Today I signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Fashion Chamber.

  Australia has world-class fashion expertise, creative talent and high quality primary resources. The Australian fashion industry makes a significant contribution to Australia’s economy — around $12 billion annually — and employs approximately 220,000 people.

  This partnership will enable the Australian Government and the Australian Fashion Chamber to work together to enhance global recognition of the Australian fashion industry, leverage business development and trade and investment opportunities.

  The Government is committed to working closely with the industry to ensure it continues to drive economic growth and present Australia as a world-class innovative and creative nation, opening doors to further trade and investment.

  In the past twelve months, Australia’s diplomatic network has hosted events with the fashion industry in New York, London, Paris, Istanbul, Jakarta and New Delhi. These events have provided an important platform for Australian designers and producers to access overseas buyers and investment, and to promote their brands overseas at the major fashion weeks internationally.

  The Australian Fashion Chamber is the peak body for fashion designers and works to strengthen, protect and nurture the originality, influence and success of Australian fashion, both domestically and globally.

  I am also pleased to announce that through DFAT’s Cultural Diplomacy grants program, AFC has been awarded a grant to support the Australian Designers Abroad project – which will take five Australian designers to Paris for the largest trade show in the industry.  

  This project will increase international recognition of Australian designers and improve market access in Europe and worldwide.

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