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JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE Trade Subcommittee
21/05/2009
Australia's trade and investment relations with Asia, the Pacific and Latin America
JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DEFENCE AND TRADE Trade Subcommittee
Joint committee
Thursday, 21 May 2009
Australia's trade and investment relations with Asia, the Pacific and Latin America
Final

ACTING CHAIR (Senator Forshaw) —I declare open this public hearing of the Trade Subcommittee of the Joint Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. I am the chair of the overall committee and David Hawker is the deputy chair. Unfortunately, the chair of our subcommittee, Janelle Saffin, is unable to be here and I want to put on the record that she apologises. Her electorate is potentially suffering the effects of heavy rains and floods in northern New South Wales and Queensland, so she was not able to get down. I understand that a couple of our other colleagues have also been delayed through travel difficulties today.

The inquiry is into the trade and investment relations with the nations of Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. This is the fifth public hearing of the inquiry. Today we will be taking evidence from a number of witnesses closely involved with Australia’s international trade. This morning we had the opportunity to visit the port of Melbourne. That was very worthwhile for the committee. The aim of the inquiry is to recommend to the government ways of widening and improving our trade and investment relations with the countries being considered. We look forward to encouraging more firms into the international trade soon and to promote wider business contacts with our trading partners.

I welcome all the witnesses today. I also just point out to witnesses and the media that there are rules regarding the conduct of proceedings of the subcommittee, as governed by the standing orders.

[2.05pm]