In an era of unparalleled globalisation, interconnectedness and standardisation of regulations and policies, it has never been more important to Australian businesses to understand and engage with policies and trends internationally, and that the world hears and heeds the ideas, perspectives and experiences of Australian business.

The Australian Chamber links our members, and the hundreds of thousands of individual businesses throughout Australia, to the world through our unique membership of the world’s leading business organisations:

  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
  • International Organisation of Employers (IOE)
  • Business at OECD (BIAC)
  • Confederation of Asia- Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CACCI)
  • Confederation of Asia Pacific Employers (CAPE)

Australia’s commercial and economic interests, and those of the world economy, are best served by a free system of global trade, capital, investment and information. Our commercial and economic prospects are critically dependent on broader and deeper involvement in global affairs, with business and government working cooperatively, where appropriate, to advance our national interests.

Trade and international affairs policy embraces trade, investment and information exchanges, foreign and strategic policy, transport and migration.

Too often trade and international affairs can be seen through the narrow interests of market access to foreign countries, but trade policy isn’t just about selling things. It is also about international competition to encourage domestic reforms and drive business growth and productivity. This is what sustains and creates jobs for all Australians.

Our policy objectives are to:

  • Strengthen Australia’s representation in key international forums whose activities and programs affect Australia’s interests in global trade and commerce.
  • Advance and defend the interests of Australian business in the negotiation of key international treaties and their implementation in domestic legislation.
  • Promote a comprehensive round of multilateral trade negotiations.
  • Promote outcomes of benefit to business from the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) and Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
  • Work with the Australian Government to improve bilateral market access in key overseas markets.
  • Influence the Australian Government and international business groups when they negotiate treaties of importance to commerce and industry.

Our Policy Principles:

  • Unilaterally eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade and investment.
  • Continue efforts in the World Trade Organization to progress trade and investment liberalisation at “critical mass” scale.
  • Seek plurilateral liberalisation as “stepping stones” towards a complete World Trade Organization outcome. However, such an approach needs to:
    – Align to World Trade Organization rules and processes;
    – Align with international treaties Australia has signed such as the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (revised Kyoto Convention);
    – Include business in the negotiation process; and
    – Be cautious of conflicting compliance arrangements caused by overlapping and competing trade agreements.
  • Prosecute the development of a Free Trade Area of the Indian Ocean to match our Pacific regional interests.

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