Austrade plans IT and biotech development programs

Australia's export agency Austrade is to restructure its overseas operations and introduce new development projects focusing on information technology, telecommunications and biotech.

Trade Minister Mark Vaile said the changes, including the doubling in number of TradeStart offices, would go some way to boosting Australia's export performance.

"We are looking at new export development programs targeting so-called born globals in the biotech, ICT and services sector and bringing potential customers to Australia to interface with potential exporters," he said.

Vaile said the new Austrade structure is expected to take around six months to put in place.

Austrade regions will be cut from five to four, with a single office to cover Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Previously, Austrade operated a separate Europe office and another covering the Middle East, Africa and the subcontinent.

Other offices will focus on South East Asia and the Indian Ocean, North Asia, and the Americas.

The changes are the first major initiatives by new managing director Peter O'Byrne who was appointed to Austrade in May this year.

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