Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles will promote the benefits of more open trade for developing countries when he travels today to Qatar to represent Australia at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Mr Marles will also travel to Europe to visit Albania, Andorra and San Marino – the first Australian Government representative to officially visit these countries.
UNCTAD is the key UN organisation providing advice to developing countries, in particular, about maximising development opportunities through trade.
"Recent threats to the global economy are placing pressures on governments to find sources of sustainable and balanced economic growth," Mr Marles said.
"It is in Australia’s interest to work closely with UNCTAD to maximise the trade and investment opportunities of developing countries and assist them in efforts to integrate into the world economy."
Mr Marles will take the opportunity to meet bilaterally with his counterparts from a number of countries.
He will then travel on to visit three unique European countries – Albania, Andorra and San Marino.
"Australia prides itself on our role in ensuring the issues confronting small states are considered in all international fora, whether it be the WTO, G20, the World Bank and IMF, or the UN," Mr Marles said.
"We have particular insights into these challenges from our long and close engagement with the Pacific – a focus of my role as Parliamentary Secretary."
Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEA) have been signed with both San Marino and Andorra and Mr Marles will take forward negotiations on a TIEA with Albania. "I will also be progressing negotiations on reciprocal Work and Holiday Visa Arrangements with San Marino and Andorra," he said.
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