The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Annual Report for 2012-13 was tabled in Parliament. The Annual Report serves to inform Parliament, other stakeholders, educational institutions, the media and general public about the performance of the department across the range of its responsibilities over the last year.
The DFAT-led Provincial Reconstruction Team successfully concludes its mission in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, on 31 October. Australia’s work has led to demonstrable improvements in security, development and governance capacity in Uruzgan.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb is visiting the United States. While in Washington, Mr Robb will participate in the Global Services Summit and meet senior US Administration and Congressional figures to discuss the progress being made in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Trade in Services Agreement and the World Trade Organization.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter have announced the establishment of a Strategic Dialogue between the two countries. The new partnership will involve regular meetings at both the ministerial and senior official level to strengthen cooperation on global security and economic issues, foster two-way trade and investment, and increase people-to-people links.
Media release: Australia and Switzerland strengthen ties
Schoolies and Leavers planning to travel overseas are urged to consult the Smartraveller website for the right advice on staying safe during this year's celebrations. Information is available on the 'Young Travellers' page.
’Today I'd like to talk about a crucial element of Australian diplomacy: so-called public diplomacy which rests on notions of persuasion, attractiveness, and credibility: the key ingredients of soft power.“
Video: Secretary Varghese's speech
The New Colombo Plan is a signature initiative of the Australian Government which aims to lift knowledge of the Asia Pacific in Australia and strengthen our people-to-people and institutional relationships, through study and internships undertaken by Australian undergraduate students in the region. An internship component is a hallmark of the New Colombo Plan.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will explore new areas for strategic and economic cooperation and promote the timely conclusion of two vital Free Trade Agreements during a visit to Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong from 14 to 20 October.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb is visiting Indonesia on his first overseas visit in his new role. As he commenced his visit, Mr Robb said he would focus on enhancing bilateral trade, building stronger business and investment links with Indonesia and deepening regional economic integration.