Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today launched the Coalition’s Economic Diplomacy policy at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney. 

Minister Bishop said economic diplomacy would boost both Australia’s prosperity and global prosperity. 

“The global economy is a highly competitive space and sustaining Australia’s position as the 12th largest economy globally requires strong international engagement,” Minister Bishop said. 

“Today we have launched two charters that set out the expertise on offer to Australian businesses and State and Territory Governments from DFAT, Austrade, Tourism Australia, the Export Finance Insurance Corporation and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.” 

Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said Australia’s trade with the world is equivalent to 42 per cent of GDP and our economy’s historical reliance on trade has meant that, since 1900, this figure has never been below 25 per cent. 

“Our economic diplomacy drive is intrinsically linked to the Coalition’s aggressive trade and investment agenda. Better outcomes from our economic engagement with the world result in stronger economic growth, more jobs and greater prosperity for Australians,” he said. 

“Since the First Fleet Australia has been reliant on foreign investment and that remains today and we are determined to significantly bolster current levels, to help fund important new infrastructure and further development in areas like Northern Australia.” 

Minister Robb said the government’s quick conclusion of landmark free trade deals with Japan and Korea, and its priority on concluding an agreement with China; are strong examples of the new intensity of our economic engagement. “These agreements, with the major economies of North Asia can deliver enormous benefits for Australia in the years and decades ahead,” he said. 

Minister Bishop said it was fitting to launch the Coalition’s Economic Diplomacy initiative in Australia’s G20 Presidency year because global growth was at the core of the Government’s Presidency agenda. 

“In addition, as economic growth is the real driver of poverty elimination, we’ve placed it at the heart of Australia’s aid program,” she said. 

“Economic diplomacy is a collaborative process, beyond government. Australia’s business community, our think tanks, our NGOs and our community are an integral part of our economic diplomacy efforts. We look forward to working together to pursue shared opportunities to drive economic prosperity, in Australia and in our region.” 

Australia’s investments around the world total A$1.6 trillion and we are ranked 5th in the world for GDP per capita. 

For more information about the economic diplomacy agenda, visit: www.dfat.gov.au/trade/economic-diplomacy.

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