Today I attended in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing.

China explained further its Belt and Road Initiative under which it says will invest up to US$150 billion along the Belt and Road over the next five years. Participants had productive discussions on planned activities along the Belt and Road and how they should be delivered.

Australia supports initiatives which improve infrastructure development and increase trade and investment opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Among the sessions I attended included a panel on trade connectivity where I participated in a discussion on energising investment, stressing the gains from open markets.

The benefits of infrastructure investment and connectivity across the region are maximised when a transparent, collaborative and planned approach is followed. This requires a level playing field based on market principles and adherence to international best practice in financing.

Australian companies have the expertise and experience to contribute to Belt and Road infrastructure projects. Open bidding processes will lead to better outcomes for all countries.

Australia supported the "Initiative on Promoting Unimpeded Trade Cooperation along the Belt and Road" statement issued at the end of the trade session.

The statement aligns with Australia's position on resisting protectionism and increasing trade liberalisation.

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