“Australian Government’s Soft Power Review”

Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry Submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: “Australian Government’s Soft Power Review” October 2018

The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI) would like to thank the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for the opportunity of to prepare a submission for this important review into the use of soft power in advancing Australia’s interests internally.

While AACCI acknowledges the primary focus of this review on the Asia Pacific region, we believe that there are critical opportunities to consider the MENA market in developing a strategy on this issue as the importance of soft power in MENA and the development of the region into a key trading partner into the future are fundamental to sustainable success.AACCI strongly believes soft power is a critical tool for Australia to leverage in pursuing its interests internationally. This approach is particularly important in expanding our influence and trade links into the markets of the MENA region, where Australia’s “transactional” reputation is often incompatible with the prevalent culture in these countries.

AACCI understands that Australia has significant soft power assets to leverage in MENA in an effort to increase its influence and trade links in MENA, specifically:
1. Education
2. Alumni and Expatriate networks
3. Culture
4. Coordinated strategy to sell one voice to the world with clear key messages
5. Building sustainable partnerships to drive soft power

Based on these assets, AACCI has identified a series of key issues and recommendations for DFAT to consider in the Review that we believe will make a significant impact on Australia’s soft power and trade relations in one of the world’s fastest growing regions.

Click Here to read the full Submission