Today I leave for China, where I will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers' Meeting in Beijing.
On my way to Beijing, I will travel to Tokyo to meet Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Taro Aso, and Governor of the Bank of Japan, Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda.
The APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting will build on the success of the recent G20 Finance Ministers’ Meetings in Cairns and Washington, which were instrumental in cementing Australia’s global leadership role on economic issues.
The forum provides an opportunity to collaborate with key regional economies on crucial international economic issues at an important time for the global economy. While global growth is expected to improve in the second half of 2014, risks remain which need to be carefully managed.
APEC Finance Ministers are well placed to share views and provide advice that will improve the understanding of the regional economy and collectively allow its member economies to be better placed to respond to the challenges that exist.
The meeting will also allow Australia to further influence the global economic agenda in our G20 host year. Australia’s G20 presidency enables us to promote linkages between the G20 agenda and APEC’s focus on building growth through infrastructure development. I look forward to discussing APEC’s regional infrastructure agenda with APEC Finance Ministers, including discussion on private-public partnerships (PPPs). Australia’s approach in the use of PPPs for infrastructure development has been well received by APEC members throughout the year.
We are also interested in exploring what lessons the G20 can learn from APEC. APEC has an impressive track record in improving the environment for business. From 2007 to 2010, it delivered an estimated $58 billion in savings for businesses through improved customs procedures, regulatory cooperation and infrastructure.
While in Beijing, I will take the opportunity to meet with Chinese Minister of Finance, Mr. Lou Jiwei, and Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, Mr. Xu Shaoshi, to discuss issues of mutual interest in the lead up to President Xi's visit to Australia in November.
Following the APEC Finance Ministers' Meeting, I will travel to Hong Kong to meet with investors and discuss financial sector developments with representatives of the Hong Kong Government.