In April, I will visit Japan, Korea and China to further strengthen ties between our countries, broaden and deepen our relationships and help boost trade activity to drive growth and job creation in Australia.
These countries represent 40 per cent of Australia’s total two-way trade in goods and services – valued at $250 billion.
I will be accompanied on each leg of my visit by a group of senior Australian business people and I am also inviting the Premiers and Chief Ministers to accompany me and bring key businesses from their States and Territories.
The prosperity of our country and other countries in our region depends on increased trade and investment.
I said on election night that Australia is ‘open for business’ and I committed to driving the finalisation of three key Free Trade Agreements with Japan, Korea and China.
Those negotiations are well advanced and I hope to sign the Korean Free Trade Agreement during my visit next month.
A key activity will be the inaugural Australia Week in China with key business delegation activities taking place between April 8 and 11. This will be one of the largest promotions of Australia ever held in China.
Australia Week in China will promote trade, investment, tourism and education partnerships through a program tailored to major industry sectors. Events will be held across the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Guangzhou.
Participating Australian businesses will get the opportunity to explore business opportunities with potential Chinese partners, participate in sector-specific networking events, enhance existing relationships and develop new contacts.
I encourage Australian businesses – small, medium and large – with an interest in China, Korea and Japan to take the opportunity and join this ministerial trade delegation.
Details are available at www.austrade.gov.au. Expressions of interest for Australia Week in China will close on 14 March 2014.