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The Australian Consulate-General, New York will be closed from Thursday, November 26th, 2015 for the Thanksgiving holiday and will re-open at 09:00am on Monday, November 30th, 2015.
To contact the 24 Hour Consular Emergency Centre: 1300 555 135 within Australia (local call cost) or +61 2 6261 3305 from outside Australia.
Business Partnerships Platform: open for applications
17 November 2015
Applications are now open for the Australian Government’s Business Partnerships Platform for international development, inviting businesses to develop new initiatives to reduce poverty in developing countries.
The Business Partnerships Platform will help implement the Ministerial Statement on Engaging the Private Sector in Aid and Development, which aims to collaborate with the private sector to boost the impact of our aid program. More⇒
European Union FTA talks progress
16 November 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb says the commitment between Australia and the European Union (EU) to work towards the negotiation of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is a major step forward in unlocking exciting new trade and investment opportunities in Europe.
In a joint statement released overnight Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to commence work aimed at launching negotiations, adding that an FTA ‘will support sustainable growth and investment, open up new commercial opportunities and promote innovation and employment in Australia and the EU.’ More⇒
Visit to Manila for APEC ministerial meeting
15 November 2015
Today I will travel to Manila where, along with the Prime Minister and the Minister for Trade and Investment, I will participate in the APEC Ministerial Meeting.
APEC plays a crucial role in the Asia Pacific, bringing together 21 member economies from around the Pacific Rim to discuss trade, investment and regulatory cooperation, in the interests of promoting peace and prosperity throughout our region.
I will deliver Australia’s statement addressing Inclusive Growth Through Sustainable and Resilient Communities. I will focus on investing in education, skills and training, supporting women in the economy and building our regional capacity to better manage the impact of natural disasters. More⇒
Robb departs for APEC and Indonesia
15 November 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will join regional ministerial counterparts in Manila this week for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting, before leading the largest ever Australian business delegation to Indonesia for Indonesia Australia Business Week.
APEC plays a crucial role in the Asia Pacific, promoting open markets for trade and investment, advancing economic cooperation, and improving the business environment. APEC’s 21 member economies account for 58 per cent of the world’s GDP and almost 73 per cent of Australia’s trade in goods and services.
Australia will be working to address regulatory – or ‘behind the border’ – barriers to services trade and investment.
“These reforms will boost opportunities for Australian services providers in areas like banking, telecommunication, education and professional services,” Mr Robb said. More⇒
Construction begins on $50 million Cairns Aquarium
12 November 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today marked the start of construction on a state-of-the-art $50 million aquarium and reef research centre in Cairns, due for completion in 2017.
Mr Robb toured the site after attending the Northern Australia Investment Forum in Darwin earlier this week. The forum linked global investors with real projects across the region, including tourism projects. Tourism infrastructure is one of the government’s national investment priorities.
“Adding to our stock of high-quality tourism infrastructure is fundamental if we are to continue to attract more than our share of international visitors and the Cairns Aquarium is an example of what the future can hold,” he said. More⇒
ChAFTA legislation passes the Senate
9 November 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb says Australian businesses are another step closer to realising the enormous opportunities created by the Free Trade Agreement with China, after implementing legislation passed the Senate today.
“The Government has worked hard to ensure this high-quality agreement with our biggest trading partner enters into force before the end of the year, and today’s vote marks a significant milestone in that process,” Mr Robb said.
“Entry into force this year will see an immediate round of tariff cuts, followed by a second round of cuts on 1 January 2016, allowing the benefits of the agreement with China to flow quickly through to Australian exporters and consumers.” More⇒
Australian Scientists Pioneering New Drugs to Fight Malaria and Other Tropical Diseases
Joint media release
Minister for Trade and Investment - The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP
Premier and Minister for the Arts - The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
8 November 2015
Landmark funding for malaria drug development was announced today by Trade and Investment Minister, Andrew Robb, and Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, as part of the Northern Australia Investment Forum.
Australian scientists at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane will accelerate development of new antimalarial drugs with the support of a $10 million investment from the Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), based in Geneva, Switzerland. More⇒
Northern Australia showcase for major global investors
6 November 2015
Some of the world’s most significant investors will converge on Darwin from Sunday to explore opportunities for the development of northern Australia.
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb, in conjunction with the governments of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, will host 350 business leaders and investors, for the three-day Northern Australia Investment Forum. Investors from more than 20 countries will be in attendance.
Mr Robb said the forum comes on the back of the government’s landmark Northern Australia White Paper and was aimed at attracting crucial new investment into northern Australia.
“The north’s time has come. It is a region dripping with potential and we are determined to do what we can to attract critical new investment into the projects and infrastructure that will help drive future growth, job-creation and prosperity,” Mr Robb said. More⇒
Text released for historic trade pact (TPP)
5 November 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, has welcomed today’s release of the negotiated text for the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
Negotiations for the TPP were concluded last month in Atlanta. The agreement will establish a more seamless trade and investment environment across 12 countries representing around 40 per cent of global GDP. It will deliver substantial benefits for Australia in the rapidly growing Asia Pacific region, which includes a rising middle class.
Mr Robb said that at the end of the negotiations Australia and the 11 other countries agreed to release the full TPP text as soon as possible, and well in advance of its official signing.
“Today’s release honours that commitment and provides the Australian public with an opportunity to examine the text and more fully understand any areas of the negotiation that are of interest to them,” Mr Robb said. More⇒
New Smartraveller campaign launched
2 November 2015
Australians are being reminded to make their first stop the Smartraveller website before they travel overseas in a revamped national advertising campaign.
The new campaign aims to remind Australians to prepare for their upcoming trip and to take responsibility for themselves when travelling overseas.
With Australians continuing to travel in ever-increasing numbers, with almost 10 million trips taken in the last financial year, the Smartraveller message continues to be critically important – ‘be informed, be prepared’.
While most Australians travel safely, and take appropriate precautions, the number of Australians seeking consular assistance continues to rise. A large number of these cases could have been prevented with the right preparation, planning and taking out comprehensive travel insurance. More⇒
Senior Trade Appointments to Houston and San Francisco
28 October 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today announced the appointment of two experienced business executives to important senior trade and diplomatic posts in the United States.
Former investment banker Alastair Walton will serve as Senior Trade Commissioner and Consul General to Houston, while former Tasmanian Irrigation CEO Chris Oldfield will be Senior Trade Commissioner and Consul General to San Francisco.
Mr Robb said they would bring valuable private sector expertise to one of Australia’s most important economic relationships. “The Government is committed to ensuring the relationship continues to diversify and deepen, which will pay future dividends for Australian growth, jobs and innovation,” he said.
Mr Robb said both appointments would strengthen initiatives to maximise relations with the US, including next year’s inaugural Australia-United States Business Week. More⇒
First Australia-US Business Week to deepen commercial ties
28 October 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has today announced a major new initiative to promote deeper business links with the United States, the world’s largest economy.
The inaugural Australia-US Business Week (AUSBW) will be staged across six major cities in the United States in February 2016. A series of high-level events will focus on trade, investment, innovation and tourism
“This event will be the premier business-to-business component of the Government’s efforts to strengthen our commercial ties with the US, a global leader in innovation and our top two-way investment market,” Mr Robb said.
AUSBW will begin on February 22, taking in cities including Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It will culminate in New York on 25-26 February. More⇒
Government helping new exporters learn the tools of trade
26 October 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has launched a program aimed at providing new exporters with the skills they need to capitalise on the opportunities created by the landmark free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China.
The Government will provide $2.45 million over two years to assist with training for small and medium-sized (SMEs) business owners and employees, to better understand exporting and to learn how to access and take advantage of our new trade agreements with our largest Asian trading partners.
“Australia has negotiated preferential treatment under Australia’s FTAs with China, Japan and Korea, but these benefits are meaningless if we don’t seek to quickly take advantage of the opportunities opening up in the region around us,” Mr Robb said. More⇒
Consul-General in Los Angeles
22 October 2015
Today I announce the appointment of Ms Chelsey Martin as Australia's next Consul‑General in Los Angeles.
The Consulate-General leads Australia’s premier economic and public diplomacy program in the United States, G’Day USA.
G’Day USA showcases Australia’s creative and innovative industries in the US market.
The Consulate-General’s other responsibilities include promoting Australia's interests in business, tourism, entertainment, research and education, and advancing our robust cultural and people-to-people links.
The Consulate-General has responsibility for southern California and other south-western states including Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, parts of Nevada and Alaska. More⇒
Australia secures two blockbuster films
Joint media release
- The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
- Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Minister for Communications and the Arts
22 October 2015
Two feature films, Sir Ridley Scott’s next production for Twentieth Century Fox and Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, starring Australia’s Chris Hemsworth, will be filmed in Australia from 2016.
Today’s announcement is expected to bring more than $300 million in offshore investment to Australia’s economy, provide over 3,000 jobs and use the services of thousands of Australian businesses.
“Australia’s creative industries are well placed to take advantage of a growing global economy and I have been actively promoting Australia for the production of major international films,” Minister Bishop said.
“Our high quality facilities, leading industry experts, outstanding creative talent and diverse landscapes have given us an exceptional reputation as a world-class destination,” Minister Bishop said. More⇒
Government and Opposition reach agreement on support for China-Australia free trade deal
Joint media release
- The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment
- The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
21 October 2015
The Government is pleased to confirm that support has been secured from the Opposition to ensure the passage through the Parliament of implementing legislation for the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).
This high quality agreement, with our biggest trading partner, presents enormous opportunities for Australia in the years and decades ahead in terms of supporting growth and job creation. In this country, we have enjoyed decades of bipartisan support for freer trade and through the agreement reached with Labor this tradition is now set to continue.
Our discussions with Labor were both constructive and held in good faith, and Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment Penny Wong and her staff deserve credit for the work they have done on behalf of the Opposition. More⇒
Momentum builds for trade deal with European Union
15 October 2015
The Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has welcomed the overnight release of the European Commission’s new trade and investment strategy, confirming it will seek authorisation from the EU's member countries, to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Australia.
Mr Robb said the announcement is an important initial step towards launching an Australia-EU FTA.
"An FTA has the potential to unlock new opportunities and levels of market access across a range of areas such as agribusiness, services and high-value manufacturing. For Australian consumers it could also deliver reduced prices on a range of quality European goods including cars," Mr Robb said.
The EU is already a major market for Australia with its members combined constituting the world’s biggest economy. More⇒
Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) 2015
Joint media release
- The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
- Senator the Hon Marise Payne, Minister for Defence
12 October 2015
We will attend the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Boston from 12 to 13 October hosted by US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.
The Alliance is the bedrock of our foreign and defence policy and we look forward to further developing and deepening our shared regional and global strategic and economic interests.
We will discuss our approach to combating Da’esh in Iraq and Syria and our response to the humanitarian crises in the Middle East.
Australia is the second largest contributor to the Building Partner Capacity initiative after the United States in supporting Iraq in the fight against Da’esh. Strengthening our bilateral coordination in response to this brutal organisation is critical. More⇒
Visit to the United States
8 October 2015
I will visit the United States from 8 to 15 October to attend the annual Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in Boston with Minster for Defence, the Honourable Senator Marise Payne. I will also visit Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and the United States. My visit is an opportunity to meet senior political and business leaders to discuss ways to further strengthen our strategic and economic ties. Our Alliance with the United Sates is at the heart of our foreign and security policy.
I look forward to meeting with Secretary Kerry and Secretary Carter for AUSMIN consultations in Boston. I will hold meetings with leading foreign policy and national security experts. I will also pay my respects to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. More⇒
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) pact to drive jobs, growth and innovation for Australia
6 October 2015
Negotiations on the biggest global trade deal in twenty years, which first commenced more than five years ago, have been successfully concluded in Atlanta.
The historic Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will deliver enormous benefits to Australia, including unprecedented new opportunities in the rapidly growing Asia Pacific region, with its rising middle class, for our businesses, farmers, manufacturers and service providers.
The TPP will establish a more seamless trade and investment environment across 12 countries which represent around 40 per cent of global GDP. More⇒
Robb departs for crucial regional trade pact (TPP) talks
28 September 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb departs today for Atlanta Georgia for negotiations with ministerial counterparts from 11 other countries on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
Mr Robb said the TPP brought enormous promise and an imminent conclusion was within reach, but the window was closing due to domestic political factors in countries such as the United States.
"There are unresolved issues, but hopefully these aren't intractable. We have taken provisional decisions on perhaps 90 per cent of issues, and as a result of these alone, Australia would see some most material benefits," Mr Robb said.
Mr Robb said the TPP would deliver new levels of market access for Australian goods and services, and also positively address so-called 21st century issues in areas such as e-commerce and IP, as well as enhance access to all-important global value chains, including for SMEs.
"As the world's largest regional trade deal the TPP would represent a major leap forward, resulting in a more seamless trade and investment environment across a bloc of countries responsible for 40 per cent of global GDP," Mr Robb said. More⇒
Export Market Development Grants scheme turns 40
24 September 2015
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb today marked the 40th anniversary of Australia’s Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme, which has helped 45,000 businesses expand offshore.
The scheme reimburses up to 50 per cent of export promotion expenses for eligible small and medium-sized firms. It was established in the 1970s with legislation passed during the Whitlam Government, while the first grants were paid under the Fraser Government.
Mr Robb said the EMDG scheme has helped thousands of Australian firms build a sustainable presence in overseas markets.
“The longevity of the scheme is a testament to its success and it has undoubtedly made a significant contribution to Australia’s success in overseas markets,” Mr Robb said. More⇒
Legislation for historic trade deal with China introduced into Parliament
16 September 2015
The implementing legislation for the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) was today introduced into Parliament by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb.
Mr Robb said the FTA will create significant new commercial opportunities for Australian businesses, through increased trade in goods, services and investment. It affords Australia unprecedented levels of access to a market of more than 1.35 billion people, which includes a rapidly rising middle class.
“This is an outstanding agreement; the highest quality and most liberalising trade deal that China – the world’s second biggest economy and our largest two-way trading partner – has done with any other developed country,” Mr Robb said.
Read more here: http://trademinister.gov.au/releases/Pages/2015/ar_mr_150916.aspx
2015 Ministerial Investment Statement
14 September 2015
Mr Speaker, I’m very pleased to be here today to present the second annual Investment Statement to the Parliament.
This Government instituted the Investment Statement because we understand the critical link between investment and the health of our national economy.
We also understand that investment and trade are two sides of the same coin.
Like trade, investment has helped secure greater prosperity for Australia throughout our modern history.
To be clear, investment equals jobs and growth.
Without investment, we would not have been able to create the strong national industries that underpin our economy – and each of those industries is a creator of Australian jobs.
Read more here: http://trademinister.gov.au/speeches/Pages/2015/ar_sp_150914.aspx
Promoting the China-Australia FTA
9 September 2015
Parliamentary Secretary Steven Ciobo MP is visiting China to promote the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Mr Ciobo will meet with political and business leaders to re-affirm the Australian Government’s commitment to the landmark agreement during his visit to the Guangdong Province.
“While Bill Shorten and the Labor Party are being economic vandals by threatening to vote against the FTA, the Australian Government is doing everything we can to ensure it comes into force so Australia reaps the rewards,” said Mr Ciobo. More⇒
Strongest tourism growth since Sydney Olympics led by China and India
1 September 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment – with responsibility for tourism – Andrew Robb, welcomed the latest International Visitor Survey today showing international visitor spend grew by 10 per cent to a record $33.4 billion, or $3.2 billion more than the previous year.
This is the strongest yearly growth since 2001, the period of the Sydney Olympic Games.
“Today’s result once again demonstrates that tourism is one of our great strengths. Tourism can be our fastest growing sector this decade if we continue to leverage our ‘clean, green and safe’ brand to position ourselves as the number one, long-haul destination in Asia,” Mr Robb said. More⇒
Promoting Australia's creative economy
31 August 2015
Today I signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Fashion Chamber.
Australia has world-class fashion expertise, creative talent and high quality primary resources. The Australian fashion industry makes a significant contribution to Australia’s economy — around $12 billion annually — and employs approximately 220,000 people.
This partnership will enable the Australian Government and the Australian Fashion Chamber to work together to enhance global recognition of the Australian fashion industry, leverage business development and trade and investment opportunities. More⇒
Business opportunities in South-East Asia
14 August 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today launched a publication promoting the trade and investment opportunities for Australian business in the ten countries comprising the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“The ASEAN region has never offered more opportunities for Australian business than it does today,” Mr Robb said. “This is particularly the case in areas where the middle class is growing and consumer demand outstrips local supply, such as in the food and beverage, agriculture, healthcare, education and financial services sectors.”
Why ASEAN and Why Now? Insights for Australian Business draws on the experience of Australian companies and Australia’s network of diplomatic and trade missions operating in the ASEAN region. The publication delivers practical insights on doing business in ASEAN and how to use regional free trade agreements. It outlines new opportunities for Australian businesses underpinned by the forthcoming declaration of the ASEAN Economic Community, and the growth of the services sector and regional value chains across ASEAN. More⇒
Australian Indigenous Peoples Strategy
Joint media release
The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment
Senator the Hon Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs
10 August 2015
Today we announce Australia’s first ever strategy for advancing the interests of the world’s indigenous peoples.
This new strategy provides a framework for Australia to work with our international partners and the United Nations to influence international policy to advance the interests of indigenous peoples in Australia and around the world.
"Australia has a leadership role to play in shaping the international agenda on indigenous issues," said Ms Bishop.
"Through this strategy, we will be encouraging greater Indigenous Australian participation in shaping our aid program, building on their experience in delivering services in regional, rural and remote communities," she said.
The strategy will also promote Indigenous Australian engagement to support our economic integration with Asia. More⇒
TPP talks make significant progress
1 August 2015
Significant gains have been made this week in negotiations for the world’s biggest regional trade deal, and a conclusion definitely remains within reach, the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said today.
“We all went to Hawaii with the aim of concluding and while we didn’t quite get there we are definitely on the cusp. Most importantly the resolve remains to get this done,” he said.
“While nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, I would say we have taken provisional decisions on more than 90 per cent of issues and during my involvement in TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) negotiations this has been by far the most productive meeting at both ministerial and officials’ level.”
“The provisional decisions already taken would make this the biggest regional agreement in the world and the most significant agreement since the conclusion of the Uruguay round more than 20 years ago,” Mr Robb said. More⇒