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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 May 1995) . . Page.. 575 ..


The Industry, Technology and Regional Development Ministerial Council meeting not only facilitates discussion and cooperation among governments but also provides an ideal opportunity for the host government to highlight what its State or Territory has to offer. I am pleased to announce that Canberra will host the next Industry, Technology and Regional Development Ministerial Council meeting, which is expected to be held in October this year. Many of the programs and initiatives discussed at this forum are aimed at assisting Australian businesses to become more internationally competitive, and it is important for the economic wellbeing of the ACT to have internationally competitive industry.

International competitiveness was also the theme of the second ministerial forum at which I represented the ACT Government. The aptly named ministerial meeting - Team Australia - addresses Australia's trade policy framework, our market priorities and international competitiveness issues. At this forum, Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers agreed that, as Australia continues its major transformation to an open, outward looking economy, it will be critical to improve our international competitiveness. A key task for all governments is to create the optimum conditions in Australia and offshore for Australian firms to operate globally. It was recognised that a cooperative approach to trade activities can provide positive outcomes for Australian companies. The recent coordination at several major trade and promotional events is a tangible example. Those ACT communication and information technology companies which participated at CeBIT’95 in Hanover can attest to this.

I have proposed a similar approach for Australia's participation in Globe 96, which is an international environmental industries trade fair. The ACT has a number of world-class companies in the environmental management field. For small companies, individual participation in international trade fairs is often out of the question. However, these trade fairs provide a valuable means for these companies to become known, to negotiate sales, to export and to expand. I am pleased to say that Ministers at the Team Australia forum were generally supportive of my proposal and have undertaken to examine it in the context of their individual trade priorities. I hope to be able to announce in the near future that the Commonwealth and State governments are prepared to participate in Globe 96 and that we will adopt a united and coordinated marketing approach to this project.

The Business, Employment and Tourism Bureau will be identifying and liaising with ACT companies which may be interested in participating in Globe 96, in a similar manner to the facilitation role that they played in assisting Canberra companies to participate in CeBIT. On that point, I must congratulate the Follett Labor Government for involving itself in the CeBIT exercise, which was a very successful one for all concerned. Mr Speaker, ACT enterprises interested in participating in Globe 96 will no doubt include ACTEW, a leading member of AUSTEMEX. AUSTEMEX, as you may know, is a consortium of 42 Australian companies involved in the export of environmental management skills, technology and systems. In addition to ACT companies, I understand that a number of environmental management companies from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland have also expressed an interest in participating.


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