Trade Minister in Surabaya for APEC talks

Media release

19 April 2013

Trade Minister Craig Emerson arrives in Indonesia today for the 19th annual Trade Ministers' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Surabaya.

APEC's 21 economies account for 56 per cent of the world's GDP, 44 per cent of world trade and more than 70 per cent of Australia's trade in goods and services.

This weekend's ministerial meeting will address progress on regional integration - including cooperation in education, infrastructure and financial markets - and global economic challenges.

Dr Emerson will also use the visit for a series of one-on-one meetings with APEC ministers to urge further engagement on the stalled World Trade Organization negotiations on trade liberalisation.

The focus will be on areas where agreement is achievable, including trade facilitation, which is the removal of bureaucratic and infrastructural barriers to the movement of goods between countries.

Australia and China have been asked by WTO members to chair a meeting to accelerate these negotiations later this month.

WTO members meet in Bali in December for this year's Ministerial Conference.

While in Surabaya, Dr Emerson will also meet counterparts negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves 11 countries from around the Asia-Pacific.

"Australia's future prosperity depends largely on strengthening trade and investment ties with the Asian region," Dr Emerson said.

"This is all clearly laid out in the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.

"Having some of our closest trading partners together in one place provides an ideal opportunity to push for reforms that streamline doing business in the region."

Media enquiries

  • Minister's Office: (02) 6277 4330
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555