Row of speakers standing on stage.

About 1,500 delegates gathered at the World Trade Organization in Geneva for the Sixth Global Aid for Trade Review. This event looks at progress that the world is making to improve the lives of poor people by helping them to trade.

Over the past decade, science, technology and innovation have become increasingly important to Australia’s foreign policy, and the foreign policies of our major trading partners.

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DFAT has launched a series of internal seminars entitled Business Envoy to better understand the goals and pressures faced by Australia’s private sector.

Keith Pitt speaking from a podium.

As I’ve travelled across the country presenting at the free FTA seminars, from Kununurra to Coffs Harbour, Hobart to Darwin, and Mackay to Murray Bridge, it’s been really pleasing to meet Aussie business people taking advantage of our FTAs.

While fresh and enticing seafood may spring to mind when thinking about the Pacific, what many people may not realise is the extensive efforts that are being undertaken to help ensure the sustainability of fish stocks.

It is the opportunities from Peru’s economic growth that we are trying to tap into with the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA).  We want to improve Australia’s competitive position in the Peruvian market. We want to create a higher level of legal certainty for Australians trading with and investing in Peru.  And we hope the Peru-Australia FTA will have a head-turning effect to encourage even closer ties between us.  All of that builds business links, and that means increased investment and employment.

Among the many revealing results in the recent Lowy Institute Poll was that 86 per cent of Australians trust Japan ‘to act responsibly in the world’, equal to trust in Germany and second only to confidence in the UK (90 per cent).