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National Day of Mourning and National Memorial Service for the victims of Flight MH17
The Australian Government has declared Thursday 7 August 2014 to be a National Day of Mourning to honour the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. On this day, flags on all Government buildings, in Australia and overseas, will be flown at half-mast. The Government has arranged for a National Memorial Service to take place at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne, at 10.30am on Thursday 7 August 2014. The Service will honour those who have lost their lives and seek to support those who have been bereaved. All Australians mourn the loss of Flight MH17. (more)
Senior investment specialists appointed
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has confirmed the appointments of three senior investment specialists from the private sector who will add to Australia’s capacity to attract foreign investment.
“These three senior investment specialists will be joined by two more specialists in the near future, and all five will focus on promoting investment into the key sectors of the national investment priorities - food and agribusiness, resources and energy, tourism and hospitality, tropical health and medical research and international education,” Mr Robb said. (more)
Australia to host AUSMIN in Sydney
The Australian Government will host United States Secretary of State John Kerry and United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in Sydney on 12 August for the 2014 Australia-United States Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).
AUSMIN is the principal forum for progressing bilateral cooperation on foreign, defence and strategic policy matters between Australia and the United States. It is an opportunity to reaffirm our Alliance and the depth and breadth of our relationship. (more)
UN Security Council resolution on the downing of flight MH17
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the armed separatist groups controlling the MH17 crash site to allow unfettered access to international investigators. Australia played a lead role, authoring the resolution which was adopted in New York on July 21 (July 22 Australian time). It calls on the separatists to ensure the bodies of the 298 victims – including 28 Australians and nine Australian permanent residents – are treated with the utmost dignity and respect and returned to their grieving families. (more)
Condolences for MH17 victims, families and AIDS 2014 delegates
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, and the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, offer condolences to MH17 victims, their families and the delegates to the International AIDS Conference, which begins in Melbourne on Sunday, 20 July. "Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of all those on board,” Minister Bishop said. "This is a terrible tragedy. Whilst we cannot be certain of exact details yet, it appears that a number of people on board the plane were on their way to the International AIDS Conference. We acknowledge that this will be a great loss to the international community working to eliminate HIV/AIDS. Even as we mourn the loss of those on MH17, we recognise the importance of coming together to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS.” (more)
Robb to lead G20 investment forum
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will promote the Australian government’s strong pro-investment agenda to some of the world’s leading CEOs later this week in Sydney.
Mr Robb will chair the Australian Investment Forum, to be held on Saturday 19 July, following the B20 Summit of business leaders on 16-18 July and prior to the G20 meeting of Trade Ministers.
Leading executives from the US, UK, Japan, China, Singapore, India, Europe and the Middle East will attend the Forum, organised by Austrade to bring together companies with significant existing or potential investments in Australia. (more)
Supporting Australian business to build links in Asia
Grants to help Australian businesses expand their links in Asia have been awarded to 18 member-based organisations, under the Asian Business Engagement Plan program.
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said the grants will help further open up key Asian markets for Australian businesses and organisations in areas such as agribusiness, science and innovation and services covering tourism, education, professional services, engineering and built environment. (more)
Northern Australia Investment Forum announced
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today announced that the Coalition Government will host a Northern Australia Investment Forum in the second half of next year, bringing together international investors, to promote and secure investment in Northern Australia.
In his keynote address to the Australian Davos Connection Northern Development Summit in Townsville today, Mr Robb said that Northern Australia will be a centre of international investment due to the potential for large-scale international projects to be built across hundreds of thousands of hectares of arable soil land in diverse sectors. (more)
New generation of Australian passports released
A new series of Australian passport has been released with innovative security features that make it even more difficult to forge.
The P series of passport incorporates technology that assists in combating fraud, terrorism and organised crime, and will assist our efforts to bolster national security.
The Australian passport is internationally recognised as one of the most trusted and secure travel documents in the world. These new security features build on our reputation, as part of our commitment to stronger borders. (more)
US-Australia: the alliance in an emerging Asia
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb highlighted the shared interests between Australia and the United States, and the future of the Australia-United States alliance in our region, in speeches given to the Alliance 21 conference. (more)
EMDG Scheme continues to assist Australian exporters
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, confirmed today that the initial payment ceiling for the grant year 2013–14 for the Export Market Development Grants scheme would be $60,000.
The initial payment ceiling is the maximum amount paid as a first instalment to reimburse exporters who have made eligible marketing expense claims through the scheme. (more)
Tabling of WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today formally tabled the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation in Parliament.
Agreed to as part of the Bali package in December 2013, the Government’s tabling of the agreement sends a strong message that this Government is committed to generating jobs and growth in Australia and abroad. (more)
New website showcases Australia’s trade with the world
The Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb launched a new website which explores Australia’s trade with the world.
The website, Australia’s Trade at a Glance, is an interactive portal presenting key trade data including Australia’s major trading partners, imports, exports, trade by state and territory and trade with countries of the G20 and APEC. (more)
Ambassador Beazley to stay in United States
Australia’s Ambassador to United States, HE the Hon Kim Beazley AC, will remain in Washington DC through to the end of 2015, following a one year extension to his ambassadorship.
Mr Beazley has been Australia’s representative to the United States of America for more than four years, and he has served in this role with distinction.
The deep knowledge he brought to the position when he started in February 2010 and the strong relationships he has built during his time in Washington have served Australia well. (more)
Robb seeks further investment from North American markets
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will visit Canada and the United States from 8-16 June in conjunction with a CEO delegation led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
In Canada, Mr Robb will visit Ottawa and Toronto, while in the US he will visit New York and Houston.
“The focus of this trip is on achieving commercial outcomes with two of our most important trade and investment partners,” Mr Robb said. (more)
Trade and Investment Policy Advisory Council inaugural meeting
Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, today chaired the first meeting of the Trade and Investment Policy Advisory Council (TIPAC) at Parliament House, Canberra.
Mr Robb established the 20-member TIPAC as an important source of advice to advance the Abbott Government’s ambitious trade and investment agenda. (more)
Exports to key Asian trade partners increase
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Trade in Goods and Services April data released today shows that Australian exports have increased 11 per cent from last year with resources exports increasing 19 per cent.
Australia has experienced four consecutive months of surpluses including a $900 million surplus in March, before experiencing a trade deficit this month of just $122 million and a minor fall in exports of just 1.5 per cent in April, underpinning Australia’s strong economic position. (more)
A case for freer trade
Australian Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, delivered a speech as part of the ‘Big Ideas Under the Dome’ lecture series at the State Library of Victoria. (more)
Advice to Australians attending the 2014 FIFA World Cup
With less than a month until the FIFA World Cup kicks off, Australians planning to travel to Brazil are urged to read the Smartraveller bulletin issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
This World Cup bulletin provides fans with information on ticketing, visas, transport and accommodation, safety and security, in-country emergency contacts, travel health, and helpful match day reminders. The bulletin should be read in conjunction with the travel advice for Brazil. (more)
Trade Minister in APEC and TPP talks
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will participate in the 2014 APEC trade ministers’ meeting in Qingdao, China (17-18 May) before heading to Singapore for Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) talks.
APEC is the most important economic forum in the Asia-Pacific and an active driver of open trade and investment. It includes 21 member economies which account for 58 per cent of the world’s GDP and over two-thirds of Australia’s trade in goods and services. The Qingdao meeting will focus on the current challenges facing the global economy, the role of regional economic integration as a spur to growth and progress of a forward work program for WTO negotiations.(more)
New research confirms tourism as key economic strength
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today welcomed two research papers released by Tourism Research Australia that show the tourism sector has continued to experience strong growth.
“Tourism is one of our nation’s key economic strengths. The jobs of over 929,000 Australians are linked to tourism and for every dollar that is spent on tourism, an additional 90 cents is generated in other parts of the Australian economy. Across the country, that is a higher dollar impact than retail, mining or education and really demonstrates that tourism does indeed sit alongside mining and education as something that we do in Australia better than most and as good as anyone,” Mr Robb said. (more)