This week we will visit Singapore to advance Australia’s trade and investment interests at ASEAN-related ministerial meetings. This will be Minister Birmingham’s first overseas engagement as trade minister and will be an important opportunity to work with Indo-Pacific countries, including our major trading partners, to promote growth and prosperity in our region.
We will attend the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting to further promote economic cooperation within the region. RCEP will provide opportunities for Australian businesses by strengthening and simplifying the regional trade and investment environment. RCEP countries account for ten of Australia’s top 15 trading partners and more than 30 per cent of global GDP.
In addition to the RCEP Ministerial Meeting, Minister Birmingham will also undertake a series of bilateral discussions with regional trade partners who are present at the meeting.
Following his participation in the RCEP ministerial meeting, Minister Birmingham will travel to Indonesia to accompany Prime Minister Scott Morrison on his first official overseas visit as Prime Minister.
Assistant Minister Coulton will stay in Singapore to also meet with trade and economic ministers from ASEAN and New Zealand to discuss how to upgrade the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) to ensure it continues to deliver benefits for business. ASEAN countries account for around 14 per cent of Australia’s total two-way trade.
At the East Asia Summit Economic Ministers Meeting, Assistant Minister Coulton will reinforce Australia’s support for open markets and continued trade liberalisation which has underpinned economic growth in our region.
The Morrison Government is pursuing an ambitious trade agenda to create more Australian jobs and drive economic growth through increasing trade and investment.