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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1184

(Question No. 1606)


Senator Macklin asked the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce, upon notice, on 18 February 1987:

(1) Can the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce inform the Senate of the number of trips he has made to Japan since March 1983.

(2) Can the Minister advise the number of Japanese investment missions which have visited Australia during this period and which the Government feels it played a major role in organising or facilitating.

(3) How many investment contracts have actually been signed by the Japanese, as a consequence of these contacts and visits, and when were they signed, what were their value, what did they involve and which Japanese and Australian companies were involved.


Senator Button —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) I have made three trips to Japan since March 1983. These took place in May 1984, June 1985 and November 1986. The purpose of my trip in May 1984 was to have discussions with senior Japanese Government and business representatives on industry policy issues, including the introduction of the new motor vehicle plan. In June 1985 I attended the Australia-Japan Ministerial Committee Meeting in Tokyo and in November 1986 I led an Australian investment mission to Japan.

(2) The only Japanese mission to examine general investment prospects in Australia since March 1983 which the Government has played a major role in organising and facilitating was the MITI-sponsored Japanese Investment Survey Mission which visited Australia from 6-16 February 1987.

(3) The objective of the exchange of investment missions with Japan was to develop a much better understanding of investment opportunities in Australia and the substantial improvements that have occurred in the investment climate. The conclusion of specific agreements is, of course, a matter for individual commercial negotiations. These will take time, however, during the recent mission particular interest was expressed in the computer software, processed minerals, pulp and paper and automotive components sectors and proposals for investment or technological exchange in these areas are currently being examined by Japanese and Australian companies.