For the first time, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, known as Austrade, is officially leading a delegation to South by Southwest Interactive to promote Australian innovation and ingenuity.

The group includes seven startup companies.

“With Austin emerging as a technology hub and SXSW Interactive regarded as a coveted global launching pad for start-ups, a hunting ground for tech investors, a laboratory for innovative and forward thinking companies, makes it an ideal platform to showcase Australian capabilities,” Nicola Watkinson, Austrade’s Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner for USA and Canada said in a news release.

“Australia’s economic transition is driving opportunities in digital technologies across almost every sector of the economy,” she said.

Digital technologies are forecast to contribute $104.5 billion to Australia’s economy in 2020, up from $59.3 billion in 2014. Australia’s digital economy is also projected to expand from 5 percent to 7 percent of gross domestic product

Austrade will have more information at the Australia Lounge at the SXSW trade show from March 12 to March 15. The booth will feature a ‘Experience Australia’ virtual reality showcase of Australian nature, coastal and wildlife experiences which explains why Australia is the ideal holiday destination.

There will also be a pitch competition featuring Australian software and hardware companies on Monday, March 13th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Salon A of the Hilton Austin downtown. A networking reception will immediately follow in the same room from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

And on Tuesday, a panel session on Australia: Your Gateway to Doing Business in APAC will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the Hilton Austin downtown, Salon A.

“Australia’s economic transition has led to demonstrated strong capabilities in areas of Fintech, Edutech, Agritech and SaS,” Watkinson said. “It has seen the rise of internationally regarded companies like Atlassian, Big Commerce and Data61 emerge and are all Australian.”

Full disclosure: Australian Trade and Investment Commission is an advertiser with Silicon Hills News.