MEDIA RELEASE

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE
AUSTRALIA

D18

27 August 1999

DFAT leads the Australian Public Service onto the New Silk Road

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is trialing a new electronic commerce website where business clients can purchase and download key trade and other departmental publications online.

The site, called DFAT Publications Online, is the first time a Commonwealth Government department has established a fully enabled online facility.

DFAT has been taking a keen interest in electronic commerce developments. The Department recently published its widely acclaimed New Silk Road reports which alerted the Australian community to the policy challenges and opportunities that trading over the internet presents. The department's new electronic commerce facility is a logical next step.

DFAT Publications Online has been established to provide the Australian business community with easier access to the department's publications. It follows the Government's December 1997 Investing for Growth policy statement, to establish electronic payments as a normal means of Commonwealth payments by 2000, and to deliver all appropriate Commonwealth Government services over the internet by the year 2001.

DFAT Publications Online is a user friendly site where visitors can browse through a colour catalogue and purchase publications through a secure electronic commerce facility. The new service is aimed primarily at Australian business, particularly exporters and including those in rural and regional Australia, who will be interested to see how electronic commerce applications are developing and how trading over the internet might affect their business opportunities.

DFAT Publications Online can be accessed from the DFAT web site or visitors can go directly to:

http://publications.dfat.gov.au

Visitors can purchase DFAT's latest publications, including Foreign Direct Investment: the Benefits for Australia, TradeWinds, Asialine and key statistical bulletins. There are also many free publications available including the New Silk Road reports on electronic commerce

Media Inquiries: Tony Melville 02 6261 1555