TEXT OF OECD NEWS RELEASE:
At the invitation of the Australian government, OECD Secretary-General
Donald J. Johnston will visit Canberra from 13 to 16 October
1999. He will meet Australian government ministers and senior
officials focusing on OECD activities for discussions on a range
of issues relevant to the Australian government's policy priorities.
Mr. Johnston's visit to Australia, his first since 1996, comes
against the background of Australia's continuing strong economic
performance, despite the negative repercussions of the crises
that have affected Asian and other financial markets in the last
two years. Australian economic policies, combining a stable macroeconomic
stance with on-going microeconomic reforms, have won good marks
in recent reports by OECD economists.
"Australia's policy settings and sound institutional
framework have enabled it to withstand the worst effects of the
Asian crisis, even though the Australian economy is substantially
integrated with Asia," Mr. Johnston commented. "Australia's
performance is an example for other countries, demonstrating
that it is possible to continue opening markets and benchmarking
performance against OECD best practice even in the face of severe
adverse external shocks."
Among various topics, Mr. Johnston will be discussing prospects
for a new round of multilateral trade negotiations and the OECD's
role in supporting those negotiations, notably in preparing analytical
and factual data of use to all parties in a new trade round.
He will also review the OECD's growing role in Asia, as well
as OECD projects in which the Australian government has a particular
interest, such as the OECD's Jobs Study, regulatory reform, corporate
governance, and the respective roles of government, the private
sector and the OECD in the management of new technologies such
as electronic commerce and biotechnology.
During his stay in Australia Mr Johnston will meet a broad
range of ministers and senior officials. These are expected to
include the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport,
Mr. John Anderson; the Treasurer, Mr. Peter Costello; the Minister
for Trade, Mr. Mark Vaile; the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Mr. Alexander Downer; the Minister for the Environment, Senator
Robert Hill; the Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations
and Small Business, Mr. Peter Reith; the Minister for Family
and Community Services, Senator Jocelyn Newman; the Minister
for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr. David Kemp; the
Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin;
and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, Mr. Ian Macfarlane.
FOR INTERVIEWS IN AUSTRALIA: Please contact Martin Quinn,
OECD Section DFAT - (02) 6261 2989 or 0416 261 009 (during visit