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Hill visits Taiwan for security and economics conference



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MEDIA RELEASE

SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Wednesday, January 13 04/93

HILL VISITS TAIWAN FOR SECURITY AND ECONOMICS CONFERENCE

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, left for Taiwan today for talks on economic issues and security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Senator Hill will tomorrow address an international academic symposium on regional security and economic co-operation.

He will also have talks aimed at further reductions in Taiwan's economic protectionism.

"The collapse of the old global political order in the post-Cold War era has given rise to a new volatility in world affairs, and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region," Senator Hill said.

"The continuing 'drawdown' of United States military forces and the relative reduction of its economic influence has added to regional unease and uncertainty about the future.

"Regional stability will be enhanced by maximising economic opportunity through reduced tariff and trade protection barriers.

"The Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum, of which both Taiwan and Australia are members, should concentrate on the reduction of regional protectionism. It is time for specific targets and a timetable for agreement.

"Taiwan's protective barriers, particularly in agriculture, remain high and are an obstacle to exports from Australia.

"This fact reinforces the need for a successful outcome to the Uruguay Round and Taiwan's application to join GATT, which should receive ongoing support from Australia.

"Taiwan has made great strides in democratising its political system and protecting basic freedoms. It has set an example for the region.

"With its enormous capital base it should now play a greater role in enhancing regional stability through the provision of foreign aid and investment.

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"The Federal Opposition has for the past four years been calling for an expansion in Australia's trade and investment with Taiwan.

"The Opposition still believes many opportunities are being lost, and my visit to Taiwan is another demonstration of the Opposition's intention in government to maximise Australia's economic opportunities in the region."

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Enquiries: Mark Batistich on (08) 237 7920