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The Australian Department for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs reports that on 31 March 2005 Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Peter McGauran spoke to the European Australian Business Council in Sydney about the benefits of cultural diversity in Australia.
"Australia is made up of people from almost 200 countries, creating a society with diverse social, linguistic and cultural abilities," Minister McGauran said.
"A culturally diverse workforce has a specialised knowledge of overseas businesses, niche markets and cultural protocols."
"By taking advantage of migrants' language skills, cultural awareness and business networks, Australian export companies can improve their understanding of the overseas markets and gain a competitive edge."
Minister McGauran went on to say that "Today's meeting is an opportunity for business leaders to better understand the economic and social benefits of Australia's cultural and linguistic diversity,"
Minister McGauran also launched a new resource kit called "Diversity Works! It's smart business", which includes case studies of how businesses across Australia are taking advantage of a more diverse workforce to gain more business.
"The benefits of cultural diversity in the workplace can no longer be ignored when 12 of the top 15 Australian export markets are non-English speaking."
"Australia has an opportunity to use its diversity to a positive advantage. As new global markets emerge, cultural diversity will become even more important in international trade," Minister McGauran also said.
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