Supporting our commercial interests

Beyond getting the frameworks and rules right for business, we will revamp our economic diplomacy to ensure it is better geared to support Australia’s commercial interests. Drawing on the commercial expertise and informed by the priorities of Australian companies, our overseas network will advance our commercial interests in foreign markets, reinforcing high-level advocacy by Australian political and business leaders.

Our overseas posts exchange insights with business on foreign markets and global economic conditions. They help Australian companies to navigate political and other risks and to identify commercial opportunities in unfamiliar business and regulatory environments. In partnership with business, we work to influence the policies of foreign governments to support our economic interests.

We also assist Australian businesses to tackle non-tariff measures that often impede our exports. These can include regulatory barriers, standards-related measures, or labelling and customs measures. This work builds on and complements our efforts in the WTO and through our FTAs to open markets and facilitate trade. We will continue to work closely with business using the expertise and networks of all relevant government agencies to prosecute this agenda. The Government will implement a new non-tariff measures strategy to respond to business concerns.

Our commercial diplomacy will focus strongly on promoting Australia as an attractive place to visit, study and invest. The Government emphasises five priority sectors for inbound investment as agreed with state and territory governments: agribusiness and food; major infrastructure; tourism infrastructure; resources and energy; and advanced manufacturing, services and technology. We will also focus on reducing or removing barriers that affect Australia’s export interests.

More broadly, the Government will continue to assist Australian businesses, including our more than 45,000 small to medium sized enterprises, to access international markets. Austrade provides a range of support, from business introductions to market information. The Australian Government’s export credit agency, EFIC, assists firms to secure finance for export and to invest overseas.

The Government is also partnering with the private sector to build the capability of Australian business to successfully engage in Asian markets, including through the Asialink Business and Asialink Leaders programs.

The Government helps Australian companies export in other ways. For example, we are modernising rules for exporting agricultural produce to make compliance easier, including to meet requirements for overseas markets. We recently expanded the number of agricultural counsellors overseas who provide in-market support and help solve regulatory issues affecting Australian exports.