Australia Supports Indo-Pacific Trade

Ahead of the 13th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC13), the Australian Government has announced more than $20 million to support our region’s trade and development needs. The conference will be held from 26 to 29 February in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

A joint media release by Don Farrell (Trade and Tourism) and Penny Wong (Foreign Affairs) on 24 February 2024, reported that Australia would be working with Indo-Pacific partners to build resilience and grow their economies through trade enhances regional stability and prosperity.

A month ago, the two ministers jointly announced the appointment of Mr James Baxter as Australia’s next Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the WTO in Geneva. The WTO is an international forum where 164 Members determine global trade rules and agreements, as well as resolve trade disputes when they arise.

The additional funding is consistent with the priorities of Indo-Pacific countries, and will support:

  • capacity building in e-commerce and the digital economy
  • trade financing
  • enhancing intellectual property systems
  • and identifying ways trade can bolster national climate adaptation plans.

As part of this commitment, Australia will allocate $10.3 million to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Office in Geneva to support its engagement with the WTO. Additionally, ongoing support will be provided to Timor-Leste, assisting the country in meeting its obligations as a new member of the WTO.

Australia’s commitment comes on top of similar contributions from the UK, South Korea and Iceland to assist to help participants from least-developed countries (LDCs) take part in the WTO meetings.

Australia plays a leadership role in the WTO and is working to update the rules and reinvigorate the negotiating function to better respond to contemporary challenges in global trade.

Also see our recent related article, Revised Origin Rules for PACER Plus Members.

For more information about international trade and shipping, whether with the Indo-Pacific or other WTO partners, contact us here at Colless Young. As licensed Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders we offer correct, professional advice on all your transportation requirements. We are based in Brisbane and provide a complete range of logistics services, both airfreight and sea cargo, through all Australian ports and airports.