Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia



4 August 1996

White Paper on Foreign and Trade Policy Announced

The Federal Government has put in train one of its most significant long-term election promises - the production of Australia's first-ever comprehensive vision statement on foreign affairs and trade.

Announcing the commissioning of the White Paper, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer, said it would be a comprehensive review of Australia's foreign and trade policy.

"The White Paper will identify Australia's interests, examine the international environment in which Australia will pursue these interests in the future and recommend appropriate strategies for advancing those interests," Mr Downer said.
"We are now looking well forward in trade policy through bodies such as APEC, where we are formulating trade liberalisation out to the years 2010 and 2020," Mr Fischer said.

"I will look to the White paper to suggest ways of ensuring Australia gets a better share of the rapidly growing Asian markets, and of improving our position in traditional markets like the US and Europe, as well as taking advantage of opportunities in new markets in South America, the Middle East and South Asia."

The White Paper, which was foreshadowed in the Coalition's foreign policy document A Confident Australia, will:
While the White Paper will touch on aid policy issues affecting foreign and trade policy, a Review of the Aid Program is being undertaken separately.

The White Paper will be prepared with the assistance of an Advisory Panel that will provide advice to ministers. Mr Downer will chair meetings of the panel. (Details below.)

The panel will inject business and community perspectives into our consideration of likely medium and long-term developments in regional and global affairs, the policies needed to secure Australia's future and how they should be implemented.
Mr Downer and Mr Fischer expect to table the White Paper in the autumn session of parliament next year. It will be a statement of Australia's foreign and trade policies that reflects the needs of today and positions us for the realities of the next century.

Media Contact:
Greg Hunt (Mr Downer's office)06 277 7500 /
David Kelly (Mr Fischer's Office)06 277 7420 / 018 691 178
Peter Varghese (DFAT)06 261 3678/015 484898


Geoff Allen

Chairman of the Allen Consulting Group Pty Ltd

Member of the Trade Policy Advisory Council since 1992

Former Chairman, Trade Negotiations Advisory Group (Uruguay Round)

Director, Pasminco Limited

Kym Anderson
Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for International Economic Studies, University of Adelaide

Counsellor, Economic Research, GATT Secretariat 1990-1992

Robin Ashwin
Master, St Mark's College, Adelaide

Former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Germany and Egypt

Harold Clough, AO OBE
Chairman, Clough Limited

Past President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (1995)

Rawdon Dalrymple, AO
Chairman of the ASEAN Focus Group and Visiting Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Sydney

President of the Australian Centre for American Studies

Former Ambassador to Japan, the United States, Indonesia and Israel

Malcolm Fraser, AC CH
Chairman of CARE Australia

Formerly Prime Minister of Australia

Meredith Hellicar

Managing Director, TNT Logistics Asia

Director, James Hardie Industries

Former Executive Director, NSW Coal Association

Admiral Mike Hudson
Former Chief of the Naval Staff and Member of the Chiefs of Staff Committee

Chairman of the Antarctic Cooperative Research Centre

Bruce R. Kean, AM
Chairman of the Business Council of Australia's International Relations and Trade Committee

Director of the AMP Society

Formerly Managing Director of Boral Ltd and Chairman of Oil Company of Australia

Chairman of Trustees, Committee for the Economic Development of Australia

Graham Kraehe
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Southcorp Holdings Limited

National President of the Metal Trades Industry Association

Member of the Business Council of Australia

Formerly Chief Executive of Pacific BBA Ltd

Alister Maitland
Executive Director of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited and member of the Trade Policy Advisory Council

Donald McGauchie
President of the National Farmers' Federation

Board member of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Board member of VIC Grains Pty Ltd

Formerly President of the Grains Council of Australia

Helen Nugent
Director of Strategy, Westpac Banking Corporation and Deputy Chairman of the Australian Opera

Formerly Professor of Management and Director of the MBA Programme at the Australian Graduate School of Management and
Partner with McKinsey & Company

Robert O'Neill, AO
Chichele Professor of the History of War, All Souls College, Oxford University

Formerly Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Canberra

John Rose
Director of the Melbourne Business School at the University of Melbourne

Adviser to the Prime Minister 1977 to 1983

Richard Woolcott, AC
Chairman, Australia-Indonesia Institute

Former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Former Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Australia's representative to the Security Council

Mr Woolcott was posted to four Southeast Asian countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines), three as Ambassador or High Commissioner

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