PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7638


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/06/1989

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 7638

on Friday I will be departing on an overseas visit that will
take me to France, the United Kingdom, the United States,
the Federal Republic of Germany and Hungary.
The visit, which concludes on Monday 3 July, is an important
one for Australia.
It follows my earlier visits to Moscow, with a stopover in
Japan, in December 1987, to Washington in June 1988 and to
the ROK, Thailand, Pakistan and India in February of this
year. I had planned to go to China in October but, as you know,
the tragic and brutal repression of the pro-democracy
protestors in Beijing has ruled that out.
All these visits are carefully timed elements of a
consistent pattern of personal diplomacy.
As well as pursuing essential bilateral issues, my overseas
travel is always carefully calculated to provide Australia
with linkages at the highest level into the key global
political and economic centres centres which have an
important influence on the shaping of events directly
relevant to Australia and our region.
This forthcoming visit is a further element in this strategy
and has been carefully tailored to coincide with a number of
key events and developments.
The Bush Administration has now been in office for six
months and has substantially completed its review of foreign
policy. The United States of course remains central to
Australia's foreign policy and defence interests and is the
world's largest single economy.
The NATO Summit has just been held and important disarmament
proposals outlined by Presidents Gorbachev and Bush are on
the table.

EC Heads of Government are meeting on 26-27 June an
important step on the way to the proposed 1992 Single
Market. Three of the countries I am visiting are leading
members of the EC. France will, in fact, be taking over the
EC Presidency from 1 July.
The G7 group of countries will be meeting in Paris on
14-16 July. Four of the countries on my itinerary are G7
members. The United Kingdom has very important historical and other
ties with Australia, and a highlight of my visit will be the
unprecedented range of ministerial talks, covering foreign
affairs and trade, defence and industry and commerce.
The Federal Republic of Germany is at a focal point in
East-West relations.
France is in the midst of celebrating the bicentenary of an
event central to the development of liberal democratic
thought the French Revolution.
Despite the severe jolt the events in China have given to
the very positive changes taking places around the world,
these changes are continuing elsewhere, including in Eastern
Europe, where Hungary is at the forefront of change.
The Australian Government has been continuing its process of
economic reform and it is important that this be understood
at the highest levels of our key trading partners.
We have also made firm decisions in respect of the
Antarctic, which are of direct interest to the five
countries I am visiting, four of which are active members of
the Antarctic Treaty System.
So for all these reasons, this visit will be a very
important one, coming at a critical time in world affairs
and dealing with issues of great significance for Australia.
While I have previously visited France, the UK and the
United States, I have not visited the FRG as Prime Minister
and my visit to Hungary will be the first ever by an
Australian Prime Minister.
I have previously met the leaders of the United States, the
UK, France and the FRG. All four Mr Bush, Mrs Thatcher,
Mr Rocard and Chancellor Kohl are people for whom I have a
great deal of respect and with whom I enjoy good personal
relations. They are all people with whom I can talk frankly
and discuss substantive issues in detail, even where our
views do not always coincide.
While I have yet to meet the leadership in Hungary I am
looking forward to meeting people who are, with obvious
courage and vision, tackling such a crucial task of reform.

It would not be proper to go into detail now about the
discussions I will be having overseas; but there is a number
of topics of obvious significance on which I will be very
keen to hear the views of my hosts and to put Australia's
views. I will be discussing with all leaders their perception of
the very positive changes that have taken place in East-West
relations and the changes that are taking place in Eastern
Europe. It is important in terms of our own political and economic
interests that, wherever possible, these changes be given
constructive and positive encouragement.
Events in China are still unfolding, but I will naturally be
exchanging views with my counterparts about the possible
implications of developments there for the wider region and
beyond. Other key issues include:
The developments in arms control in Europe, especially
the proposals put forward by Presidents Bush and
Gorbachev; Global disarmament issues, especially the need for all
countries to pursue actively matters relating to nuclear
A chemical weapons convention and-the Government
Industry Conference on Chemical Weapons to be held in
Australia later this year;
Strategic change in the Asia-Pacific region with
particular reference to China, Indo China and
Afghanistan; Developments in the Pacific;
The Middle East peace process and the tragic fighting
going on in Lebanon;
Southern Africa and the need to maintain pressure on
South Africa to end its abhorrent apartheid policies.
One further, and very crucial, issue, which will recur
throughout the visit, will be the environment.
As I suggested earlier, I will be outlining in the clearest
terms Australia's concern to prevent mining in the Antarctic
and the need to provide a comprehensive environmental
protection plan for that continent.
Matters such as afforestation, the ozone layer and the
greenhouse effect will also feature prominently in my
discussions, especially against the background of the recent
Hague Declaration and the London Ozone Conference.

My discussion of these issues will be particularly relevant.,
given the Government's forthcoming major statement on the
Environment. Environmental concerns are global and cut
across national boundaries, and it is important that our own
policies take account of the international dimension.
In addition to these global and regional issues, there are
equally vital issues at stake in this visit for Australia's
specific economic and trade interests.
Over the years, Australia of course has placed very great
emphasis on our links with our Asia-Pacific region. But
that emphasis in no way detracts from, and should not be
seen as in any way excluding, our older, and still vital
ties with Europe.
Some trade and investment statistics demonstrate this very
clearly. The United States, the UK, West Germany and France were, in
1988, all among our top 12 trading partners.
The United States was Australia's second largest trading
partner with the total value of two-way trade a little over
$ 13.5 billion. The UK was our third largest trading partner
with total trading in excess of $ 4.6 billion, the FRG fifth,
at $ 3.9 billion and France eleventh, at a little over $ 2
billion. Between them, the United States, the UK, the FRG and France
provided, in 1987-88, a combined stock of foreign investment
in Australia of over $ 91 billion or just under half the
total stock of about $ 190 billion in foreign investment in
Australia. The UK and the United States were ranked first and second
respectively, with investments in Australia worth $ 44
billion and $ 39 billion. The FRG is ranked sixth with
almost $ 6.5 billion, while France is ranked thirteenth with
a little over $ 1.5 billion.
As for Australian investment abroad, just under half is
located in the United States and the UK a combined total
of about $ 31 billion.
West Germany and France are of lesser, but still
substantial, importance as locations of Australian
investment. Hungary is not, of course, a major trading partner but I am
confident that there are significant prospects for Australia
business in that country, especially with the rapid process
of reform taking place and the keenness of its leadership to
be integrated into the global economy.

These figures speak for themselves. The economic policies
pursued by the countries I am visiting are of very direct
relevance to Australia in a real and practical sense.
So it is important that on this visit I will be discussing,
first, the outlook for the international economy, with
particular reference to the policy settings that we believe
ought to be pursued by G7 members.
Second, and of great importance, I will be discussing the
need for countries to continue pursuing reform of the
multilateral trading system.
Australia's views on the protectionist policies of Europe
and the US, especially in regard to subsidisation of farm
products, are well known. I can assure you that I will not
be wasting the opportunity this trip provides to repeat
those views forcefully, both in public and in private.
I note as well that one of the countries I am visiting
Hungary is of course, a member of the Cairns Group which
has played such an important role in the current GATT round
of negotiations.
I will also be making clear our interest in a liberalised
and open Single Market in 1992.
Finally, regional economic cooperation in Asia/ Pacific,
which very directly involves the US and is of considerable
interest to EC countries, will also feature on the agenda of
my talks.
In addition to these important policy questions my visit
will have a very practical focus by providing Australian
business with further opportunities to pursue their
interests. In London I will be opening a Trade and Investment
Conference which will be attended by almost 300 business
leaders from the UK and Australia. This is the largest
Conference of its kind held between the two countries and, I
am confident, will be an important factor in the further
promotion of our already important economic relationship.
In Paris, Bonn and Budapest I will be accompanied by a
smaller group of Australian business executives from some of
Australia's leading companies. They will not only have an
opportunity to talk to their business counterparts but will
have direct access to the economic decision-makers of these
countries. It is important for Australian companies to take an
increasingly global perspective to their operations and
nowhere is this more obvious than in the lead-up to the
European Single Market.

At the same time, my Government is keen to encourage foreign
investment in Australia, especially in the manufacturing and
the high-tech areas, and this is something I will be taking
up directly with the Government and business leaders of the
countries I visit.
In summary, this is an important visit for Australia,
whether you consider the economic, political or security
aspects of it. At this important time, Australia must make
its presence felt, must make its views known, and must do
what it can to build a world in which our values shared
values of democracy, freedom, and multilateralism can
thrive and prosper.

Transcript 7638