New Australia-UK rail trade deal to boost export

ARA to collaborate with UK counterpart to help advance rail industry capability

New Australia-UK rail trade deal to boost export
ARA’s Bob Herbert and RIA’s Neil Walker


Australia and the United Kingdom have announced a new partnership that aims to boost export potential in rail.

Australian infrastructure, transport and regional development minister Michael McCormack says the deal, which will see the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) working closely with the UK Railway Industry Association (RIA), will boost trade relationship between the two countries and create further opportunities in the rail sector.

"I know Australia’s regions have many exports – particularly our world-leading food and fibre – which the UK is looking to import and rail is a vital part of the mix to get that premium produce from paddock to port to plate," McCormack says.

"I look forward to seeing how our two countries can share expertise, ideas and insights to help grow jobs and opportunities in the rail sector in Australia and the UK."

The agreement will see:

exchange of information linked to research and innovation (not IP protected) undertaken in either country

sharing and exchanging information and approaches relating to skill needs, training and the attraction of career aspirants to the rail industry

closer working arrangements in trade fairs and rail exhibitions in either Australia, the UK or in third countries, where appropriate

access to meeting facilities in the offices of ARA or RIA by members of either organisation.

"This partnership is of immense value to our industry," ARA chief executive Danny Broad says.

"We are undergoing a renaissance in rail in Australia, with major new rail projects in our capital cities and regions over the next decade.

"The opportunity to leverage the skills and expertise of UK rail companies will add breadth and depth to our industry, and give Australian businesses valuable insights and partnerships. 

"Working and collaborating with the RIA on common industry challenges will provide consolidation of ideas for possible suitable outcomes for the rail sectors covered by both the ARA and RIA."

Read about the ARA-backed nine point plan for Inland Rail, here


UK state for trade and export promotion minister Baroness Fairhead says the partnership will promote rail infrastructure programmes.

"The UK is a world leader in rail and has a particular focus on developing exciting new technologies," Fairhead says.

"Projects including those such as Crossrail and HS2 mean that the UK is well placed to share insights, expertise and knowledge to help build rail industry capability around the world.

"This capability has been harnessed in the government’s recently launched Rail Sector Deal which aims to support yet further innovation and the application of more, new technologies in this growing sector.

"We very much look forward to the enhanced co-operation that this new agreement with Australia can bring and encourage any interested companies to get in touch with the UK Department for International Trade to find out more."

RIA chief executive Darren Caplan says the UK government aims to increase exports to 35 per cent of GDP as it exits the European Union and this partnership can help both countries maximise their exporting potential.

The deal was announced this week at a reception hosted by the British Consul-General in Australia, as part of a UK rail trade delegation visit.


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