Trade Minister Craig Emerson departs today for trade discussions with government ministers at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and with his counterpart in Malaysia.
“The Davos meeting comes as many economies are struggling to develop policies to remedy heavy indebtedness and high unemployment,” Dr Emerson said.
“This is an opportunity for Australia to continue with like-minded countries to fight rising international protectionist pressure that threatens global growth and to develop a new pathway for the Doha Round of global trade negotiations.”
Minister Emerson will use the forum to discuss the way forward in 2012 for the Doha Round, building on widespread support late last year at the G20, APEC and the Trade Ministers' meeting in Geneva for Australia's proposed new pathway to restart the stalled talks.
At the World Economic Forum, Dr Emerson has been invited to join WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk, EU Commissioner Karel DeGucht, India's Commerce and Trade Minister Anand Sharma and Indonesia's Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan as panellists in a session on the future of global trade.
The Minister will also hold separate meetings in the margins of the WEF with key ministers, including USTR Kirk; Minister Sharma; Minister Wirjawan; Korean Trade Minister Bark Tae-ho; and Swiss Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann; as well as with Pascal Lamy.
He will attend an informal meeting of trade ministers from 20 countries, including with like-minded countries committed to breaking the Doha impasse.
Dr Emerson will then travel to Kuala Lumpur, where he will co-chair the annual Australia-Malaysia Joint Trade Committee and meet with government and business officials.
The main purpose of the visit will be to advance negotiations for a possible Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
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