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Latest News and Events

Lunar New Year to bring stellar returns for Australian Tourism

Media release
5 February 2016

Measures to boost ties with Australia’s most valuable tourism market will pay dividends when Chinese or Lunar New Year brings a flood of visitors from 8 February.

The traditional Chinese celebration, which this year welcomes the Year of the Monkey, is an important national holiday and a very popular time to travel with Australia high on the list of preferred destinations.

Australia and China have always had a very strong relationship with people travelling between the two regularly for leisure, visiting family and friends, and to study – it is fantastic that so many Chinese visitors are choosing to celebrate in our country.

Natural attractions are a top priority for Chinese tourists and we will showcase Australia’s clean environment and natural beauty by launching Tourism Australia’s new aquatic and coastal campaign during Australia Week in China (AWIC) 2016 in April this year. More⇒

Congratulations to winners of 2015 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

Media release
5 February 2016

In celebration of a record breaking year for our tourism industry, I am pleased to congratulate the
26 winners who have been honoured at the industry’s premier awards event, the Australian Tourism Awards.

Visitors flocked to Australia in record numbers in 2015 and without these industry award winners, Australia couldn’t come close to being the highly desirable and memorable destination it is for visitors.

I’d like to thank all winners and finalists for their dedication to producing unforgettable tourism experiences set against what truly is the world’s best backdrop—Australia. More⇒

Robb Signs historic Trans Pacific Trade Pact (TPP) in New Zealand

Media releaseMinister Robb signing the TPP
4 February 2016

The historic Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – which will see the elimination of 98 per cent of tariffs among 12 countries – was formally signed today in New Zealand by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb.

The TPP is the world’s most significant trade and investment agreement finalised in more than two decades with member countries accounting for around 40 per cent of global GDP.

Australia’s exports of goods and services to these countries were worth $109 billion last year – a third of Australia’s total exports. In 2014, Australian investment in TPP countries was 45 per cent of all outward investment. More⇒

Another bumper year for Australian international education

Media release
3 February 2016

Our international education sector is thriving with preliminary data today showing export income from education services was $19.65 billion in 2015 – an increase of 11.5 per cent since 2014 – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

People travelling for educational purposes continues to be a large contributor to our thriving tourism industry with education related travel increasing by approximately 13 per cent during 2015 compared to the previous year.

These latest figures confirm the growing importance of international education in the context of Australia’s twenty-first century knowledge economy. More⇒

Robb to lead Australia Week in China Business Mission

Media release
3 February 2016

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today called for business leaders to join what is expected to be Australia’s largest-ever trade mission to China between 11-15 April.

Part of Australia Week in China (AWIC) 2016, the Government’s biennial trade, investment, education and tourism promotion, the group will visit key cities across China including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Shenyang, Hangzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Mr Robb said the program would highlight benefits from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement, which entered into force on December 20 last year. It also builds on the success of the first Australia Week in China in 2014 which attracted 750 delegates.

“With two rounds of tariff cuts on Australian goods exports delivered already under the Agreement in rapid succession, and a whole range of new opportunities for Australian services, now is the time to expand existing links and explore new possibilities,” Mr Robb said. More⇒

The wonders of Australia’s aquatic and coastal attractions showcased to the world

Media release
26 January 2016

Australia is taking its spectacular aquatic and coastal attractions to the world in the latest chapter of the There’s Nothing Like Australia marketing campaign to attract international visitors.

Aussie movie star Chris Hemsworth will be the star of today’s event at New York’s Bryant Park. The park will be the backdrop for the unveiling of a new broadcast ad, print and other creative materials as well as ‘virtual reality’ displays and aquatic-themed images that will be projected onto the park’s famous ice rink.

North to south, east to west and everything in between, there is a wonderful diversity of aquatic and coastal experiences in Australia. More⇒

Visit to the United States

Media release
20 January 2016

I will visit New York, Washington and Los Angeles from 21 to 31 January 2016 for the 2016 G’Day USA program, Australia’s premier public and economic diplomacy program in the United States.

I will promote Australia’s high growth economy and sophisticated, innovative culture and the opportunities this offers to leaders in American politics, business and creative industries.

In Washington I will discuss with senior members of the Obama Administration, Congressional leaders and leading policy thinkers our shared interests and challenges in the Indo-Pacific region. I will reinforce Australia’s commitment to the Australia-US Alliance and the global fight against terrorism. I will also deliver the G’Day USA annual foreign policy speech co-hosted by the United States Studies Centre and the Center for New American Security on Australia’s role in Asia. More⇒

Robb to promote Australian trade and investment at World Economic Forum

Media release
18 January 2016

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb will this week participate in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Mr Robb said the WEF presented a significant opportunity to promote Australia’s interests at a premier forum for the world’s leading CEOs from top 1000 companies as well as political leaders. 

“One of the focuses of discussions will be what innovative approaches we can further pursue to remove restrictions to the freer flow of trade, commerce and investment,” he said. More⇒

Exporters quick to capitalise on Japan FTA

Media release
15 January 2016

Export sales across a variety of commodities to Japan have jumped since the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) came into effect 12 months ago, as businesses capitalise on the opportunities it’s created, Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.

Mr Robb said wine, beef and grape-growers are among those enjoying the competitive advantage JAEPA has delivered.

“Today marks one year since the agreement with Japan came into force.  Since then, agricultural enterprises in particular have made the most of the substantial tariff cuts secured under JAEPA,” Mr Robb said.

“There’s been a more than ten-fold increase in export sales of fresh table grapes, climbing from $0.6 million to $6.5 million.  Shelled almond exporters have experienced similar results, with sales jumping from $0.4 million to $4.1 million.” More⇒

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth to star in Tourism Australia’s new coastal and aquatic campaign

Media release
15 January 2016

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth will be the global ambassador for Tourism Australia’s upcoming aquatic and coastal marketing push – the latest instalment of the Australian Government agency’s global There’s nothing like Australia campaign.

This is a huge win for Australian tourism and will help promote Australia internationally, particularly in the USA where the campaign will premiere in New York later this month.

Australia is bound by more than 30,000 kilometres of spectacular coastline coupled with an endless number of pristine natural waterways, which means international visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to the aquatic and coastal experiences on offer. More⇒

Australian trade volumes growing

30 December 2015

Australia’s trade in goods and services continues to grow according to the latest Composition of Trade, Australia 2014-15 publication.

The volume of total trade in goods and services increased over 3 per cent in 2014-15. The total volume of exports grew by nearly 7 per cent and import volumes rose by 0.1 per cent. Although the value of exports fell slightly, they are still strong at $318 billion. The value of Australia’s imports increased to $341 billion.

China remained Australia's top trading partner in 2014-15 for the ninth year in a row. Two-way trade with China is valued at nearly $150 billion, and accounts for almost a quarter of Australia’s total international trade. More⇒

Three Capes Track officially unveiled

Joint media release

  • Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, Minister for Tourism and International Education
  • The Hon Matthew Groom MP, Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
  • Eric Hutchison MP, Federal Member for Lyons

21 December 2015

Dubbed by Lonely Planet as the world’s hottest new travel experience - even before it was officially unveiled - the Three Capes Track was today opened for the world to see.

Federal Tourism Minister Senator Richard Colbeck, and Tasmanian Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister Matthew Groom today cut the ribbon on what is Australia’s newest wilderness experience.

Senator Colbeck said the Track is destined to be a major drawcard - encouraging people from across the world to come and experience the spectacular beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness.

“Already, over 2,000 people have booked to walk the Track - it’s set to become one of Australia’s iconic walks. More⇒

Historic China-Australia FTA enters into force

Media release
20 December 2015

The competitive position of Australian exporters will be greatly enhanced from today with the official entry into force of the landmark China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA).

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said from today more than 86 per cent of Australia’s goods exports to China will enter duty free (worth more than $90 billion), while tariffs on billions-of-dollars-worth of other goods exports will be reduced. Once the agreement is fully implemented 96 per cent of Australian goods will enter China duty free.

Mr Robb said tariffs have been cut on a range of important Australian exports including dairy, beef, lamb, wine, seafood, fruit and vegetables, processed foods, vitamins and health products.  Tariffs on coking coal (with exports worth $4.8 billion in 2014-15) have been eliminated, while the phased elimination of tariffs on non-coking coal also starts today. More⇒

G'Day USA 2016

Media release
17 December 2015

Today I am pleased to launch the 2016 G'DAY USA program, the premier public and econmic diplomacy program promoting Australia in the United States.

The 2016 program showcases Australia as an innovative, high growth and sophisticated economy.

The program provides an important platform for bilateral dialogue with the United States and will highlight cooperation in the Asia Pacific, defence industries and water and drought management. More⇒

Ambassador to the United States of America

Media release
8 December 2015

Today I announce the appointment of the Hon Joseph Hockey as Australia's next Ambassador to the United States of America.

Australia and the United States have deep and mutually beneficial bilateral ties, fostered through 75 years of formal diplomatic relations.

Our Alliance with the United States is the bedrock of foreign and defence policy and we are working closely together on shared regional and global security, strategic and economic interests. 

The United States is Australia’s largest two-way investment partner, and our third-largest two-way trading partner. Ten years after we agreed the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement we have successfully negotiated with ten other countries the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. More⇒

Free Trade focus makes Australian Minister “Policy Maker of the Year”

Media release
4 December 2015

Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb MP, has been named “Policy Maker of the Year” at an awards ceremony in Hong Kong.

Public Affairs Asia, the region’s network for government, corporate and public affairs practitioners, awarded Mr Robb for his achievements in promoting trade liberalisation by sealing key bilateral free trade agreements between Australia and North Asia’s three biggest economies: China, Japan and South Korea.

The Gold Standard Award also recognised Mr Robb as being one of the key leaders in the negotiations to the conclude the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) after seven years of talks. The TPP is a trade pact between twelve Pacific Rim countries which, Minister Robb said, “has truly transformational promise” in international trade. More⇒