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Abbott Signs Free Trade Agreement With Japanese Prime Minister Abe

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has signed a free trade agreement with the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

Signing

The agreement is called The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA). It ensures that more than 97% of Australia’s exports to Japan will receive preferential access or enter duty-free.

The signing followed this morning’s speech by Abe to a joint sitting of the Parliament. [Read more…]


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Addresses Australian Parliament

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has addressed the Australian Parliament in Canberra today.

Abe

Abe and Prime Minister Tony Abbott both spoke to a joint sitting of the two houses in the House of Representatives. Abe’s delivered his speech in English, which is being interpreted as a high compliment from the Japanese.

Abbott told the House: “Since 1957, Australian coal, iron ore and gas has powered Japan’s prosperity; and Japanese cars, consumer goods and electronics have transformed Australians’ lives. Australians are grateful for the Japanese trade and Japanese investment that has helped to build our modern prosperity. Above all, we appreciate the mutual respect and trust that has underpinned the commercial relationship. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s D-Day Message: Landings, Trade And Democracy

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, will leave Australia at the end of this week to attend the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Abbott came under criticism today for linking the D-Day anniversary with the government’s economic policies. In his weekly video message and a media release, Abbott says: “We stood together at D-Day, we trade every day and we have always shared a commitment to democracy, to enterprise and to people’s right to be free.”

The Prime Minister’s website subsequently posted a second media release with a different emphasis. [Read more…]


Australia Strikes Free Trade Agreement With South Korea (KAFTA)

Australia has concluded a Free Trade Agreement with the Republic of Korea, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced today.

South Korea is Australia’s fourth-largest trading partner and third-largest goods export market.

The KAFTA agreement will eliminate tariffs on major exports to Korea, such as beef, wheat, dairy, sugar, wine, seafood, grapes, cherries and mangoes. It will open up new markets in education, telecommunications, financial accounting and the law.

Opposition Bill Shorten has welcomed the agreement.

Details of Australia’s trading arrangements with Korea are shown below. [Read more…]


APEC: John Howard and George Bush Joint Press Conference

The United States President, George W. Bush, held a joint press conference with the Prime Minister, John Howard, in Sydney today.

The press conference followed Bush’s arrival in Australia last night, ahead of the APEC meeting at the end of the week. [Read more…]


Howard And Hu Sign Trade Deals

This is the transcript of the joint press conference held by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, and the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, at Parliament House, Canberra.

It followed a special joint sitting of the Parliament that was addressed by the Chinese President.

  • Listen to the press conference:

Transcript of joint press conference by Prime Minister John Howard and Chinese President Hu Jintao

PRIME MINISTER HOWARD:

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen. This news conference will be by way of consecutive translation. I will make a short opening statement, the President will make a short opening statement and then they’ll be two questions. Two from the Chinese media and then two from the Australian media.

The agreements which have just been signed demonstrate very clearly the breadth and the depth of the relationship between Australia and China. [Read more…]


Costello: Australia & New Zealand Siblings With A Common Heritage & A Shared Future

This is the transcript of the speech given by the Treasurer, Peter Costello, to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Closer Economic Relations Agreement between Australia and New Zealand.

Speech by Treasurer Peter Costello to the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

CostelloI would like to thank the Auckland Chamber of Commerce for the invitation to speak to you this morning.

Australia and New Zealand are much more than good neighbours. We are, in many respects, siblings with a common heritage and a shared future. And like many sibling relationships there is a good deal of rivalry that is competitive, sometimes ferociously competitive, but I hope, ultimately friendly.

Australia and New Zealand developed along broadly similar lines as raw material exporters with strong connections to Britain.

Both were blessed with extensive natural resources that allowed international trade in imperishable, high value agricultural outputs and gold. [Read more…]


Downer On Advancing The National Interest: Australia’s Foreign Policy Challenge

This is the text of a speech delivered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Alexander Downer.

The speech is part of the process established by the government leading to the publication of a new White Paper on Australia’s foreign and trade policy.

An earlier White Paper, In The National Interest, was published in 1997. [Read more…]


Costello Defends Globalisation; Speech Stakes Out Election Position And Leadership Credentials

In a speech to the Sydney Institute last night, the Treasurer, Peter Costello, has defended the process of globalisation. In so doing, the Liberal Party’s deputy leader has attempted to seize the initiative in the forthcoming election campaign. The speech also represents an articulation of his leadership credentials.

CostelloIn the speech, Costello argues that the critics of globalisation do not understand what is happening in the world or what has happened in Australian history.

He said: “Globalisation is a description of the fact that countries and their citizens are affected by other people, or governments, or businesses, or decision-makers all around the world. And because communication is faster, and transport cheaper, the connections are more immediate and more intense than ever before. The telephone which first connected suburbs now connects the world and optic fibre transmits data, money, email, knowledge from business to business, home to business, home to home across the world.

“As I have previously argued globalisation is not a value, it is a process. Globalisation describes what is happening. And ranting against globalisation is like ranting against the telephone. You can use the telephone for good or for ill. So too the wider process (of which the telephone is part) can be a force for good or ill. [Read more…]


John Howard Speech: Australia’s Relations With Japan

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has discussed Australia’s relationship with Japan in a speech in Sydney today.

Howard spoke to the Australia-Japan Conference at The Quay Restaurant.

Text of speech by John Howard to the Australia-Japan Conference.

Prime Minister John HowardI am delighted to be here today. The genesis for today’s conference came about during my visit to Japan in July 1999. I well recall the late Prime Minister Mr Obuchi’s immediate and enthusiastic endorsement of the proposal when I first raised it with him.

In agreeing to hold such a conference – involving not only our political leaders but also key business and academic figures – Mr Obuchi and I recognised a need to reflect upon the character of the bilateral relationship as we move into the next millennium.

No one can doubt the great strength of the relationship between Japan and Australia and the many benefits each of our nations gain from it across a wide spectrum of areas. Yet we would be foolish to take it for granted by not exploring opportunities for even closer links in the future. [Read more…]