regions, the Australian government, at federal and state levels, is working on strategies and projects aimed at securing future water supply. Australia’s major states face many concerns regarding water management and wastewater treatment. Australia spends an estimated USD4.2 billion each year on water and wastewater treatment. Direct purchases of capital equipment account for 20 to 30 percent of total spending. We estimate the annual market size to be USD500 million – USD1 billion.

Almost all of Australia’s key industry sectors source water from the same catchment areas used to supply households. Some of these industries are now developing small water-recycling projects. As the value of water increases, industries that are major users of water will find it more feasible to treat their wastewater internally for re-use. Individual households are expected to increasingly use recycled water and a number of new housing developments are incorporating third-pipe reticulation to allow for recycled water. Indirect potable reuse is becoming more important.

Approximately 80 percent of Australia’s 22 million residents live along Australia’s eastern coast: Sydney in New South Wales (NSW), Melbourne in Victoria, and Brisbane in Queensland.  Outside of mining, the biggest industrial users of water are concentrated in those cities. While drought conditions have eased somewhat, population pressure continues to drive policies, initiatives, and projects aimed at water efficiency and security.  For example, in NSW, Victoria, and Queensland, where wastewater treatment and water recycling are particularly important, state governments have completed or are developing large-scale desalination projects.  Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are major ports, which also creates opportunities for maritime-related technology and solutions.  Coal Bed Methane (CBM) production is growing rapidly in Queensland.  Queensland and NSW account for 90 percent of Australia’s coal mining operations.  CBM and coal mining companies are very interested in water-related solutions.

Irrigation in Australia is a widespread practice to supplement low rainfall levels with water from other sources. As the driest inhabited continent, irrigation is required in many areas for production of crops for domestic and export use. However, overuse or poor management of irrigation is held responsible by some for environmental problems such as soil salinity and loss of habitat for native flora and fauna. There are considerable opportunities in Australia for U.S.-made irrigation equipment. The U.S. currently holds 75 percent import market share for irrigation equipment in Australia. Imports of U.S. irrigation equipment in 2010 reached USD90 million.

Best Prospects

Tremendous opportunities exist for desalination technology, trenchless technology, nondestructive technology, smart metering systems, bio-filtration systems, presses for conversion of water or sludge waste, new oxidation systems, filtration equipment for industrial waste applications, flow-meters for wastewater measurement, water recreation systems, and water solutions associated with oil and gas mining.

Water authorities continue to spend significantly on products and services related to pipelines, storage, cleanup projects, pump stations, and treatment plants. Major cities have built seawater desalination plants and various utilities are planning projects aimed at reducing discharge levels.

Harbors and marinas are interested in dredging and pollution control services. There is considerable interest in water play equipment and theme parks. Golf courses are always interested in water management technology.

III. Mission Goals

The goals of the Australian Water and Wastewater Industry Trade Mission are (1) to increase U.S. water treatment equipment and services sales to Australia through one-on-one meetings with potential partners, and through establishing long-term business relationships; (2) to provide a high-profile opportunity for U.S. participants to gain exposure in, and further access to, this market through meeting key Australian decision makers; and (3) to provide general advocacy for all mission participants in support of their export efforts.

IV. Mission Scenario

The Australian Water and Wastewater Industry Trade Mission will visit Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. In each city, participants will meet with new business contacts.

Mission participants are encouraged to arrive on or before September 11, 2011 and the mission program will proceed from September 12-15, 2011.

Tentatively, U.S. participant’s one-on-one meetings will be at the local Australian firm’s facilities, to give participants an opportunity to fully access the true business potential.  The precise schedule will depend on the availability of local business representatives and the specific goals and objectives of the mission participants.  Our offices in Australia will help companies make their daily travel arrangements once the final schedule is confirmed.

Proposed Timetable *

Day of Week




Sept. 11

Arrive in Sydney
No-host meet and greet dinner


Sept 12

Mission Meetings Officially Start
Breakfast briefing from U.S Consulate General and local water industry experts
One-on-one business appointments
Evening business reception


Sept 13

One-on-one business appointments
Travel to Brisbane


Sept 14
Brisbane/ Melbourne

One-on-one business appointments
Travel to Melbourne


Sept 15

One-on-one business appointments
Trade Mission Officially Ends in Early Evening


Sept 16 Melbourne

Company participants return to U.S.


*Note: The final schedule and potential site visits will depend on the availability of local government and business officials, specific goals of mission participants, and air travel schedules.

V. Participation Requirements

All applicants will be evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below. The mission is designed to select a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 20 U.S. companies to participate in the mission from the applicant pool. U.S. companies already doing business in the target markets as well as U.S. companies seeking to enter these markets for the first time should apply.

Fees and Expenses

Confirmed participants will pay a participation fee to the U.S. Department of Commerce: $2,000 for a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)1) and $2,500 for large firms. The fee for each additional firm representative (SME or large) is $450. Expenses for travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each mission participant.

Conditions for Participation

  • An applicant must submit a completed and signed mission application and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on the company’s products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation. If the U.S. Department of Commerce receives an incomplete application, the Department may reject the application, request additional information, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the applications.
  • Each applicant must also certify that the products and services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51 percent U.S. content of the value of the finished product or service.

Selection Criteria for Participation

  • Suitability of the company’s products or services to the Australian market.
  • Consistency of the applicant’s goals and objectives with the stated scope and design of the mission.
  • Applicant’s potential for business in Australia, including likelihood of exports resulting from the mission.

Diversity of company size, type, location, and demographics, may also be considered during the review process.

Referrals from political organizations and any documents containing references to partisan political activities (including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant’s submission and not considered during the selection process.

VI. Selection Timeline

Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register (http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr), posting on ITA’s trade mission calendar – www.trade.gov/trade-missions – and other Internet web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, broadcast fax, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.

Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately, and conclude July 15, 2011, unless extended by the Department of Commerce. Applications received after July 15, 2011, will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

The U.S. Department of Commerce will inform applicants of selection decisions as soon as possible after July 15, 2011.


Lisa Huot

International Trade Specialist

Global Trade Programs

U.S. Commercial Service

Washington, DC 20230

Tel: 202-482-2796

Fax: 202-482-9000

Email: australiawatermission@trade.gov

John Kanawati

U.S. Commercial Service

U.S. Consulate General Sydney

Tel: 61-2-9373 9207

Fax: 61-2-9221 0573

Email: John.Kanawati@trade.gov

1 An SME is defined as a firm with 500 or fewer employees or that otherwise qualifies as a small business under SBA regulations. See http://www.sba.gov/contractingopportunities/owners/basics/whatismallbusiness/index.html. Parent companies, affiliates, and subsidiaries will be considered when determining business size. The dual pricing reflects the Commercial Service’s user fee schedule that became effective May 1, 2008. See http://www.export.gov/newsletter/march2008/initiatives.html.

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