PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4685


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/04/1978

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 4685

On Tuesday I will be leaving for Japan to hold discussions
with the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Fukuda. These
discussions will be of significance for Australia and tonight
I wanted to tell you something about them.
The discussions won't be about the bilateral matters between
Japan and Australia. Mr. Anthony discussed these last month
in great detail and indeed, a team of Japanese ministers will
be here in a little while for further discussions with the
Australian Government.
The Japanese Prime Minister and myself will be discussing
matters of wider importance; the world economy and trade.
Some current trends in the world economy are indeed. disturbing.
Last year factories, industries and mines produced much le-s
than they were capable of producing. Although production
did increase, it didn't increase anything like enough to
create new jobs for all the young people enterirc the work forc
As a result of that, unemployment remains much too high,
especially amongst the young. 1
A nuwmber of countries, including Auastralia, have had ika
success in getting inflation down but inflation also a
much too high.
Furthermore, we have a situation in which there have buzn r. arkc$
changes in international currency values, especiallv of the
United States dollar. Against that total background a number
of countries have reacted by increasing trade barriers t,;
protect their own producers and that hurts the exports frora
other countries.
World leaders are concerned about these problems and have been
stressing the need to find solutions. Over the next few months
the world trading countries will be taking part in formal
discussions and negotiations designed to increase world tradet
designed to get national economies growing faster. It's vital
that these discussions and negotiations be successful because
if they are not there will only be increasing bitterness and
increasing disillusionment as countries fight for a larger
share of existing world markets. / 2

In the preliminary sessions that have already been held
very little progress has in fact been made and that's why
I am concerned and the signs are that unless there is
a major change of heart on the part of a number of countries
the formal negotiations may fare little better. That's why
discussions are urgently required between world leaders; to
probe new ideas; to make sure that every avenue is explored
that might lead to a solution. That's why I am going to
talk with the Japanese Prime Minister.
A little later, in the Caribbean, a selected group of countries,
including Australia, will. be meeting to discuss the same
matters to get the negotiations moving forward in a constructive
way and later~ still there will be further discussions amongst
other world leaders in the United States and in Europe.
All of these meetings, and the actions that major countries
take as a result of them, will be very important for Australia
because we depend so much on international trade. We are
so much affected by changes in international trade.
Naturally, our own fight to overcome our economic problems will
be made that much easier if there is sus4tained and lasting
international economic recovery enabling us to sell substantially
more of our own produce to the markets of the world. That will
establish the circumstances in which our factories, our farms
and our mines can create more jobs for more Australians.
Accordingly, Australia is taking every opportunity to promote
her own views responsibly and constructively in these major
international forumas. In particular, we are looking at the
position of ' Less developed countries because with their huge
populations crying out for more food, for better roads, for
more hospitals and schools, they have a very significant role
to play in any sustained and lasting world recovery.
I am hopeful t-Lhat the series of informal, vital discussions
now beginning will help to create a new momentum, a new
commitment to increasing world trade and restoring sound economic
growth. There will be no quick and dramatic results because
there are no simple and easy solutions, but solutions must be
found and we will be doing everything we can to help find them.
1978 is a critical year in deciding how quickly the world
economy can return to the growth and stability that we enjoyed
in the past, because the decisions made this year can well set: the
pattern for the next ten. With so much at stake, Australia must
be involved and we will be applying ourselves to these problems
with vigour and determination. I know that I will have your
support in this task which is so important to all of us.

Transcript 4685