Joint Media release
Joint Media release

Joint Media Release

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer and the Minister for Trade Mark Vaile

9 June 2004

Australia Supports Developing Countries in the WTO

We have today announced that Australia will contribute $500,000 to the World Trade Organisation's Global Trust Fund to support developing country WTO members and observers participate in the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.

Australia is committed to trade liberalisation as a means of helping developing countries achieve sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. Opening up global trade, particularly in agriculture, provides developing countries with greater access to income from exports and can result in less distorted, more efficient markets.

Australia's contribution to the Global Trust Fund is further proof of our commitment to assist developing countries benefit from multilateral trade negotiations.

Through the Global Trust Fund, which provides trade-related technical assistance and capacity building, Australia makes a targeted and practical contribution to developing country WTO members involved in multilateral trade negotiations. The extensive range of activities delivered under the WTO technical assistance program are based on specific requests by members and acceding countries and are tailored to meet the individual needs of the recipient country.

This current contribution will bring Australia's total assistance to the Global Trust Fund to over $1.4 million since its establishment in 2002.

The Australia Government, through the development cooperation program, will provide over $30 million in 2004-05 towards trade-related assistance, including support to the Global Trust Fund. Other support includes:

  • technical assistance to countries such as Cambodia, China and Vietnam to help develop domestic regulations that comply with WTO rules;
  • strengthening quarantine and customs procedures in the region, including in Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Indonesia and Kiribati, to help facilitate regional trade requirements; and
  • reform assistance to the business sector in Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Island Countries to encourage greater private sector investment and promote confidence in regional markets.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Mr Downer's office) 02 6277 7500 -   Matthew Doman (Mr Vaile's office)  02 6277 7420