Australia to help boost digital trade in the Indo-Pacific

The Morrison Government has today launched a new $4.5million program to help developing countries in the Indo-Pacific maximise thebenefits of digital trade.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment SimonBirmingham said the 'E-commerce Aid for Trade Fund' would have a major focus onbuilding e-commerce capacity and capability across the Indo-Pacific, includingwithin the ASEAN region.

"Digital trade is an increasingly important way forour region to connect and do business with the rest of the world," MinisterBirmingham said.

"This Fund is about providing innovative businessesand Governments within the region with assistance so they can build theirdigital capabilities enabling them to operate across borders and access newmarkets.

"It builds on our ongoing commitment to help boostthe economic development of individual countries in the Indo-Pacific, whichbenefits Australia and helps contribute to an economically stronger and moresecure region.

"Whether it be a grant for digital skills developmentor support to develop data storage solutions, our government is committed tosupporting developing countries in our region get ahead and export more oftheir goods to the world.

"It follows our recent efforts that will see 76 WorldTrade Organization members, representing 90 per cent of global trade, commencenegotiations on new international rules for digital trade which will presentnew opportunities for businesses within Australia and the wider region."

Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said theFund would build on the Morrison Government's broader economic developmentprograms and ICT infrastructure investments in the Indo-Pacific.
"Digital trade has the potential to dramaticallyincrease economic development and prosperity within the region and that's whywe're backing developing countries in our region who want to build theire-commerce capabilities," Minister Payne said.

"This initiative underlines our Government's strongcommitment to infrastructure development in the region so countries arewell-equipped to leverage off the huge potential benefits of digital trade."

Through the E-commerce Aid for Trade Fund, grants ofup to $500,000 will be open to the public and private sectors with localsolutions for stimulating e-commerce activity.

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