The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (14:30): My question is to the Minister for Trade and Investment: will the minister provide an update to the council on the Department for Trade and Investment's Global In-Market Webinar Series?
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade and Investment) (14:30): I thank the honourable member for his ongoing interest in connecting with our overseas markets. As I previously discussed in the chamber, the coronavirus crisis has presented an unprecedented disruption to how people traditionally communicate, affecting face-to-face trade missions, government-to-government engagement, as well as commercial relationships. This is why my department has created a digital interface to ensure that businesses can access critical information and advice on the effect of COVID-19 on key world markets.
The first Global In-Market Webinar Series was run last Tuesday 31 March, and was presented in partnership with myself and the department's representative in Japan and Korea, Commissioner Ms Sally Townsend. Five webinars have been run since the program was launched, covering Japan, the United States of America, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, and earlier yesterday we hosted our China update.
More than 280 businesses have joined across the five webinars, and the webinars have given businesses a chance to hear directly from key export markets about issues such as current market conditions, public safety, confidence and what companies need to be thinking about doing during COVID-19, how companies can prepare for the recovery and how the state and federal governments can help.
After each of the market updates participants were able to ask the market experts key questions as well as connect directly with myself about my department and the wider government's response. Questions ranged from manufacturing and export opportunities for medical PPE and how best to engage international businesses when face-to-face contact is no longer available.
The ability to connect South Australian businesses with our international and regional representatives is so important at a time when there is so much disruption in the marketplace. We have also made each of the webinars available to access from the DTI's website so that businesses that were unable to attend in person can review the key insights and presentations from each of the webinars. These webinar series form one of the key action points from my department's virtual action plan.
The webinars have had a fantastic response so far, with respondents reporting that they found them informative and helpful, and as such we will continue with webinars with our in-market trade representatives. The next dates will be released shortly via the Department for Trade and Investment and my communication channels.