The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP

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Media release

Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile
2 April 2001

A Decade of Expansion for Export Markets

Australian exporters will be in a strong position to capitalise on major international trade opportunities over the next decade, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

Mr Vaile was commenting on a new report by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Australia's Trade: Influences into the New Millennium, which examines major forces likely to influence Australia's trading environment in the next ten years. 

"In key Australian markets, demand for goods and services from other countries outpaced economic growth by a big margin during the 1990s.  In Japan, for example, imports of goods and services increased by more than 30 per cent in spite of very slow economic growth.  In the United States, they grew by more than 110 per cent," Mr Vaile said.

"The report makes it clear that this trend is likely to continue over the next decade but many of the opportunities will occur in new areas, as major markets restructure towards more knowledge-intensive industries and services.

"During this period, technological change will have a major impact on both what is traded and how it is traded.  Australian exporters will need to pay close attention to the opportunities presented by Internet commerce, which could reach around US$4 trillion globally by 2003.

"Biotechnology, energy and new materials are other major areas where technological change is likely to affect Australia's export opportunities." 

Australia's Trade: Influences into the New Millennium was prepared in response to an announcement by Mr Vaile at the launch of the annual Trade Outcomes and Objectives Statement in April last year.  It addresses prospective changes in the global economy over the next decade, the impact of new technologies and likely changes in the trade policy environment.

Copies of the report are available from Jane Monico in the Department's Market Development Division (phone 02 6261 3114, fax 02 6261 3321, email as well as from the DFAT website

Contact: James Baker (Ministerial) 02 6277 7420
Nicole Guihot (Departmental) 02 6261 1555


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