Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb will visit North Asia between 4–12 April to advance Australia’s trade ties with Japan, sign a free trade agreement with Korea and to lead a 600-strong trade mission to China.

“This visit represents an important moment in Australia’s engagement with the dynamic economies of Asia, including three of our biggest trading partners,” Mr Robb said.

“In Japan over the weekend my focus is to continue working towards a conclusion of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations which are well advanced but have reached a difficult stage.”

In Seoul, Mr Robb will join the Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his meeting with President Park Geun-hye and is expected to sign the Korea Australia Free Trade Agreement with Yoon Sang-jick, Korea’s Minister for Trade, Industry and Energy.

“The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) is a very high quality agreement that will deliver substantial economic benefits to Australia,” he said.

Mr Robb will then visit China where he will lead our biggest ever trade mission, involving more than 600 delegates and 80 events across the cities of Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. The mission coincides with Australia Week in China from 8-11 April.

“The mission is focussed on advancing Australia’s strengths, the things we do as well as anybody and better than most, including resources and energy, agribusiness, tourism and events management, education, financial services, building services and health services,” he said.

The trade mission coincides with a separate CEO-level trade delegation led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who will also be visiting Tokyo, Seoul and then China.

“Events, including investment forums, seminars, showcases, site visits and major networking opportunities are centred on our key areas of strength.  Hundreds of Australian delegates from businesses of all sizes will hopefully meet future business partners and assess market opportunities in the world’s second largest economy,” Mr Robb said.

While in Chengdu, Mr Robb will witness a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Australia Sichuan Trade and Investment Roundtable that will strengthen commercial engagement between the two nations.

He will also participate in several events with the business communities of both nations, including the opening of an ANZ branch and an investment roundtable for CEOs in Shanghai.

“The China leg of my visit will be an invaluable introduction to China for many of the business people joining me and I look forward to engaging with them and their Chinese counterparts,” Mr Robb said.

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