Special Envoy for Trade Andrew Robb will visit India, Singapore and China this month to advance trade and investment negotiations and opportunities for Australia.
“As our economy transitions in this post mining boom period, there is huge potential to create jobs and grow the economy by expanding our commercial relationships with our nearest neighbours,” Mr Robb said.
“There is a massive growing middle class right across Asia and now is the time for us to put in place the building blocks to make the most of the opportunities on our doorstep,”
Mr Robb will visit India from April 3-6 for further negotiations on the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between Australia and India.
The aim of the agreement is to promote increased trade in goods and services as well as investment flows between the two countries to help support growth, innovation and job creation.
“Work has been steadily taking place behind the scenes on an agreement, and while challenging I am confident we can give negotiations a further push on this visit,” Mr Robb said.
“We remain committed to an agreement with India as it presents enormous opportunity for Australian investors, service providers and exporters to access a population of 1.2 billion people and a rising middle class. A high-quality agreement will not only promote increased trade in goods and services but it will also increase investment flows.”
Mr Robb will then visit Singapore from April 7-9 to continue the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) negotiations initiated in June last year by the respective prime ministers.
He will meet with the Singaporean Minister for Foreign Affairs to further negotiate the CSP, including two way trade and investment, defence cooperation and the deepening links between educational, scientific and research institutions.
“Our ambition is for the relationship between Australia and Singapore to be akin to that of the one we have with New Zealand, where we enjoy a shared strategic perspective and complementary economies,” Mr Robb said.
Promoting Australian business
Mr Robb will then visit China from April 9-15 to attend Australia Week in China (AWIC) to promote Australian businesses from the financial services, agribusiness and premium food and beverage sectors. More than 1,000 Australian businesses will participate in AWIC.
The mission builds on the historic China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), which came into force in December last year.
The event will feature trade and investment seminars, roundtables, site visits, product showcases and opportunities for Australian businesses to network with Chinese business, industry and government.
“There is a whole range of opportunities for Australian businesses to take advantage of the free trade agreement we have signed,” said Mr Robb.
“Despite only coming into force late last year there has already been two rounds of tariff cuts meaning there is no better time for Australian businesses to find new customers abroad.”