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Wednesday, 17 November 1976
Page: 2836

Mr O'Keefe (PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Overseas Trade, upon notice:

(   1 ) How many Trade Commissioners has Australia spread throughout the world.

(2)   In what countries are these Commissioners situated, and what authority have they to negotiate sales of products of Australian primary and secondary industries.

(3)   Do these Trade Commissioners make a valuable contribution to the development of Australia 's trade.

Mr Howard -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   There are 160 Trade Commissioners and Assistant Trade Commissioners of whom 124 are located at overseas posts.

(2)   Trade Commissioners are situated in the following countries and cities:

Arab Republic of Egypt (Cairo), Republic of the Argentine (Buenos Aires), Republic of Austria (Vienna), Bahrain, Belgium- Mission to the European Economic Community (Brussels), United States of Brazil (Sao Paulo), Britain (London and Manchester), Canada (Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver), People's Republic of China (Peking), Fiji (Suva), Republic of France (Paris), German Democratic Republic (Berlin), Federal Republic of Germany (Bonn and Hamburg), Hellenic Republic (Athens), Hong Kong, India (New Delhi), Republic of Indonesia (Jakarta), Iran (Tehran), Iraq (Baghdad), Israel (Tel Aviv), Republic of Italy (Rome and Milan), Japan (Tokyo and Osaka), Kenya (Nairobi), Republic of Korea (Seoul), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Republic of Mexico (Mexico City), Kingdom ofthe Netherlands (The Hague), New Zealand (Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch), Nigeria (Lagos), Pakistan (Karachi), Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby), Peru (Lima), Republic of the Philippines (Manila), Poland (Warsaw), Saudi Arabia (Jeddah), Singapore, Republic of South Africa (Johannesburg), Spain (Madrid), Sweden (Stockholm), Switzerland (Berne and Geneva), Thailand (Bangkok), Trinidad and Tobago (Port of Spain), Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Moscow), United States of America (Washington, New York, Chicago and San Francisco), Yugoslavia (Belgrade).

The essential role of Trade Commissioners is to provide the commercial intelligence required by Australian exporters to enable them to exploit commercial opportunities in overseas markets in the manner most suited to their needs. Trade Commissioners also service the needs of associated departments and government agencies, including the Departments of National Resources, Primary Industry and Industry and Commerce, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation and statutory marketing authorities. Trade Commissioners are not authorised to negotiate sales of products. However, they are frequently involved in trade discussions which lead to sales by Australian exporters and marketing boards.

(3)   The Australian Trade Commissioner Service is highly regarded by the Australian business community. Trade Commissioners undoubtedly have made and will continue to make a valuable contribution to the development of Australia's trade.

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