Australia strengthens ties with Africa
Parliamentary Secretary for Trade Anthony Byrne yesterday opened the Australia Africa Business Council’s conference, pledging to strengthen ties between the two nations. He said “engagement of Africa is vital” in the resolution of some of the challenges facing Australia.
“Australia has committed to increasing our engagement with Africa across the board through strengthened political contacts, enhanced trade and commercial linkages, cooperation on peace and security, and increased development assistance,” said Byrne.
More than 300 Australian companies are active in at least 30 African countries. Byrne believes Australian businesses have the ability to help Africa grow in areas including infrastructure projects, the automotive sector, education, building and food security.
Over the last five years Australia’s trade with Africa has increased by 8.5 percent per annum and two way trade with the continent reached $6.7 billion in 2008.