Services key focus of Trade and Investment Minister Robb's US visit

Media release

28 October 2013

The enormous opportunities for Australia's world-class services sector over coming years will be a focus of a visit to the United States this week by Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.

The Minister will participate in the Global Services Summit in Washington DC on 30 October where he will provide the Australian Government's perspective on the importance of services trade to our economy.

"Australia has an enviable reputation across a broad array of services and this presents boundless opportunities in the years ahead for our country in helping to cater for growing global demand," Mr Robb said.

The services sector is a critical part of our economy and represents about 70 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) and employs four out of five Australians.

The Minister will also provide an update on the progress being made in the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

"There are literally dozens of key areas in which Australian businesses specialise in delivering innovative and high quality services. These span across mining and resources, energy, agriculture, education, healthcare and medical research, finance and banking, tourism and events management, construction and project management and the list goes on."

"Australia is playing a leading role with the US in driving the TiSA negotiations which aim to achieve strong outcomes on market access commitments as well as new trade rules to address behind-the-border barriers to trade in services," Mr Robb said.

"It is important the US and Australia continue to work together to maintain momentum and ambition in the TiSA negotiations."

While in Washington, Mr Robb will promote bilateral trade and investment priorities and meet senior US Administration and Congressional figures to discuss TPP, TiSA and the World Trade Organization.

"I will be holding introductory meetings with senior Obama Administration officials and key Congressional and business figures where I will register Australia's views on key multilateral, regional and bilateral trade and investment issues," Mr Robb said. "I will convey the message that Australia is open for business."

"The United States is our key economic partner with two-way investment exceeding A$1 trillion in 2012.

"Australia recognises the importance of a successful TPP in further strengthening this partnership and I will be discussing with my US counterpart, Ambassador Mike Froman, the need to achieve a comprehensive and ambitious TPP by the end of this year."

Mr Robb will also discuss ongoing negotiations in the World Trade Organization, where a package of outcomes on trade facilitation, agriculture and development is being considered.

"My visit to Washington comes at an important time in the lead-up to the WTO Ministerial Conference in December where Ministers will need to take steps to strengthen the multilateral trading system," Mr Robb said.

Media enquiries

  • Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
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