House of Representatives Committees

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
Committee activities (inquiries and reports)

Expanding Australia ’s Trade and Investment Relations with North Africa

Print Preliminary Page (PDF 112KB) < - Report Home : Chapter 1 - >

May 2006
Canberra

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006
ISBN 0 642 78777 8 (printed version)
ISBN 0 642 78778 6 (HTML version)


Contents

Chair's foreword
Membership of the Committee
Membership of the Trade Sub-Committee
Terms of reference
List of abbreviations
List of recommendations

Chapter 1 Background to the inquiry
Chapter 2 The emerging economies of North Africa
Chapter 3 Australia’s trade and investment with the countries of North Africa
Chapter 4 Committee’s visit report
Chapter 5 Trade with North Africa: barriers and opportunities
Appendix A: List of submissions and exhibits
Appendix B: Witnesses appearing at public hearings
Appendix C: Trade Sub-Committee visit to North Africa November 2005
Appendix D – North Africa: visa applications, approvals and non-return
Appendix E - Visa processing times: Australian Embassy, Cairo

Chair’s foreword

In addition to holding public hearings and receiving submissions in pursuit of the committee’s reference on trade with North Africa, the Trade Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade visited five North African countries; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, to review trade and investment opportunities for Australian countries in person.

The committee also looked to see if there were any impediments to trade in this region, and what could be done to capitalise on the opportunities.

The visit to Tunis was by two of the members to attend the World Summit on the Information Society. The visits to the other countries consisted of a considerable number of appointments with senior Government figures, the Parliaments, importers, and Government agencies and departments, as summarised in Appendix C.

The contacts included meeting with the Prime Minister of Morocco and several senior ministers in each of the cities visited. In Morocco , Algeria and Libya there was considerable television and media coverage of our visit.

The response to the committee’s visit was positive and very encouraging. GDP growth is strong in all five countries and with the resource rich countries of Libya and Algeria , further strong growth based on escalating oil prices can be expected.

Each of the countries is going through some degree of market s liberalisation and reductions in taxes, tariffs, and the privatisation of companies could be seen across the board.

Major infrastructure projects for roads, ports, electricity, water supply, airports and agriculture represent opportunities for Australian companies.

Increased consumer demand also means further market potential for Australia , with the best being:

Iron ore production as well as aluminium smelting is also possible in Libya , with BHP Billiton interests and an Australian manganese smelter is being assessed as to its possibility in Egypt .

In summary the potential for Australia in North Africa is significant, both in terms of resources, but also because of the GDP growth rates of the big countries and the export potential to Europe where trade conventions with the EU exist.

In short, Australia should ensure that appropriate resources are allocated to these markets to ensure Australia ’s access and export growth.

  

Hon Bruce Baird , MP

Chair

Trade Sub-Committee

Membership of the Committee

Chair

Senator A B Ferguson

 

Deputy Chair

Hon G J Edwards, MP

 

Members

Senator the Hon N Bolkus - from 01/12/04 to 30/06/05

Senator C M Moore – from 23/06/05

 

Senator A Bartlett - from 9/12/05

Senator M A Payne

 

Senator G Campbell – from 23/06/05 to 28/11/05

Senator N Scullion – from 17/08/05

 

Senator P M Crossin - from 01 to 06/12/04 then from 28/11/05

Senator N Stott Despoja

 

Senator the Hon P Cook – from 06/12/04 to 30/06/05

Senator R S Webber - from 23/06/05

 

Senator A Eggleston

Hon B G Baird, MP

 

Senator B Harradine - from 01/12/04 to 30/06/05

Mr R C Baldwin , MP - from 01/12/04 to 26/05/05

 

Senator S Hutchins

Mr P A Barresi, MP

 

Senator D Johnston

Hon K C Beazley, MP - from 01/12/04 to 08/02/05

 

Senator L J Kirk

Mr M Danby, MP

 

Senator K Lundy - from 01/12/04 to 23/06/05

Mrs P Draper, MP

 

Senator J A L Macdonald - from 01/12/04 to 23/06/05

Mrs J Gash, MP

 

Mr S W Gibbons, MP

Hon W E Snowdon, MP

 

Mr B W Haase, MP

Dr A J Southcott, MP – from 9/02/06

 

Mr M J Hatton, MP - from 08/02/05

Mr C P Thompson, MP – from 26/05/05

 

Hon D F Jull, MP

Mr M B Turnbull, MP – to 9/2/06

 

Hon J E Moylan, MP

Ms M Vamvakinou, MP

 

Hon G D Prosser, MP

Mr B H Wakelin, MP

 

Hon B C Scott, MP

Mr K W Wilkie, MP

 

Mr R C G Sercombe, MP

 

Committee Secretariat

Chair

Hon B G Baird, MP

 

Deputy Chair

Hon W E Snowdon, MP

 

Members

Senator the Hon N Bolkus - to 30//6/05

Hon G J Edwards, MP (ex officio)

 

Senator A Bartlett - from 9/12/05

Mr S W Gibbons , MP –to 10/05

 

Senator the Hon P Cook –to 30/6/05

Mr B W Haase, MP

 

Senator A Eggleston

Mr M J Hatton, MP

 

Senator A B Ferguson (ex-officio)

Hon D F Jull, MP

 

Senator D Johnston

Hon J E Moylan, MP

 

Senator L J Kirk

Hon G D Prosser, MP

 

Senator K Lundy - to 23/06/05

Hon B C Scott, MP

 

Senator J A L Macdonald - to 23/6/05

Mr R C Sercombe, MP

 

Senator M A Payne

Dr A J Southcott, MP – from 9/2/06

 

Senator N G Scullion

Mr C P Thompson, MP

 

Mr R C Baldwin , MP - to 26/5/05

Mr M B Turnbull , MP -to 9/2/06

 

Mr P A Barresi, MP

Ms M Vamvakinou, MP

 

Mrs T Draper, MP

Mr B H Wakelin, MP

 

 

Mr K W Wilkie, MP

Sub-Committee secretariat

Secretary

Dr Margot Kerley

Secretary to the Sub-Committee

Dr Kate Burton (to 4 November 2005 )

Ms Sara Edson (from 7 November 2005 )

Dr Stephen Dyer (from 5 December 2005 )

Administrative Officer

Mrs Jessica Butler

 

 

Terms of reference

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade will examine and report on expanding Australia’s trade and investment relations with the countries of North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia), with particular reference to:

Referred by the Minister for Trade on 23 May 2005.

List of abbreviations

AACCI

Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry Ltd

Austrade

Australian Trade Commission

DAFF

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

DFAT

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

DIMIA

Department of Immigration and Multicultural and indigenous Affairs

EU

European Union

FTA

Free Trade Agreement

GDP

Gross Domestic Product

IMF

International Monetary Fund

JSCFADT

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

MFN

Most Favoured Nation

MOU

Memorandum of Understanding

OECD

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

TIFA

Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

List of recommendations

5 Trade with North Africa : barriers and opportunities

Recommendation 1

The committee recommends that the Australian Government should seek to improve access for Australian exports through negotiating lower tariffs on a bilateral basis, particularly in agribusiness.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that the Australian Government initiate or continue ministerial discussions with North African trading partners to address technical access issues, particularly harmonising customs and standards requirements.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that there should be closer focus given to expediting visa processing requirements for North African countries and that DIMIA:

Recommendation 4

The committee recommends that Austrade reconsider its organisational and representational arrangements for North Africa

Recommendation 5

The committee recommends that high priority be given to the establishment of a Trade Commissioner and Consul-General in Algiers.

Print Preliminary Page (PDF 112KB) < - Report Home : Chapter 1 - >

Back to top

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print