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9 April: The Week in Australian Foreign Affairs

09 Apr 2021
By Isabella Keith
Parliament House At Dusk, Canberra ACT Source: Thennicke

This week in Australian foreign affairs: two-way Trans-Tasman travel bubble announced, Exercise La Perouse kicks off, the Services Exports Action Plan and Australia India Business Exchange are launched, and more.

On 6 April, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, alongside Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, Minister for Health Greg Hunt, Minister for Trade Dan Tehan, and Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews, welcomed the two-way Trans-Tasman travel bubble. The statement followed the New Zealand Government’s announcement that it will join the Safe Travel Zone between Australia and New Zealand. The announcement “will enable quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand” and follows Australia’s opening of a one-way Safe Travel Zone from New Zealand to Australia six months ago. In a press conference on 6 April, Morrison stated that the announcement is “the first of many steps to come … as we get back to a more normal position.”

Minister for Defence Peter Dutton stated on 5 April that the Royal Australian Navy ships HMAS Anzac and HMAS Sirius will join vessels from France, India, Japan and the United States for the French-led maritime Exercise La Perouse, in the Bay of Bengal from 5-7 April. Dutton welcomed the exercise, saying “Australia’s participation highlights the importance of building and maintaining strong navy-to-navy relationships in the region.”

On 6 April, Tehan launched the Services Exports Action Plan to boost Australia’s services exports “beyond education and tourism”. The plan “supports the international competitiveness of Australia’s world-class services businesses and helps them find new export partners, grow their business, employ more people, and capitalise on the opportunities offered by international markets.”

Tehan also launched the Australia India Business Exchange (AIBX) on 6 April. The AIBX will “provide businesses in both nations with market insights and connections to foster commercial partnerships that will help generate jobs and business opportunities in Australia and India.” It delivers on commitments in the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the Government’s response to the India Economic Strategy. Tehan stated that, “AIBX presents opportunities to build on our close people-to-people ties and shared vision for a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”

On 1 April Marise Payne, alongside Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck, announced that the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Australian host cities include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. Payne stated that “the competition will champion the further development of women’s football in both [Australia and New Zealand], the Asia-Pacific region and globally.”

Isabella Keith is an undergraduate student at the Australian National University studying Law and Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She is currently an intern at the AIIA National Office.

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