Prime Minister arrives in Brussels for Australia’s first Asia-Europe meeting
MON 04 OCTOBER 2010
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, will be representing Australia at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels as part of her first international trip as Prime Minister.
ASEM brings together every two years the leaders from 46 countries in Asia and Europe - two regions of vital importance to Australia. 9 of Australia's top 10 trading partners are ASEM members.
This is the first time Australia has been invited to attend ASEM and will have a seat at the table where the leaders of many of the world's largest economies are discussing the global economy, trade and security.
Ms Gillard will deliver the first address at the opening dinner of the Summit. She will highlight the strength and resilience of the Australian economy and promote policies that will help ensure a sustainable global economic recovery. She will also highlight the benefits and urge an early conclusion of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations.
The Prime Minister will use her attendance at the summit to advance Australian economic and security interests, including trade with these major partners, which helps provide Australian jobs.
Trade forms a vital part of the Australian economy with potentially hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs depending on our ability to export goods and services to the world.
During the summit, the Prime Minister will outline for the world leaders the opportunities Australia presents as the Government invests heavily in infrastructure including the National Broadband Network.
In other ASEM sessions the Prime Minister will forge cooperative links with key Asian and European partners on important security issues for Australia, including people smuggling, counter-terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and piracy at sea.
The Prime Minister will hold a number of meetings with individual leaders of important partners for Australia on the sidelines of the ASEM Summit.
Securing Australia's membership of ASEM was a significant foreign policy achievement for the Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, and addressed a major deficiency in our regional and multilateral engagement with Europe and Asia.