Australian Embassy


DATE: 20 July 2009
SUBJECT: Trade; Government relations

Australian Minister for Trade to Visit Vietnam and Singapore

The Australian Minister for Trade, the Hon Simon Crean MP, will visit Vietnam and Singapore to pursue Australia’s trade and economic interests at a range of Ministerial and other high level meetings.

In Hanoi, Mr Crean will co-chair the 8th Joint Trade and Economic Cooperation Committee (JTECC) with the Vietnamese Minister of Planning and Investment Mr Vo Hong Phuc on 24 July. The meeting will discuss key sectors in the bilateral relationship: education and training; infrastructure and environmental management; financial services; energy, oil and gas; and agribusiness.

“As we progress towards implementation of the ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, I look forward to discussing its practical contribution to the bilateral trade and investment relationship with Vietnam”, Mr Crean said.

Mr Crean will be accompanied to Vietnam by a business delegation, and will also visit Ho Chi Minh City on 25-26 July.

In Singapore, Mr Crean will attend the APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade and the OECD Roundtable on Sustainable Development.

APEC is the principal economic forum in the Asia Pacific, a major driving force for open trade and investment, sustainable economic development and prosperity in our region. Together APEC economies account for 54 per cent of global GDP, 40 per cent of the world’s population and 68 per cent of Australia’s trade.

APEC’s Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) in Singapore on 21-22 July will be the largest formal meeting of Trade Ministers so far this year. It is a significant opportunity to inject further political energy and momentum to the WTO Doha round of negotiations in the WTO following recent successful meetings of Ministers in Bali and Paris.

“Concluding Doha as quickly as possible would boost global economic confidence and be a key element in the international response to the global financial crisis,” Mr Crean said.

“APEC can also contribute to the global economic recovery by enhancing the flow of trade and investment in our region.”

“We should renew our commitment not to raise protectionist barriers to trade and investment, and forge ahead with our core agenda of regional economic integration and structural reform,” Mr Crean said.

At the OECD Roundtable on Sustainable Development on 23 July Mr Crean will participate in an exchange of views between Ministers, private sector and key climate change and trade experts on what can be done from an economic and trade perspective to meet the challenge of climate change.