31 October, 2015
The Minister for Tourism and International Education and Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, Senator Richard Colbeck, today announced an increase in Australia's contribution to trade initiatives in the Pacific.
"I'm pleased to announce that Australia will increase its contribution to the Pacific Islands Trade and Invest Sydney Office to $2.5 million per annum. This is the trade, tourism and investment promotion agency of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat," Senator Colbeck said.
"A further $500,000 per annum will fund organisational improvements to the Pacific Islands Trade and Invest Network, which includes offices in Auckland, Beijing and Tokyo, and a representative in Geneva.
"Economic growth in the Pacific is underpinned by trade, tourism and investment - this increased support will assist countries increase their trade and tourism with Australia and attract Australian investment to the region.
This week Senator Colbeck represented Australia at the Trade Minister's Meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands, including engaging in discussions about progressing PACER Plus - a key trade agreement for the region.
"Talks on PACER Plus were successful and there is a strong feeling we can conclude by June 2016," Senator Colbeck said.
"Our increased support for Pacific Islands Trade and Invest will help Pacific island countries take full advantage of the opportunities offered under PACER Plus, which will usher in a new era of regional economic growth and integration as countries become more open for business."