Journalist: 

Good afternoon. 

Minister: 

Good afternoon.

Journalist: 

So how are you today?

Minister: 

It's good to be here.  I've been to Fiesta Kultura before so today I am representing the Prime Minister in a different role since I last came to Fiesta Kultura.  I am now the Minister for International Development and the Pacific.  And of course we have, certainly in my Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we certainly have a very strong relationship with the Philippines.  Australia this year will give about $81 almost $82 million worth of aid to the Philippines and that covers a whole range of different areas.  But most importantly, the relationship between Australia and the Philippines has been a long standing one.  It's been a very strong one and will continue to be a strong one as we both work towards strengthening the economic relationship between our two countries.

Journalist: 

Yes, thank you so much for that information and really it is very very important that we have those aid funds from Australia. Now at this juncture.... (Inaudible)....

Minister:

Well, there has been a lot of celebrations as part of the 70 year anniversary and there have been celebrations both in Canberra and in Manila and it’s a very opportune time to celebrate the strength of the relationship between Australia and the Philippines and that relationship goes across a whole range of different areas.  As I said, not just economy but of course the Filipino community is one of the fastest growing communities in Australia.  It now numbers about 300,000 and what is very important between two countries and the strength of any relationship between two countries, are the people to people links.  And that is why the Fiesta Kultura and the various other events that celebrate the Filipino-Australian community and also the work that they do.  I mean today we have seen here a trade expo, various companies, entities that trade into the Philippines and trade out of the Philippines, which are the basis of the economic relationship between our two countries.

Journalist: 

Thank you so much for that….. (Manny Castillo interviewed)

Minister:

Thank you so much, it was very good to be here. Thank you.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7110
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555