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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)
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)
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)
Robb to visit South America
5 December 2014
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb will visit Brazil, Peru and Chile from 6 to 13 December to promote bilateral trade and investment, and to explore ways to enhance Australia’s engagement in the region.
Mr Robb will travel to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to participate in the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR)-supported Water-Food-Energy Nexus Seminar. He will also meet with Brazilian and Australian businesses operating in Brazil to identify ways to support and increase economic engagement between Australia and the world’s seventh-largest and fellow G20 economy. (more)
Australia’s resource exports strengthen
4 December 2014
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said new data released today shows a surge in resource and manufacturing exports has led to a sharp narrowing in the trade deficit for October.
According to the latest ABS International Trade in Goods and Services data, the trade deficit narrowed by 40.8 per cent to $1.3 billion in October 2014, from a $2.2 billion deficit in September 2014, driven by both an increase in export values and a decrease in import values. (more)
Robb announces Korea FTA to take effect in 9 days
3 December 2014
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has announced that Australia’s Free Trade Agreement with South Korea will enter into force on 12 December 2014.
The announcement follows a vote overnight by the Korean National Assembly in support of the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA), and an ‘exchange of notes’ today between Australia’s Ambassador in Seoul and the Korean Government, agreeing to the date for entry into force.
Mr Robb said seeing KAFTA enter into force before the end of the year was an important objective of the Abbott Government. (more)
New strategy for world class consular service
3 December 2014
Minister Julie Bishop has launched the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s three year Consular Strategy that will maintain Australia’s consular service as world’s best practice.
More Australians than ever are travelling overseas and the demand for consular services is high. Last year DFAT assisted nearly 15,000 Australians in difficulty overseas. Every day consular officers manage around 1300 cases.
The delivery of high quality consular services is one of the Government’s foreign policy priorities. Released with a revised DFAT Consular Services Charter, the new Consular Strategy will see changes aimed at maintaining the agility of Australia’s consular service in a changing world. (more)
Landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement
Joint media release:
- Prime Minister
- Minister for Trade and Investment
17 November 2014
The landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will unlock substantial new benefits for Australians for years to come.
ChAFTA will add billions to the economy, create jobs and drive higher living standards for Australians.
Australian businesses will have unprecedented access to the world’s second largest economy. It greatly enhances our competitive position in key areas such as agriculture, resources and energy, manufacturing exports, services and investment. (more)
Australia-China MOU on Climate Change Cooperation
17 November 2014
Today I signed an Australia-China Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Climate Change Cooperation with Vice-Chair of the National Development and Reform Commission, Zhu Zhixin.
The MOU is an important signal of Australia’s constructive climate change engagement with the world’s biggest emitter and our number one trading partner.
Under the MOU, Australia and China will cooperate to deliver practical climate change outcomes, including through energy efficiency; technology cooperation; and improved emissions data reporting. (more)
University of Queensland to welcome President Barack Obama
The University of Queensland will host United States President Barack Obama on Saturday 15 November, when he addresses a global audience as part of the G20 summit.
President Obama’s address at UQ’s St Lucia campus will focus on US leadership in the Asia-Pacific. (more)
Government sets its sights on new trade deal
14 November 2014
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said the Government is committed to securing for Australian exporters guaranteed access to global government procurement markets, including those of the European Union.
Continuing the Government’s aggressive trade agenda, Mr Robb announced today that the Government would work towards joining the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). Membership of the GPA would secure for local exporters access to the multi-million dollar government procurement markets of 45 economies. (more)
Minister welcomes WTO breakthrough
14 November 2014
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today welcomed news the United States and India had reached an agreement aimed at resolving differences currently blocking implementation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
“The benefits set to flow from implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation are significant,” Mr Robb said.
“The OECD estimates that the Agreement will reduce trade costs for WTO members by between 11 and 15 per cent. The Agreement is of particular benefit for developing nations, who will see the biggest gains with more than 21 million jobs expected to be created worldwide as a result of its implementation. (more)
Travel bulletin for ANZAC Day commemorations at Gallipoli
3 November 2014
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is today issuing a preliminary ‘ANZAC Day’ bulletin on the security risks for the ANZAC Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015. This bulletin, issued on the Smartraveller website will be updated with more details in March next year.
While it is impossible to predict the security environment six months ahead of the event, I encourage Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Turkey.
Turkey is on the front line of the ongoing wars in Iraq and Syria. The security environment is volatile. Terrorists have been active in Turkey before and ISIL poses an extra threat to the region. However, the Gallipoli peninsular is far from Turkey’s borders with Iraq and Syria. (more)
Robb welcomes JSCOT backing of landmark Japan-Australia trade agreement
28 October 2014
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today welcomed the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) strong endorsement of the the landmark Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA).
Japan is Australia’s second-largest trade partner, with total two-way trade exceeding $70 billion in 2013. Japan is also our third-largest source of foreign investment, having invested $131 billion in Australia.
JSCOT made a single emphatic recommendation that binding treaty action be taken for an agreement that “will substantially liberalise Australia’s trade with Japan”. (more)
Statement of the Ministers and Heads of Delegation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries
27 October 2014
We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegation for Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam have completed our three-day ministerial meeting to lay the groundwork for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations. Our meeting followed a week of discussions at officials’ level in Canberra, from 19-24 October 2014.
We are pleased to report that, over the past weeks, we have made significant progress on both component parts of the TPP Agreement: the market access negotiations and negotiations on the trade and investment rules, which will define, shape and integrate the TPP region once the agreement comes into force. (more)
TPP Trade Ministers Meeting over the weekend
24 October 2014
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb is hosting his counterparts from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) for a three-day meeting starting tomorrow in Sydney. This meeting follows a week-long meeting of Chief Negotiators and officials in Canberra.
“Australia is focused on ensuring the TPP will be a high-quality, comprehensive trade agreement, which will deliver strong economic outcomes for Australia and Australians. The TPP will forge close links between Australia and strong and growing markets in our region, enhance competitiveness, benefit Australian consumers and create Australian jobs,” Mr Robb said. (more)
ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 to promote international business links
24 October 2014
Trade and Investment Minister, Andrew Robb AO MP, today launched the Match Australia sports business program to promote trade, investment, tourism and international education during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Match Australia will link Australian firms with business partners during a series of major sports and cultural events in Australia.
Speaking at the Melbourne Cricket Ground with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 CEO John Harnden and former Australian Test cricketer Michael Kasprowicz, Mr Robb said the program would enhance business ties with participants from countries such as India, South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and West Indies. (more)
‘CHOICE’ travel insurance buying guide
23 October 2014
Today I announce the release of a new initiative to aid Australian travellers in selecting travel insurance ahead of the peak Christmas travel period and start of the cruise season.
The CHOICE Guide to Travel Insurance was commissioned by the Australian Government in June this year.
Australians take huge financial and other risks if they travel overseas without insurance, or buy an inadequate policy. The latest data from the Understand Insurance 2014 survey undertaken by Qantum reveals that 19 per cent of Australians who travelled overseas in the past two years did so without insurance. (more)
Premium Investor Visa to promote innovation
17 October 2014
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said that direct investment in residential real estate would not be a complying investment under the government’s proposed new Premium Investor Visa (PIV).
The PIV would offer a more expeditious pathway for international investors to permanent residency as compared to the existing Significant Investor Visa (SIV). Under the PIV a 12 month pathway to permanent residency would be available for investors meeting a $15 million threshold in an eligible investment. (more)
Australia's trade with East Asia grows
14 October 2014
Australia’s trade with East Asia grew to $366.7 billion in 2013, up 7.6 per cent on 2012, according to one of three new publications on geographic trade statistics released by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade today.
Australia’s trade with East Asia also reports that exports to East Asia increased 10.6 per cent to $218.8 billion. Iron ore exports to East Asia accounted for over a quarter of total exports, valued at $69.5 billion. Gold (up 30.5 per cent), beef (up 24.6 per cent) and other ores and concentrates – mainly manganese, lead and zinc ores and concentrates (up 15.1 per cent) all grew strongly in 2013. (more)