Bilateral Profiles and National Agencies > Australia

General information on Australian development cooperation

The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia’s overseas aid program. AusAID is an Executive Agency within the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio and reports to the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The fundamental purpose of Australian aid is to help people overcome poverty. It also serves Australia’s national interests by promoting stability and prosperity in our region and beyond. Australia focuses its development efforts in areas where it can make a difference, and where its resources can most effectively and efficiently be deployed.

AusAID provides advice and support to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on development policy, and plans and coordinates poverty reduction activities in partnership with developing countries. AusAID leads and coordinates Australia’s responses to humanitarian disasters and represents Australia in international development forums.

Australia’s aid program focuses on the Asia Pacific region – it is internationally recognised for the leading role in the region, particularly in PNG and the Pacific. Australia also provides assistance to Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Australian trade enabling assistance in 2011–2012 1

The Australian Government has increased its aid for trade funding. In 2011–12, the Australian Government provided $792.7 million for trade enabling activities. Almost a third was delivered in the East Asia region at $243.0 million, followed by Papua New Guinea and the Pacific at $168.4 million. A further $256.0 million was delivered through regional and global programs. In sectoral terms, $269.1 million (24 per cent) in aid for trade funding was provided to develop transport and storage, and $240.9 million (30 per cent) was provided for building trade capacity in the agriculture sector.

Aid for Trade (AfT) Strategy

The Australian Government recognises the role of trade and broader economic reform in achieving growth and development. This is reflected in the increasing funding support towards trade enabling activities.

The objectives of Australian trade enabling support are broadly about assisting developing countries to:

  1. Engage in the multilateral trading system and regional trade initiatives;
  2. Boost trade and investment flows;
  3. Encourage diversity in trade activities; and
  4. Improve economic integration on a regional and global basis.

Australian AfT activities directly support progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular poverty alleviation (MDG1) and the promotion of an open rules-based, predictable, non-discriminatory trade and financial system (MDG8).

Australia provides bilateral aid to countries and to regions. Trade enabling assistance is also provided through multilateral channels.

Bilateral support includes:

  • the Beyond WTO (World Trade Organization) Technical Assistance Program Phase II ($12 million in 2010–13) to help Vietnam maximise the employment and poverty reduction benefits of ongoing global economic integration; and
  • a project to rehabilitate the Cambodian national rail network, including by establishing a public-private partnership for its operation ($26.5 million in 2009–13).

At a regional level, Australia supports:

  • the Pacific Regional Agricultural Market Access Program ($16.4 million in 2009–13) to assist Pacific countries meet customs and quarantine requirements of trading partners;
  • the ASEAN Australia New Zealand FTA Economic Cooperation Support Program (up to $20 million in 2009–15) to help in the implementation of the trade agreement; and the ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (up to $67 million to 2015) which helps in the development and implementation of regional mechanisms that among other things enhance liberalisation of trade in goods, services and investment.

Trade enabling assistance is also provided through multilateral channels, such as:

  • the WTO Global Trust Fund (over $5 million has been disbursed since 2007), which helps developing countries engage more constructively in multilateral trade negotiations and implement their commitments;
  • In May 2011, Australia contributed $2 million to the Enhanced Integrated Framework, with a further $3 million committed for the next three years. The EIF is a multidonor program which provides a mechanism for coordinating and delivering aid for trade to least developed countries (LDCs). It is strongly supported by LDCs as the main vehicle for meeting their aid for trade needs;
  • $3 million was provided to the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) in 2010. ACWL provides developing countries with subsidised, or free, legal services and assistance in dispute settlement proceedings;
  • Australia contributed $2 million to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2012, which will assist least developed countries (LDCs) improve their national intellectual property frameworks;
  • $3 million has been committed to the International Trade Centre (ITC) to assist small and medium sized enterprises in developing countries to trade.

Some notable measureable outcomes from Australian trade enabling assistance include:

  • Intra-trade among the Greater Mekong Subregion economies has boomed assisted by a program which trained Customs officials, established one common set of paperwork, and provided equipment to facilitate single window/one stop arrangements. Processing time for cargo trucks crossing the Dansavanh (Laos)–Lao Bao (Vietnam) border, for example, has been reduced from 4 hours to 70 minutes (or by 70%), and for passenger cars from 2 hours to 30 minutes;
  • Approximately 3,000 students have graduated from the Australia Pacific Technical College (ATPC), which provides training and vocational education in trade-related sectors such as construction and tourism. APTC graduates have contributed to increased productivity, as stated by 70 per cent of employers of graduates surveyed;
  • The Smallholder Agri-business Development Initiative has reduced fragmentation in the supply chain, improved productivity and facilitated trade in the Indonesian cocoa sector. Cocoa production increased by up to 6 per cent, and there was an 8 per cent annual growth rate (by volume) of Indonesian cocoa exports during 2007–09;
  • The Australian Fumigation Accreditation Scheme has worked with six developing countries to improve quarantine practices. For those participating, the scheme reduced export costs by nearly $5 million, and avoided 12 tonnes of methyl bromide use.

Principal official agency responsible for TCB assistance to developing countries

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID): AusAID is Australia’s bilateral aid agency. It is an administratively autonomous agency within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). AusAID provides assistance to the trade and financial sector under the broad policy framework of private sector development and governance, through training and scholarships, technical assistance and policy analysis.

Contact

Head Office: 255 London Circuit
Canberra ACT 2601
Australia

Postal address:

GPO Box 887
Canberra ACT 2601
Australia

Tel: +61 26 206 4000
Fax: +61 26206 4880

E-mail: infoausaid@ausaid.gov.au

For more information: http://www.ausaid.gov.au/about/default.cfm

Other government and official agencies with responsibilities directly relevant to TCB

Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: The Department of Foreign Affairs provides foreign and trade policy advice to the Australian Government. It is responsible for trade policy formulation and trade negotiations, whilst the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is the Australian Government agency responsible for managing Australia’s overseas aid program. The objective of the aid programme is to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia’s national interest.

Contact

Head Office address:
R.G. Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
Barton, ACT, 0221 Australia

Head Office Tel:

Switchboard: +61 26261 1111
Media enquiries: +61 26261 1555
Fax: +61 26261 3111

Web: http://www.dfat.gov.au/

Other official or government trade-related organizations

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR): ACIAR is an Australian Government statutory authority that operates as part of Australia’s Aid Programme within the portfolio of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It contributes to the aid programme objectives of advancing Australia’s national interest through poverty reduction and sustainable development. ACIAR funds research projects that are developed within a framework that reflects the priorities of Australia’s aid programme and national research strengths together with the agricultural research and development priorities of partner countries in five regions: Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, North Asia, South Asia and Southern Africa.

For more information: E-mail: http://www.aciar.gov.au/

Australian Council for International Development (ACFID): ACFID supports a network of Australian NGOs which have a shared commitment to poverty reduction and the promotion of human rights and dignity. It provides members with a range of services and opportunities to exert influence on a broad array of themes, ranging from health and education to trade issues.

For more information: http://www.acfid.asn.au/

Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network Ltd (AFTINET): AFTINET is a national network on trade and investment policy. It supplies education materials, regular bulletins and speakers at public events. At an international level, it lobbies for different and fairer rules for international trade and investment. It carries out advocacy and advisory roles, such as monitoring trade and investment negotiations and providing critical re-assessment of the WTO and other trade structures and dispute processes.

For more information: E-mail: campaign@aftinet.org.au and aftinet.org.au/cms/contact

Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD): The AYAD programme is a AusAID initiative and is fully funded by AusAID. It aims to strengthen mutual understanding between Australia and countries in the developing world by placing skilled young Australians on short-term assignments in those countries. AYAD volunteers work with local counterparts and cover a diverse range of sectors, including education, environment, gender, governance, health, infrastructure, rural development and trade.

For more information: E-mail: info@ayad.com.au and 
http://www.ayad.com.au/aspx/home.aspx

Economic Analytical Unit: The Economic Analytical Unit is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is the main agency within the Australian Government responsible for publishing reports analysing major trade and economic issues in overseas markets of relevance to Australia.

For more information: E-mail: economic.analytical@dfat.gov.auand http://www.dfat.gov.au/eau/

IP Australia: IP Australia administers Australia’s intellectual property (IP) rights system, specifically patents, trade marks, designs and plant breeders’ rights. It incorporates the Patent, Designs, Trade Marks and Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) Offices and is a prescribed agency within the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR). IP Australia is engaged in development cooperation activities with a range of developing country IP Offices, such as APEC IPR Public Education and Awareness Programme – 2006 to 2009.

For more information: http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/resources/international_dca.shtml

JAS-ANZ is the Government-appointed accreditation body for Australia and New Zealand responsible for providing accreditation of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) in the fields of certification and inspection. JAS-ANZ accreditation demonstrates the competence and independence of these CABs. It accredits 70 CABs, who, in turn, certify some 50,000 organizations. Including accreditations and technical assistance projects, JAS-ANZ provides services in over 20 countries.

For more information: E-mail: contact@jas-anz.org and http://www.jas-anz.com.au/

National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA): The NASAA is the nation’s leading organic certifier and provides quality, cost-efficient organic certification services both in Australia and overseas. Its certification and inspection services facilitate market access throughout the world for NASAA-certified organic products.

For more information: E-mail: enquiries@nasaa.com.au and http://www.nasaa.com.au

Volunteering for International Development from Australia (VIDA): VIDA is part of the Australian Government’s volunteer programme and is funded by AusAID. The VIDA Programme places skilled Australian volunteers in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region. Volunteers work with local counterparts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development in their communities through skills and knowledge exchange, institutional strengthening and capacity building.

For more information: E-mail: info@vidavolunteers.com.au and 
http://www.vidavolunteers.com.au/aspx/home.aspx

Non-governmental organizations involved in TCB

Australian Business Volunteers (ABV): ABV is a non-government, non-profit international development agency. Its mission is to contribute to sustainable growth in developing communities through the transfer of knowledge and workplace skills. This is achieved by using the experience and expertise of highly skilled professional volunteers. ABV focuses on capacity building within micro, small, medium and large enterprises in the private sector, but also works with government agencies, local NGOs and other community-based organizations.

For more information: E-mail: info@abv.org.au and http://www.abv.org.au/

Australian Volunteers International (AVI) : This is a development agency working in over 60 countries across Asia, the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. AVI places skilled professionals in local institutions with the overall objective of transferring capacity and assisting organizations achieve their own objectives. It manages a range of programmes, the majority of which are funded by the Australian Government through AusAID. These include the Pacific Technical Assistance Mechanism (PACTAM), the Australian Government Volunteer Programme (AGVP) and Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO).

For more information: E-mail: info@australianvolunteers.comand http://www.australianvolunteers.com

Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES): CIES is part of the University of Adelaide and is actively involved in research and consultancies commissioned by Australian groups such as ABARE, ACIAR, AusAID, the Business Council of Australia, DFAT and CSIRO, and by international organizations such as ADB, APEC, FAO, OECD, UNCTAD, WBI and the World Bank. Among other areas, CIES research focuses on its Asia-Pacific neighbours, the global trading system and the WTO.

For more information: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/cies/

Crawford Fund: The mission of the Crawford Fund is to increase Australia’s engagement in international agricultural research for the benefit of developing countries and Australia. The Fund promotes and supports international research and development activities in which Australian research organizations and companies are active participants. It also assists in the transfer of agricultural technologies to developing countries through specialist training programmes.

For more information: E-mail: Crawford@crawfordfund.organd http://www.crawfordfund.org/index.htm

Institute for International Trade (IIT): IIT is part of the University of Adelaide. It has a major focus on trade-related capacity building and undertakes research, training and technical assistance programmes for government, the private sector and multilateral organizations. It is headed by the former Deputy Director of the WTO, Andrew Stoler, and has undertaken considerable work in the Asia Pacific region on the implications of trade agreements and in assisting developing countries prepare for trade negotiations, whether at the multilateral, regional or bilateral level. IIT runs a unique master’s program, “International Trade and Development”, with courses and electives covering AfT and the role of trade-related capacity building in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

For more information: E-mail: marie.gutsche@adelaide.edu.au and 
http://www.iit.adelaide.edu.au/research/

TCB cooperation initiatives with UN/international agencies and bilateral partners

Funding is via core contribution, or through ear marked and project based grants. Australia (either through AusAID or other Australia Government Agencies and Departments, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) seeks to take an active collaborative role with multilateral partners through participation in meetings, consultations, governing bodies and Boards. AusAID also organizes annual high Level Consultations with our largest multilateral partners to discuss progress to date on common initiatives and to determine shared priorities for future action. The funding mechanism is grant funding.

Collaboration occurs through grant funding to multilateral agencies and development banks, including: the World Trade Organization, the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the International Trade Centre, the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank.

Data collection mechanisms are dependent on partner systems. AusAID draws on existing reporting by multilateral organisations, alongside other internal data collection and reporting processes that are linked to AusAID’s quality assurance system.

Monitoring and evaluation occurs through AusAID’s quality processes, in tandem with partner systems and independent evaluations. AusAID is also an active participant in the Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) which is a group of 17 donors that conduct common assessments for a small number of multilateral partners each year. In 2012, AusAID published the Australian Multilateral Assessment (AMA), the largest and most comprehensive report into Australia’s relationships with multilateral partners ever undertaken. The assessments in the AMA now underpin Australia’s ongoing engagement with those organisations included, and help inform future core funding decisions.

Selected TCB programmes and initiatives in this guide

TRADE POLICY DEVELOPMENT

  • ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II (AADCP)
  • Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus
  • WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund (DDAGTF)

LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

  • Beyond WTO (BWTO) Phase II for Vietnam
  • Philippines-Australia Partnership for Economic Governance Reforms (PEGR)
  • Vietnam workshop on developing intellectual property (IP), public education and awareness strategies

SUPPLY CAPACITY

  • Cambodia Agriculture Value Chain Programme (CAVAC)
  • Improved market engagement in the north-western highlands of Vietnam
  • Textiles, Clothing and Footwear (TCF), Fiji
  • Cocoa Livelihoods Improvement Project (CLIP)
  • Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP) (Phase II) - Pakistan

COMPLIANCE SUPPORT INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES

  • Pacific Regional Agricultural Market Access (PRAMA)
  • Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Capacity Building Programme (SPSCBP)
  • Trade Development Facility TDF 59

MARKET AND TRADE INFORMATION

  • Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP) Pakistan
  • Making Markets Work for the Poor (M4P): Linking vegetable farmers with markets in West and Central Java, Indonesia
  • Market Development Facility
  • Asian Development Bank Private Sector Development Initiative

TRADE FACILITATION

  • Customs International Executive Management Programme (CIEMP)
  • Pacific Customs Management Programme (PCMP)
  • PNG Border Security Project (BSP)
  • PNG-Australian Customs Twinning Scheme (PACTS)
  • Australia China Customs Partnership Program (through North Asia Public Sector Linkages Programme)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC) Trade Logistics Programme – Caribbean
  • Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) :
  • Strongim Gavman Programme (PNG)

PHYSICAL TRADE INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Mekong Transport Infrastructure Development Project
  • Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility (PRIF)
  • Transport Sector Support Programme (PNG)
  • Domestic Maritime Support Project (Solomon Islands)
  • Rural Access to Development for Tarin Kot (RAD-TK) (Afghanistan)