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$18 million to boost ‘Australia Week’ events in key overseas markets
12 May 2015
The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
Measures contained in the 2015-16 Budget will provide $18 million for an expanded series of Australia Week trade missions and promotional events in China, India, the United States and ASEAN.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the funding for Austrade would extend a programme that is already delivering significant, tangible benefits for Australia. More⇒
Houston Consulate-General open for business
4 May 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today announced the Australian Consulate-General in Houston, Texas is open for business.
Operated by Austrade, the consulate will seek major trade opportunities for Australian companies and foster closer education and research links.
“Our Houston consulate will promote Australia to United States companies as a first-choice destination for investment, particularly in the national priority sectors of resources and energy, agribusiness and advanced manufacturing services and technology,” Mr Robb said.
“Houston is also a global leader in health and medical R&D so we will be looking to extend cooperation and investment flows in this critical sector,” he said. More⇒
Robb launches awards to recognise Australia’s best exporters
5 May 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today launched the 53rd Australian Export Awards for 2015.
Mr Robb said the state and territory awards open successively from today, with those winners progressing to become finalists vying for national titles, to be announced during a gala event at the end of the year.
“Participation in the Australian Export Awards provides well-deserved public recognition for significant exporting achievements,” Mr Robb said.
“The awards honour businesses that are helping maintain Australia’s reputation for quality and innovation; they provide valuable endorsement for winners when approaching new markets overseas.” More⇒
Roundtable consultations post-2020 target begin
Joint media release:
Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP
30 April 2015
The Australian Government is continuing the conversation on the setting of Australia’s next greenhouse gas emissions reduction target, with a series of roundtable meetings starting in Sydney today.
Ministers Bishop and Hunt will host the first of four stakeholder meetings as part of the Government’s broad consultations on Australia’s target beyond 2020 – which will be announced mid-year.
Minister Bishop said the Government was committed to taking strong and effective action against climate change and was working hard to deliver an agreement at Paris, in which all countries will participate. More⇒
New partnership with World Economic Forum - agricultural development in ASEAN
Joint media release
The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment
21 April 2015
“Under this new $8 million partnership, Australia will work closely with the WEF and ASEAN to drive pro-poor economic growth in our region”, Ms Bishop said.
“By bringing together business, government and other key stakeholders, Grow Asia will increase the scale and impact of agribusiness ventures in South East Asia, linking small-scale farmers in ASEAN economies to regional and global markets”, Mr Robb said. (more)
Robb returns to India to advance trade talks
21 April 2015
Building further momentum towards the conclusion of an Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is the key objective of a visit to India this week by the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb.
Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Narendra Modi have set a target of completing negotiations by the end of this year. During his visit (21-24 April) Mr Robb will meet with Indian government counterparts, senior business leaders, investors and policy experts in both New Delhi and Mumbai to advance this objective.
“My aim is to keep the momentum building as there is definitely an enthusiasm on both sides to conclude a quality agreement this year, it won’t be easy, but it certainly remains an achievable goal,” Mr Robb said. (more)
Business missions to Japan and the Republic of Korea
20 April 2015
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo, will today begin a series of business events and functions in Japan and Korea highlighting opportunities from the recent trade agreements.
The Australia-Japan Business Spotlight Programme includes a major food and beverage showcase, as well as dinner promoting Australian premium produce in Tokyo prepared by SALT chef Luke Mangan, a seminar highlighting Australia’s vocational education and training capabilities, and fresh from our recent successes in the AFC Asian Cup and ICC Cricket World Cup, a major sporting event industry seminar.
The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) entered into force on 12 December 2014 while the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) took effect on 15 January 2015. (more)
Global Cyberspace Conference
16 April 2015
Certainty and stability in cyberspace are critical to Australia’s national security and today I will attend the Global Conference on Cyberspace in The Hague.
I will be delivering a keynote speech in the plenary session on international peace and security in cyberspace.
Australia will also join the new Global Forum on Cyber Expertise, which will be launched at the Conference. Cyber security and cybercrime are major security and economic challenges for the Asia Pacific. The Australian Government is committed to working with our partners to build regional capacity to tackle cyber threats. (more)
Strengthening investment partnerships
16 April 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said the opening of US investment giant TIAA-CREF Asset Management’s Sydney office is the latest vote of confidence in Australia by international investors.
With $US866 billion in assets under management, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA–CREF) will establish its first Asia-Pacific office in Sydney to manage its existing assets in Australia and develop operations throughout the region.
Mr Robb said Australia’s closer ties with Asia and our proximity to their markets, provides major incentives for overseas investors seeking to expand their portfolio offshore. (more)
Visit to the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea and Singapore
13 April 2015
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo, will visit the United States and Hong Kong this week, then lead a business mission to Australia’s new free trade partners, Japan and Korea. He will then commemorate ANZAC Day in Singapore. (more)
ANZAC Day: Traveller preparations
10 April 2015
More than 15,000 Australians plan to attend overseas events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC Day landings at Gallipoli, with services in Turkey, France, Belgium, Malaysia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea.
I urge Australians planning to attend such events to read the ANZAC Day Smartraveller bulletins issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in conjunction with the country travel advisories. (more)
ABC provides China with window to Australia
9 April 2015
ABC International has broken new ground in China’s vast media market with today’s launch of its AustraliaPlus.cn portal in Shanghai the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.
The multi-platform media service will afford Australia unprecedented access to Chinese audiences. “The portal provides a unique opportunity to showcase the best of Australia in areas such as trade and investment, including food and agribusiness, tourism, education, business and other professional services,” Mr Robb said. (more)
New Colombo Plan 2016 mobility applications open
Joint media release
- Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP
- Minister for Education And Training, The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
2 April 2015
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop MP and Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne MP today announced that applications are open for the 2016 mobility round of the New Colombo Plan.
“The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government to lift knowledge of the Indo-Pacific by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region,” Minister Bishop said.
“In 2016 the New Colombo Plan will provide around 4750 mobility grants as the program expands to offer more opportunities for Australian undergraduate students to live, study and work in the Indo-Pacific,” she said.
Under the 2014 and 2015 rounds, the New Colombo Plan is supporting more than 4400 students to undertake short-term and semester-length study, internships and research in the region. A further 109 students have received prestigious New Colombo Plan scholarships. (more)
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
29 March 2015
Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Government is today announcing it intends to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which would allow Australia to participate (as a prospective founding member) in negotiations to set up the bank.
The Government has discussed the AIIB extensively with China and other key partners inside and outside the region.
Good progress has been made on the Bank’s design, governance and transparency over the past few months, but we still have issues that we will address through ongoing consultations. (more)
Robb to promote Trade and Investment in Hong Kong
24 March 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will visit Hong Kong between 24-27 March to further promote trade, major investment and tourism linkages.
Mr Robb will deliver keynote addresses at the annual Mines and Money conference and the Credit Suisse Asian Investment Conference. He will also address the Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau (AustCham).
A range of meetings are scheduled with senior business people and investors to explore opportunities for investment in priority areas such as infrastructure and tourism. (more)
innovationXchange - Australia’s new aid paradigm
Today I launch innovationXchange – an Australian Government initiative to revolutionise the delivery and effectiveness of Australia’s aid program.
The $140 million project, the next phase of the Australian Government’s new aid paradigm, will mainstream innovation throughout the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
I am pleased to announce the first three innovationXchange initiatives; the Data for Health partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, SEED Pacific and the International Reference Group. (more)
1400 Australia Awards Fellows in 2015
20 March 2015
The 2015 Australia Awards Fellowships program will support more than 1400 Fellows from 67 countries to undertake short term study, research and professional development.
These Fellowships will support current and emerging leaders from developing countries to undertake short term study, research and professional development in Australia for up to 12 months.
Fellowships promote development, build capacity and strengthen people-to-people ties between Australia and developing countries in our region. (more)
Lend Lease builds on Australia's reputation in services
19 March 2015
Confirmation that Australia’s leading property and infrastructure company – Lend Lease – is majority joint venture partner of a $2.8 billion ‘Lifestyle Quarter’ in Malaysia – is another tremendous vote of confidence in Australian know-how, the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.
The Australian multinational today confirmed its partnership with the Malaysian government to develop the TRX Lifestyle Quarter in Kuala Lumpur. The development will be at the heart of Tun Razak Exchange, the city’s new financial and business hub.
Mr Robb said Australia was a services economy and Lend Lease was at the epicentre of delivering high-quality services both in Australia and around the world
Robb: Services exports to Asia on the rise
19 March 2015
China continues to be the leading market for Australian services exports, worth $7.5 billion in 2013-14; a figure Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb says will only increase as businesses capitalise on opportunities created through our recently concluded Free Trade Agreement.
Figures released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade show that as overall services exports rose more than 7 per cent to $57.4 billion, services exports to China grew more than 11 per cent.
“The services outcomes in the Free Trade Agreements we’ve secured with China, Japan and Korea are exceptional; they guarantee new levels of access to these significant markets,” Mr Robb said. (more)
Tourism can be Australia's fastest growing sector this decade: Robb
17 March 2015
Opening Tourism Australia’s inaugural Destination Australia Conference, Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, said that tourism can be the fastest growing sector in Australia this decade but it would require “vision, courage and a huge injection of capital”.
Mr Robb, the minister responsible for tourism, said: “It is a bold but attainable ambition due to the never-to-be-repeated phenomenon going on in the region around us. Tourism is already our largest services export.”
“Last year, 100 million Chinese went on an international holiday. The Chinese tell me that by 2020 this is set to double to some 200 million. So the opportunities are immense but they will not fall into our laps.” (more)
Consul-General in Chicago
16 March 2015
Today I announce the appointment of Mr Michael Wood as Australia’s next Consul-General in Chicago.
The Australian Consulate-General works to strengthen Australia’s economic, political and cultural relationships in Chicago and the Midwest region of the United States a major centre of international business and global finance, and a manufacturing and agricultural hub.
Mr Wood will work closely with Australian business to pursue two-way trade and investment by promoting the strengths of Australia’s economy, our regulatory settings and the value of our thriving economic relationship with the United States. (more)
New Business Envoy launched to share market insights with Australian business
4 March 2015
The first edition of Business Envoy – a novel publication that shares market insights from DFAT’s global diplomatic network – is now available to Australian businesses.
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said “the bi-monthly Business Envoy will better inform Australian business on the economic and market implications of geopolitical events and trends”.
“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade produces high quality assessments and analyses of key political and economic issues around the world. This publication will help share that knowledge with Australian exporters and Australian businesses that have overseas operations or are looking to expand overseas,” Mr Robb said. (more)
Robb strongly rejects TPP scaremongering
3 March 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb strongly rejects claims that Australia would sign up to a trade agreement that would drive up the costs of medicines and undermine public health.
Mr Robb described a story carried by Fairfax newspapers today – which is dubiously based on supposed “leaked texts of draft chapters” of Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations – as “another beat up”.
“As I have made clear repeatedly, the government will not support outcomes that would increase the prices of medicines for Australians or adversely affect our health system more generally; end of story,” he said. “Nor would we accept outcomes that undermine our ability to regulate or legislate in the public interest in areas such as health,” Mr Robb said. (more)
Australia's Trade by State and Territory
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has today published a new report: Australia's Trade by State and Territory 2013-14 which provides a complete statistical guide to exports and imports of goods and services for each state and territory.
South Australia’s rate of trade growth stood out in 2013-14, with export and import volumes up 9.3 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively on the previous year. Export volumes also grew from Western Australia (up 7.4 per cent), Queensland (up 4.7 per cent), Victoria (up 1.9 per cent) and New South Wales and the Northern Territory (both up 0.8 per cent). Offsetting these rises were falls in export volumes from Tasmania (down 13.7 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (down 9.6 per cent). (more)
Celebrating 50 years of DFAT's Composition of Trade publication
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has today published the 2013-14 edition of Composition of Trade Australia. This special edition marks the publication’s 50th anniversary and includes the article – Fifty years of Australia’s trade – analysing the changes in the composition of Australia’s trade from 1963-64 to today. It explores the overall trends and growth of exports and imports, and the shifts in the countries we trade with and the commodities we trade.
Our trade has changed over time. Fifty years ago the United Kingdom was Australia’s largest merchandise export destination. In the mid-1960s Japan became our principal merchandise export destination and held this top spot for 43 years. Today China is our largest merchandise export destination having taken top position in 2009-10.(more)
Tourism and Hospitality–A Tidal Wave of Opportunity
Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), Melbourne
19 February 2015
There is a never-to-be-repeated phenomenon going on in the region around us.
The OECD estimates that by 2035-2045 the Asian middle class – from India through to China – will surge from its current 600 million people to 3 billion.
Not in 100 years, not in 50 years, but within 20 to 30 years.
It is an economic and humanitarian miracle; and it is unfolding on our doorstep.
The UN tells us that by 2020, half of the world’s middle class will be living in Asia.
This means half the world’s middle class will be a direct flight away from Australia. (more)
Enhancing Australia’s investor visa program
Joint media releease:
• Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP
• Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Michaelia Cash
12 February 2015
The Abbott Government has today released a draft investment framework for an enhanced Significant Investor Visa Scheme (SIV) and design options for a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) as part of its broader competitiveness agenda.
The reforms are aimed at better directing investment through the visa schemes into more dynamic areas of the economy, including venture capital and small emerging companies.
The framework and design options were developed by Austrade following initial rounds of stakeholder consultation which attracted 68 written submissions. (more)
Performance of Australian Aid 2013-14
11 February 2015
Today I release the inaugural Performance of Australian Aid report on the record of the Australian aid program in 2013-14.
The report is a key part of the new performance framework for Australia’s aid, Making Performance Count, introduced by the Coalition Government in June 2014.
Australia’s aid program is performing efficiently and effectively to contribute to the goal of promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in our region. (more)
Promoting Australian business ties with the United States
4 February 2015
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo, will visit Texas and Louisiana between 4-8 February to promote Australian resource capability and foster economic ties with the South Eastern United States.
Mr Ciobo will attend the Australia America Chamber of Commerce (AACC) Energy Conference and meet senior oil and gas industry representatives.
He will also tour local infrastructure such as Port of Houston, expected to undergo substantial growth following the Panama Canal expansion, and promote Australian expertise in fields such as medical research.
“The United States is a key economic partner for Australia,” Mr Ciobo said. (more)
Visit to Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates
27 January 2015
Yesterday I visited our military and civilian personnel stationed in Afghanistan for Australia Day. I thanked them for their outstanding service to our contribution to peace and security efforts for the people of Afghanistan.
I also met with representatives of the newly formed Afghan government in Kabul to reiterate Australia’s commitment to Afghanistan as the government enters a transition phase to take responsibility for security across the country.
Approximately 400 Australians are currently serving as part of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission which came into effect on 1 January 2015. Australia and Afghanistan enjoy a close partnership and we have provided over $1 billion in development assistance to Afghanistan since 2001. (more)
Australian Colours to light up Empire State Building
23 January 2015
To mark Australia Day in the United States, Hugh Jackman and I took part in a ‘Flicking of the Switch’ ceremony to light New York’s iconic Empire State Building in green and gold.
Australia and the United States are long-standing economic partners.
The United States is Australia’s most significant investor with over A$650 billion invested in 2013, and our third largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, which in 2013-14 was worth nearly A$60 billion. (more)
New air deal with China: 2015 off to a flying start for Australian tourism
Joint media statement
• Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development
• Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment
23 January 2015
Growth opportunities for Australia’s tourism industry are set to increase following the settlement of a landmark new air services agreement between Australia and China.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss, along with Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, who is responsible for tourism, today announced the conclusion of negotiations between the two countries.
“Making it possible for Asian markets to grow has been a key priority for the Abbott Government, and this new deal with China will allow Chinese airlines to almost triple their services to Australia over the next two years,” Mr Truss said. (more)
Strengthening the alliance in Washington
22 January 2015
Today I held meetings in Washington with senior Administration and Congress leaders, including insightful and productive discussions with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker.
We discussed the shared challenge of violent extremism, in particular the problem of our citizens travelling overseas to fight with terrorist organisations. Australia and the United States are united in our commitment to deep cooperation to overcome the menace of terrorism at home and abroad. (more)
Opening of ANZAC Centenary exhibition in Washington
22 January 2015
Today, with Australian War Memorial Dr Director Brendan Nelson, I opened the exhibition ‘A Centenary of Australian War Art’ at the Australian Embassy in Washington.
The exhibition marks 100 years since the ANZAC landing in 1915, a defining moment in Australia’s military history and our national story.
A Centenary of Australian War Art consists of 41 artworks from the Australian War Memorial depicting Australian military experience from the First World War to Afghanistan. It is the most comprehensive exhibition of official Australian war art ever seen outside Australia. (more)
High-level consultations in Washington
21 January 2015
Today I met with senior White House and USA national security officials to discuss our shared challenges in combatting terrorism at home and abroad.
Meetings with National Security Agency director Admiral Michael Rogers, CIA director John Brennan and National Intelligence director Lt Gen James Clapper provided an important opportunity to consolidate the high-level counter-terrorism engagement and intelligence cooperation between our two countries. (more)
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to visit the United States
19 January 2015
Today I depart for a week long visit to Washington and New York.
In Washington I will continue the Government’s close consultation with US counterparts on shared foreign policy and security challenges, including countering violent extremism in the wake of recent attacks in Paris, Ottawa and Sydney. Countering terrorism in all its forms is one of the Government’s highest national security priorities.
I will meet with senior leaders in the White House and US security officials and on 20 January I will attend President Obama’s State of the Union Address at the Capitol. (more)
Australia India trade ties closer than ever
16 January 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today said Australia and India were on the cusp of a new dawn in their commercial relationship as he officially wrapped up Australia Business Week in India (ABWI), a week-long roadshow designed to boost trade and investment between the two countries.
"There is something special going on in India. The enormous vision of Prime Minister Modi has excited many people. Australia is looking forward to being a part of this very important period in India's re-emergence as a significant power," Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb had a series of high-level government meetings including with Prime Minister Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and a number of other senior ministers. (more)
Japan FTA creates a world of opportunity
15 January 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb is encouraging businesses to explore potential export opportunities with Japan, as the Free Trade Agreement with Australia’s second-largest trading partner commences today.
Speaking from Mumbai where he is leading a 450-strong Australian business delegation, Mr Robb said the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) provides improved access to Japan’s growing markets, with more than 97 per cent of Australia’s exports receiving preferential or duty free access when fully implemented.
“JAEPA is the most liberalising trade agreement Japan has ever signed, giving Australian exporters a significant advantage over their competitors. Its commencement also comes at a time when a softer Australian dollar is working to the benefit of our exporters,” Mr Robb said. (more)
Robb leads major business mission to India
9 January 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb will lead Australia’s largest-ever business mission to India from 9-16 January, building on the growing economic momentum between our two countries.
Australia Business Week in India (ABWI) will include around 450 Australian business leaders who represent a wide range of sectors, including resources and energy, infrastructure, transport, agribusiness and food, financial services, health and medical, sport, cultural services, tourism, education and training. (more)