Communique – Third Meeting of the Ministerial Council on Trade and Investment

  • Communique
  1. Commonwealth, State and Territory Trade and Investment Ministers met on the lands of the Whadjuk Noongar people at the ANZAC Club in Perth, Western Australia, on 11 April 2024 for the third meeting of the Ministerial Council on Trade and Investment (the Council).
  2. Ministers affirmed their ongoing support of the Albanese Government's trade and investment diversification agenda, and the contribution it makes not only to Australia's prosperity, economic security and resilience, but also in addressing cost of living pressures.
  3. Ministers reinforced the importance of an open rules-based global trading system centred by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Ministers supported outcomes of the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in February 2024. They emphasised the importance of ongoing efforts to reform and strengthen the WTO.
  4. Ministers welcomed recent lifting of duties on Australian wine exports to China, as well as the range of other products that were subject to around $20 billion worth of trade impediments. Ministers acknowledged that these developments will open the door for Australian wine producers and traders to return to the market, and recognised the ongoing work to remove trade impediments affecting Australian live lobsters and meat processing facilities.
  5. Ministers commended the positive impact of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement since it entered into force on 31 May 2023, and welcomed the progress made by Australia and the UK in implementing the Agreement's provisions.
  6. Ministers affirmed their support to continue progressing negotiations for a Australia-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement; the Australia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement; and the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement.
  7. Ministers noted Australia will chair the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in 2025. Ministers support the progress made by the Commonwealth in the ongoing implementation of the CPTPP, as well as the accession of the United Kingdom to the Agreement. Ministers welcomed continued efforts in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to promote open markets for trade and investment in the region and support for the WTO.
  8. Ministers welcomed the ongoing roll out of initiatives flowing from Invested: Australia's Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040 especially those announced at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March 2024. The Council discussed cooperation on enhancing literacy on Southeast Asia in Australian business, government, the education and training system, and the community.
  9. Ministers reiterated their commitment to inclusive economic growth and ongoing importance of collaborating on First Nations economic uplift. Ministers welcomed recent initiatives to support First Nations business participation and access to key markets including support for business missions and economic dialogues with the United States, New Zealand and other economic partners. Ministers welcomed the read out from the Ambassador for First Nations People, Justin Mohamed on discussions with First Nations businesses to support implementation of Invested: Australia's Southeast Asia Economic Strategy to 2040.
  10. Ministers agreed to further build on their work for a coordinated national approach in advancing Australia's trade and investment priorities, an approach that includes support for:
    • critical minerals;
    • clean energy transition;
    • Australia's participation in Expo 2025 Osaka.
  11. Ministers agreed on coordinated national trade and investment initiatives, including:
    • a calendar of coordinated events in FY 2024-25 that embraces national principles underpinning trade promotion and investment attraction;
    • producing a national digital critical minerals prospectus to showcase investment opportunities in Australia's critical minerals sector in 2024;
    • a project to fill priority trade and investment data gaps to be completed in FY 2024-25, that will support a robust and comprehensive evidence base across jurisdictions to inform decisions on trade and investment services;
    • development of consistent environmental, social and governance (ESG) national messaging to support investment attraction to be agreed in 2024;
    • progress opportunities to improve Asia literacy, building on existing initiatives such as Asialink's National Centre for Asia Capability for Business program;
    • to progress work in partnership with the First Nations business sector on a Statement of Intent on how governments will work together to improve trade and investment outcomes for First Nations Australians to be agreed in 2024; and
    • in-principle agreement to include a First Nations Export Awards category in the Australian Export Awards commencing in 2025 following consultation with First Nations businesses.
  12. The Council's site visit to the Western Trade Coast showcased how government and business are working together to build an industrial and innovation eco-system that is supporting many sectors and industries, including energy, mining and resources, defence, marine maintenance and shipbuilding, and advanced manufacturing.
  13. Ministers looked forward to meeting in the second half of 2024 to review priorities and progress on the Council's workplan and initiatives to support Australia's inclusive economic growth agenda and trade diversification opportunities for Australian business and the broader community.

Ministerial attendees:

  • Australian Government (Chair) Senator the Hon Don Farrell, Minister for Trade and Tourism and Special Minister of State
  • Western Australia (Co-host): the Hon Stephen Noel Dawson MLC; Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and the Digital Economy; Science; Medical Research; Minister Assisting the Minister for State and Industry Development, Jobs and Trade
  • Australian Capital Territory: Mr Andrew Barr MLA, Chief Minister; Treasurer; Minister for Climate Action; Minister for Trade, Investment and Economic Development; and Minister for Tourism
  • New South Wales: the Hon Anoulack Chanthivong, Minister for Industry and Trade; Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading; Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology; Minister for Building; and Minister for Corrections
  • Queensland: the Hon Cameron Dick MP, Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
  • Victoria: the Hon Tim Pallas MP, Treasurer, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Economic Growth
  • Northern Territory: Mr Luis Da Rocha, General Manager, Strategy and Policy, Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade attended on behalf of the Hon Eva Lawler, Chief Minister; Treasurer; Minister for Territory Development; Minister for Defence Industries; Minister for Industry and Trade; and Minister for Major Projects
  • South Australia: Mr David Reynolds PSM, Chief Executive, Department for Trade and Investment attended on behalf of the Hon Nick Champion MP, Minister for Trade and Investment; Minister for Housing and Urban Development; and Minister for Planning
  • Tasmania: Ms Jenna Cairney, Acting Deputy Secretary, Business and Jobs, Department of State Growth attended on behalf of the Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP, Premier; Minister for Trade and Major Investment; and Minister for Tourism and Hospitality

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