Australian investment to promote flow of goods and services in APEC region

Media release

10 November 2010

Businesses could benefit from cheaper international mobile phone calls and safer roads as a result of Australia’s investment in a range of initiatives designed to promote the flow of goods and services across the 21 APEC member economies.

In Yokohama, Japan, for the 22nd APEC Ministerial Meeting, Trade Minister Craig Emerson committed $1 million to two projects designed to improve public sector capacity in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Building capacity in the Asia-Pacific to make doing business faster, easier and cheaper is vital to the growth of both Australia and developing economies in the region,” Dr Emerson said.

Australia will lead a training initiative targeted at APEC telecommunication regulators with the aim of reducing mobile international roaming charges.

Another project is designed to improve logistics cooperation between industry and Government.

They are part of the Public Sector Linkages Program, which is administered by AusAID.

Australia will also promote efforts to develop region-wide safety standards for heavy road vehicles.

Dr Emerson said a 10 per cent efficiency improvement in the delivery and distribution of goods and services across regional borders could create thousands of jobs and lift APEC’s real GDP by US$21 billion a year.

“Adopting a holistic approach to supply chains is essential to the smooth flow of goods, services and business people in this increasingly globalised world,” he said.

The three Australian-led initiatives form part of the Supply Chain Connectivity Framework adopted by APEC Leaders in November 2009.

The projects will commence next year and be completed in 2012.

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