A delegation of independent British music firms will embark this week on an inaugural trade mission to Australia. The initiative will involve nine U.K. music companies visiting Sydney and Melbourne fo

A delegation of independent British music firms will embark this week on an inaugural trade mission to Australia.

The initiative will involve nine U.K. music companies visiting Sydney and Melbourne for meetings and networking opportunities with business leaders Down Under.

Specific objectives of the trip include setting up contacts to help develop Australia-wide distribution, forging licensing opportunities, and opening up opportunities on live performances and showcases. Representatives from Britain's Airplay Records, Lo-Max Records and M4 Management are among those attending "AIM for Australia."

The Australian Independent Record Labels Assn. and its U.K. counterpart the Assn. of Independent Music are closely involved in the mission. U.K. Trade and Investment, an organization the British government established to foster international trade, will contribute to each visiting company's travel expense.

"There can be no doubt about the benefit of the British music industry to the nation's wealth and so it is imperative that the Government continues to support it and ensure it grows," comments British trade minister Ian Pearson in a statement, issued today (Feb. 6).

The UKTI was also a key partner in recent British trade missions to the U.S., Japan, China and India.