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AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION
3 May 2011
Australia and the Asian Development Bank Cooperate on Pakistan Trade Facilitation Program
Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan, Mr Tim George has welcomed the signing of a trade facilitation agreement between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) which will help the Pakistan economy. The agreement was signed in Sydney on 3 May.
The agreement will see EFIC share the risk that ADB, through its Trade Finance Program, takes in guaranteeing letters of credit for exports of Australian goods into Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in order to make it easier to import crucial Australian goods.
This will help companies which struggle to get the trade finance they need to buy key inputs for export production or end products from overseas, including from Australia. A lack of trade finance holds back business and means less job creation, ultimately restraining economic growth for regional economies.
“I am pleased to see this innovative agreement take place,” High Commissioner Tim George said. “It will greatly assist Pakistani and Australian companies to do business, which in turn is good for the economy. Trade creates jobs, raises the standard of living and promotes sustainable economy growth,” he said.
Australia is a major exporter to Pakistan. In 2009-10, oil seeds, fertilisers and coal were among Australia’s biggest exports to Pakistan which totalled more than AUD 610 million. Australia and Pakistan have a Joint Trade Committee (JTC) mechanism to discuss opportunities to expand bilateral trade and investment, and Australia is due to host the JTC in 2011. The Australian High Commission in Islamabad is also helping to promote business-to-business links, including through the revival of the Pakistan Australia Business Forum.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.
EFIC provides finance and insurance solutions to help Australian exporters overcome the financial barriers they face when growing their business overseas. As the Australian Government’s export credit agency, it helps successful businesses to win, finance and protect export trade or overseas investments where their bank is unable to provide all the support they need. It works directly with exporters or with their banks to provide loans, guarantees, bonds and insurance products to meet the needs of both large and small exporters. For further information visit www.efic.gov.au
Contact: Charlotte Kennedy, Australian High Commission, Telephone, +92 51 835 5500.