The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
FORMER MINISTER FOR TRADE

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Media release

Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile
Tuesday, 16 October 2001 / MVT146/2001

Paperless Trading Study Finds APEC Economies Will Save Billions

Paperless trading has the potential to generate substantial cost savings for business, Australian Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

Mr Vaile's comments followed the release of a study Paperless Trading: Benefits to APEC prepared by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.  The study found that the saving in transactions costs for APEC economies could be of the order of US$60 billion annually. 

The study follows agreement at the 1999 APEC Meetings in Auckland to reduce or eliminate where possible the need for paper-based documents in international trade by 2005 for developed economies and 2010 for developing economies.

"The study shows that the paperless trading initiative will bring gains to most exporters but are expected to be highest for smaller shipments of perishable products, which should be of great benefit to Australian agricultural exporters.

"Currently, processing time for the average international transaction, including obtaining the necessary permits, can take weeks and involve as many as 30 different parties, 40 documents and 200 data elements, 30 of which are repeated at least 30 times.

"Paperless trading allows internet-based technologies to be applied to the processing of paperwork for international trade required by governments.  Australia is committed to removing the mandated requirement for the trading community to use paper-based documents in dealings with government services such as customs, quarantine and transport regulators," said Mr Vaile.

Copies of the publication are available from the DFAT Market Information and Analysis Unit on Tel (02) 6261 3114, Fax (02) 6261 3321 or email jane.monico@dfat.gov.au.  

The report is also available for free download on the DFAT website at http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/paperless/index.html.


Contact:  James Baker (Ministerial) 02 6277 7420 / Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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