Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, will deliver a speech today in Perth on Australia's extractives sector relationship with Africa and the potential for deeper economic engagement on the continent.

He will be speaking at the 14th Africa Down Under (ADU), an annual mining conference that brings together African mines ministers, senior government officials from Africa and Australia, and business leaders from the mining sector.  This year ADU is part of the broader Australia-Africa Week of forums and activities focused on Africa.

"The Australian mining sector's engagement with Africa is extensive," Assistant Minister Pitt said. 

"More than 200 ASX-listed companies have mining and exploration interests in Africa spanning 700 projects and 35 countries.

"This represents around $30 billion of investment in Africa.  There are also growing commercial interests in the mining equipment, technology and services sector.

"Africa Down Under showcases this substantial engagement and provides the opportunity to strengthen the private-sector led, government-supported path to develop economic relations with Africa.

"As well as best practice and innovation in operations and safety, Australian firms have an international reputation for integrity and transparency.

"The Government expects our companies to build partnerships both with governments and communities to create shared values for social and economic growth.

"A well-managed, sustainable African extractives sector will strengthen Africa-Australia trade and investment, potentially lifting millions of people out of poverty.

"Africa-Australia relations go far beyond commercial interests.  This is why the Minister for Foreign Affairs last year established the expert Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations (AGAAR) to provide advice across the whole relationship – including education, development cooperation, people-to-people links, as well as business and commerce.

"I am pleased to be meeting AGAAR today to discuss Australia's relations with Africa," Mr Pitt said. 

Africa Down Under is hosted by Paydirt Media.

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