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Latest News

Robb departs for crucial regional trade pact (TPP) talks

Media release
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

Media release
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

Media release
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:

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:

Promoting the China-Australia FTA

Media release
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

Media release
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

Media release
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

Media release
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

Media release
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⇒

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) - a platform for growth

Media release
26 July 2015

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will participate in ministerial talks in Hawaii from 28-31 July with the aim of concluding negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

The TPP would be the world’s largest regional free trade agreement with the 12 countries involved accounting for around 40 per cent of the global economy and comprising more than 800 million people.

Mr Robb said one-third of Australia’s total trade in goods and services is with the 11 countries negotiating the TPP with total two-way trade worth around $223 billion while five out of the 11 are in the top 10 destinations for Australian investment. More⇒

China-Australia FTA (ChAFTA): myths versus realities

This document addresses some misconceptions about the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), signed in Canberra on 17 June 2015. More⇒


Sky News - interview with Peter Van Onselen

Transcript, E&OE
15 July 2015

PETER VAN ONSELEN: Let me ask you about Iran. I mean, internationally, obviously, that’s the really big news overnight: a deal’s been struck. Republications including Jeb Bush are criticising it as appeasement. Obviously, President Barack Obama is praising it. The Prime Minister has given cautious support. What’s your view on the deal that they’ve struck?

JULIE BISHOP: I think the P5+1, that’s the six countries that have sought to deal with international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and nuclear ambitions, deserve to be congratulated for striking a deal. Now, whether that deal holds is of course a matter for Iran to comply with its side of the agreement. In particular, that will mean inspections and transparency at every step of their nuclear program. More⇒

Iran nuclear deal

Media release
15 July 2015

The Australian Government welcomes the progress made towards addressing international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.

The agreement reached between the Security Council’s permanent members plus Germany (the P5+1) and Iran should freeze key elements of Iran’s nuclear program for 10 to 15 years. International inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will monitor Iran’s nuclear program at every stage. More⇒

Robb pursuing freer trade in Asia Pacific

Media release
12 July 2015

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will be in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow (Monday) for negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

The meeting will bring together 16 important regional partners of Australia, including nine of our top 12 trading partners. RCEP countries account for around 60 per cent of Australia’s two-way trade – 72 per cent of our exports and 17 per cent of two-way investment in 2014.

Mr Robb said RCEP countries are at the engine room of global growth accounting for 30 per cent of global output and 47 per cent of economic growth. More⇒

Australia and Canada agree to greater diplomatic and consular cooperation

Media release
8 July 2015

Today my Canadian counterpart, Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson, and I signed The Glasgow-Burchell Declaration on Enhanced Diplomatic Network Cooperation (the Joint Declaration), boosting our diplomatic and consular effectiveness and cooperation.

This is a significant agreement which coincides with the first visit of an Australian Foreign Minister to Canada in almost a decade.

Australia and Canada are natural partners and together we are meeting contemporary global economic and security challenges.

Providing appropriate consular services to help our citizens overseas is becoming a growing need for both our countries. In crisis situations our joint cooperation is reliable, dependable and trusted. This was demonstrated when Australia evacuated Canadian citizens in the aftermath of the natural disasters that devastated Vanuatu and Nepal. More⇒

10 years of Australian businesses making use of AUSFTA

Media release
2 July 2015

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has welcomed the opening of the Building our Future Prosperity conference in Sydney today, marking the 10th anniversary of the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

AUSFTA has proven its value to Australian businesses in the ten years since its entry into force.

“The business community has experienced much lower tariffs on our exports to the United States thanks to the agreement, and I encourage Australian exporters to continue maximising the opportunities it provides,” Mr Robb said.

Two-way trade in goods and services between Australia and the United States has increased from $41 billion in 2004, the year prior to AUSFTA’s entry into force, to more than $60 billion in 2014. More⇒

Significant and Premium Investor Visas commence

Joint media release
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment
The Hon Michaelia Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
1 July 2015

New arrangements for investor visa applicants that will encourage investment into innovative Australian research and development and emerging local companies come into effect today.

Expressions of Interest for the enhanced Significant Investor Visa (SIV) can now be submitted to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection under new requirements that mandate investment into small and emerging companies and venture capital funds.

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said the new investor visa requirements would stimulate dynamic sectors of the Australian economy. More⇒

Forging stronger economic ties with Singapore

Media release
30 June 2015

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has returned from a visit to Singapore confident the newly signed Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) will lead to closer economic integration between our two countries.

Mr Robb said the CSP – signed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong – reaffirms both countries’ commitment to expanding free trade and increasing two-way investment.

“The long term objective of the CSP is to build closer economic ties similar to the relationship we currently share with New Zealand,” Mr Robb said. More⇒

Robb Returns to India for Trade Talks

Media release
21 June 2015

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will make his third visit to India this year to continue building support to finalise a strong and mutually-beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) by the end of 2015.

Mr Robb arrives in New Delhi today for a three-day visit, and will attend the revitalised Australia-India CEO Forum at the invitation of the co-chairs, Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh and the Chairman of the Adani Group, Gautam Adani.

“Prime Ministers Abbott and Modi agreed to work towards concluding a CECA in 2015 to increase trade and investment, promote job growth and fuel prosperity for both our countries,” Mr Robb said. More⇒

New era in sports diplomacy

Joint media release
The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment
The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for Health and Sport
25 June 2015

Today’s launch of the Australian Sports Diplomacy Strategy 2015-18 signals a new era of partnership between the Australian Government and sporting organisations.

Together, we will leverage our outstanding sports skills, facilities and knowledge to promote Australia and strengthen our links with countries and communities in the region.

The strategy highlights our excellence in hosting major sporting events like the AFC Asian Cup, ICC Cricket World Cup and the upcoming Netball World Cup that generate long-term economic, diplomatic, tourism and community benefits.

The strategy also showcases Australia’s excellence in sports administration and participation, sport-for-development initiatives, high performance and training, and sport integrity. More⇒

TPP – myths vs. realities

Media release
25 June 2015

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released a factsheet to address common misconceptions about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations. In particular, it addresses issues including food labelling, food standards, the price of medicines, Australian local content on TV and radio and labour and environment standards.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is being negotiated between Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will facilitate increased trade and investment, help secure the ongoing competitiveness of Australian businesses in international markets, and support economic growth and jobs in Australia. More⇒

Australia signs landmark trade agreement with China

Joint media release
The Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister
The Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment
17 June 2015

Today, Australia signed a landmark Free Trade Agreement with China, our largest trading partner, with total trade worth almost $160 billion in 2013-14, and a growing source of investment.

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) will lock in existing trade and provide the catalyst for future growth across a range of areas including goods, services and investment.

The Agreement secures better market access for Australia to the world’s second largest economy, improves our competitive position in a rapidly growing market, promotes increased two-way investment and reduces import costs. It is a win for households and businesses alike.

On day one of the ChAFTA, more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exports will be tariff free, rising to 95 per cent on full implementation. More⇒

Services and manufactures exports rise in April

Media release
4 June 2015

Following a strong performance of goods and services exports in the March quarter of 2015, with net exports contributing 0.5 percentage points of the 0.9 per cent growth in quarterly GDP, exports of services and manufactures rose in April, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data.

“Exports of services grew one per cent in April to be 12.8 per cent higher than a year ago. The rise was driven by transport services and travel services, up three per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively,” the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said.

“Australian services have an enviable reputation across a wide range of areas in our region with strong prospects for future export growth. The trade agreements we have concluded with Korea, Japan and China include significant new openings for our services in the major economies of North Asia,” he said. More⇒

Australia's bid to join global procurement agreement

Media release
2 June 2015

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb announced today that Australia will launch a bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA).

Mr Robb said global government procurement markets represented major opportunities for Australian business.

“The GPA covers the purchase of goods and services by 43 governments worth USD$1.7 trillion. This number will grow with another 10 countries negotiating to join including China with a government procurement market worth $1.5 trillion,” he said. More⇒

Australia to sign up to Common Reporting Standard

Media release
2 June 2015

Parliamentary Secretary Steven Ciobo will underline Australia’s commitment to tackling tax evasion at the annual Ministerial Council Meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development with Australia signing up to the Common Reporting Standard.

Mr Ciobo will sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) that enables Common Reporting Standard information to be exchanged between countries’ tax authorities.

“This is an important step in ensuring that all taxpayers comply with their domestic tax obligations. It will help catch taxpayers using hidden offshore bank accounts to evade Australian tax,” he said. More⇒


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