I’m pleased to be here today to congratulate my friend and ministerial colleague Peter Dutton and his Department for setting up the Australian Trusted Trader Program.
I would also like to thank all the businesses who helped by participating in the pilot, from household names like Boeing, Target and IKEA to specialist ag exporters like Homebush Export Meat Co and Techwool, and their representatives who are here today.
As Mr Dutton has said, promoting and strengthening Australia’s international trade is a top priority for the Coalition Government.
Helping businesses engage with international markets is a core responsibility for me in my new role as Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.
As a former business owner and producer of sugar cane myself, I fully appreciate the effects that the many components of conducting international trade can have on a business.
The costs incurred when goods cross borders can be a significant determining factor in whether or not an overseas market is viable.
This program delivers the kind of practical benefits that this Government stands for.
Ensuring the integrity of our border processes.
While also reducing transaction costs.
I would also like to congratulate Mr Dutton and his department for already arranging for Australia and New Zealand to recognise each other’s trusted traders.
I look forward to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade playing its part in helping to establish many more high-quality Mutual Recognition Arrangements around the world, as quickly as possible.
The Coalition Government has a firm belief that Australian business has enormous potential to respond to the growing demand in our region and around the world.
Our trade policy and efforts to increase trade opportunities reflect this strong conviction.
New international markets translate into new jobs.
Opening up overseas markets means more Australian exporters, employing more Australians.
And the flow-on effects, for Australian providers and services operating domestically, promise to be very significant.
Already, international trade has delivered one in every five Australian jobs created in recent years.
The Coalition Government believes that proportion must rise, and it will rise, as we increase our trade access across the globe.
That’s why we will push ahead with our ambitious trade agenda to grow our exports, attract new investment that’s in the national interest, and increase visitor numbers.
There is impetus to strike a deal with Indonesia that will help us access a market on our doorstep with huge potential.
So expect to hear more about the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
We’re also working towards a Closer Economic Relationship with Singapore, like we enjoy with New Zealand.
Implementing the Trans Pacific Partnership, which would cover around 40 per cent of global GDP, remains a priority for the Australian Government.
We are working towards a trade deal with the European Union, and with the UK when the time is right.
We’re also looking at a deal with Colombia.
And Australia is one of the 16 countries working towards the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which would open up trade with almost half the world’s population and more than 30 per cent of global GDP.
We will also continue to implement the FTAs already in place, including with the giant markets of north Asia.
We are determined that Australian businesses continue to benefit from the improved access and opportunities we have achieved in these key export destinations.
Our current international trade, and the vast potential for new growth across a wide range of sectors, will be helped along by more efficient and effective border processes, thanks to the Australian Trusted Trader Program, a practical program with practical benefits.
Well done, and thank you.
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