G’Day from Washington DC

18 Dec 2023
South Australia’s ties with the United States (US) have become even stronger following the appointment of a Trade and Investment Director in Washington DC.

John Elink-Schuurman will fill the new role and support the state’s ambitions to be a leader in the AUKUS agreement and seek opportunities to grow investment for the state’s Hydrogen Jobs Plan. He will work closely with the Defence and Space team at the Department for Trade and Investment and Defence SA.

Mr Elink-Schuurman has extensive trade and investment experience, having most recently worked for the Australian Trade and Investment Commission/Investment New South Wales in Washington as Director, Trade and Investment, Defence/Space/Aerospace. 

Mr Elink-Schuurman managed foreign direct investment generation and US market entry initiatives across the defence and space sectors for Investment New South Wales in the US market.

Prior to this, he worked as the Program Manager, Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program – and award-winning export accelerator program for Virginia’s Economic Development’s International Trade Division.

“I look forward to promoting South Australia as a leading business location for AUKUS-related projects and supporting South Australian defence companies looking to enter the US market,” said Mr Elink-Schuurman.

“Initially, I will be working on South Australia’s mission to the US to participate in the 2024 Sea-Air- Space Conference and engaging with US Submarine Industrial Base (SIB) stakeholders in New England and Virginia.

“This important work will focus on enhancing workforce cooperation, research collaboration and the seamless integration of the defence industrial base between our nations.”

Mr Elink-Schuurman will be based at the South Australian Government’s new Washington DC office within the Austrade office at the Australian Embassy, providing greater proximity to the US Defence department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as South Australia grows its advanced manufacturing capabilities. 

The United States is South Australia’s second largest export market with the value of goods exports to the market up 6.9 per cent to $1.59 billion in the year ending to October 2023.[1] The nation is also the state’s single largest foreign investor in direct greenfield projects worth an estimated $7.6 billion since January 2003 according to fDi Markets.

Mr Elink-Schuurman’s appointment follows the announcement of Pallavi Mishra’s as the South Australian Government’s new representative in Germany who is strengthening and establishing stronger ties for the state in the German market.

For further information on how South Australia’s representatives in the US market can provide support to local companies, visit https://dti.sa.gov.au/global_offices/americas

[1] Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics.