Emerson to promote Asian Century White Paper

Media release

18 November 2012

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy, Craig Emerson, travels to Phnom Penh today, where he will brief counterparts from the Asia-Pacific region on the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.

The visit to Cambodia by Dr Emerson, who is also Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, coincides with the East Asian Summit (EAS), which brings together leaders from across Asia and the Pacific.

Dr Emerson is scheduled to discuss Australia's White Paper ambitions with counterparts including from Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia and the United States.

"Closer economic integration and friendship with our Asian partners promises more and better jobs for Australians and wonderful career paths for our young people," Dr Emerson said.

"I'm looking forward to discussing the vision of the White Paper, and spelling out to my counterparts some of the initiatives flowing from it."

These initiatives include expanding Austrade's presence in the region and providing more help to small and medium-sized exporters looking to break into emerging and frontier markets in Asia.

Dr Emerson will also discuss the Gillard Government's plans to increase Asian language teaching in Australian schools and to provide 12,000 Asian Century Scholarships to promote study in our universities.

"The release of the White Paper has sparked a national debate about what Australia must do to broaden its engagement with Asia," Dr Emerson said.

"I'm now keen to directly involve our regional partners in the implementation of the White Paper's strategies and initiatives."

While in Phnom Penh, Dr Emerson will also attend the launch of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations by Prime Minister Gillard and other leaders.

RCEP is a regional free trade agreement proposed by the Association of South-East Asian Nations, and includes Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.

There will also be talks on progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement involving an expanding number of Asian and Pacific economies.

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