The CPTPP (also known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) is an historic and ambitious agreement. It is a regional free trade agreement with a membership that includes some of our most important trading partners from the dynamic Indo-Pacific region.

Here are five reasons why the CPTPP is a good deal for Australia.

The Papua New Guinea that the world will see during APEC Leaders Week is a country ready to embrace the future and everything it has to offer. A country defined by its people – friendly and warm; hardworking and ambitious; always ready with a helping hand. Australia is proud to continue to work with Papua New Guinea during this important historical event, and beyond.  We know our future together will be as rich and meaningful as our history.

2017 was a milestone year for Australian business engagement in ASEAN. In ASEAN’s 50th anniversary year, two Australian business chambers were established with a regional focus, reflecting the increased recognition in business circles of the exciting opportunities in ASEAN.

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.

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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.

On a rainy day in May, a delegation of Latin American Ministers, diplomats and journalists exchanged the cool climes of Perth’s CBD for the expansive, blue skies and iconic red dirt of the Pilbara region. The new WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston MLA, joined them, as did our Ambassadors to Latin America and DFAT officers from Canberra and the WA State Office.

Australia is perfectly situated geographically, institutionally and linguistically, to service PNG’s emerging economy. The Australian Government’s decision to establish a Consulate-General in Lae recognises this and will support trade and investment links to the benefit of both Australia and PNG.

If my four years in Singapore, on top of more than three decades in the wider Australian foreign service, has convinced me of one thing, it is this: that the rise of the economies of Asia is the dynamic of our time. Australia stands to secure great benefit from these dynamics – if we play it right.

Our economy is growing and living standards rising as we engage with the world through trade.