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Coal exports to Germany set to increase.

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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media release

Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile

Friday, 28 September 2001 / MVT137/2001

Coal Exports to Germany Set to Increase

The Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, has predicted that Australia’s coal exports to Germany look set to boom.

Mr Vaile made the prediction after the conclusion of the successful EU-Australia Coal Conference held in Aachen, Germany, on 24-25 September.

“The conference identified key new opportunities for Australia to expand exports of coal to Germany, and elsewhere in Europe,” Mr Vaile said.

“The Aachen meeting also considered plans for new European investments in the Australian coal mining industry, building on the substantial gains in productivity and profitability achieved in Australia over the past few years.

“Coal is Australia’s most valuable export.  Australian coal exports this year are expected to exceed 200 million tonnes and to be worth more than $10 billion. The conference demonstrates the enormous importance of exports of coal, as an economical and reliable source of future energy, to Australia’s future.”

A key outcome from the conference was an agreement between the German State of North Rhine Westphalia and the Australian States of Queensland and New South Wales to expand their coal research exchanges.

“This work is especially important to the refinement of technologies for clean coal production, in which Australia is making a world-class contribution,” Mr Vaile said.

The political commitment by those three governments is outlined in the Aachen Declaration.

The EU countries currently take 15% of Australia’s coal exports.  Exports to Germany amounted to 2.7 million tonnes in 2000.

Further information about the conference can be found on the website



The government of the German Land of North Rhine Westphalia and the governments of the Australian

States of Queensland and New South Wales today agreed to strengthen trade linkages in their coal industries.  Coal production, research and trade will be the focus of this new commitment.

The three governments will expand cooperation to open up opportunities for industries and businesses, and to facilitate commercial and business exchanges.

This commitment followed on from the success of the EU-Australia coal conference in Aachen on 24-25 September.  The conference attracted 270 delegates, including representatives of the major companies engaged in the coal trade in both Australia and Germany.  In addition, sizeable delegations from Poland and the Czech Republic attended the conference.

The Aachen conference identified an agenda for future work together.  This Aachen declaration confirms the political commitment on the part of North Rhine Westphalia, Queensland and New South Wales to develop all the areas of work in that agenda.

The three governments undertook to encourage industry to develop coal trade between Australia and Germany as a means of ensuring reliable, economical, long-term supplies of energy for German industry and consumers.  The three governments urged their businesses actively to consider new investments in the Australian coal industry, in order to increase both the production and the productivity of Australian mines.

Those new investment opportunities reflect agreed judgments by the three governments about the great importance of coal, now and in the future, as an essential component in Europe’s overall energy mix and as an indispensable part of Australia’s energy exports.  Those judgments now need to be backed up by the commercial interests, and judgments, of the industries in Australia and Germany.

Expansion of trade, and consideration of investment plans, will be supplemented by a wider program of collaborative work between businesses and governments in North Rhine Westphalia, Queensland and New South Wales.  Sales of mining equipment were highlighted as a particular priority.

The three governments agreed to share information, experience and expertise relevant to the environmental effects of coal mining and burning.  The highest priority in this field will be further work on additional refinements to clean coal technologies.  Active support and assistance from industry will be crucial in this regard.

Exchanges of business delegations and of technical experts will be arranged, as will working visits between Australia and Germany, and reciprocal engagement in conferences and workshops in the two countries.

The basis of the co-operative research program, as with the expansion in coal trade and investment, will be a new partnership between business, industry and government in the German Land and  the two Australian States. The proofs of that partnership will be evident in the form of expanded trade, increased investment, enhanced technical and technological co-operation, and a stable, reliable long-term relationship in energy supply.

Aachen, 25th September, 2001

Ernst Schwanhold Minister for Economics and SMEs, Energy and Transport of the

Federal State of North Rhine Westphalia

The Hon. Robert Carr M.P.| Premier of New South Wales

The Hon. Terry Mackenroth M.P. Deputy Premier and Treasurer of Queensland

Contact James Baker 02 6277 7420

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