13/04/2016 - 14:56

Energy exports add strategic weight: Bishop

13/04/2016 - 14:56

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Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has told the LNG 18 conference that Australia’s increasing role as an energy exporter added significant weight to the country’s strategic influence, while touting the benefits for the industry of recently signed free trade agreements.

Energy exports add strategic weight: Bishop
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop in Perth yesterday Photo: Attila Csaszar

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has told the LNG 18 conference that Australia’s increasing role as an energy exporter added significant weight to the country’s strategic influence, while touting the benefits for the industry of recently signed free trade agreements.

Speaking at a conference lunch session, Ms Bishop added that the future of the industry was very bright despite short-term challenges.

“Not only is LNG a highly innovative and responsive industry … it will continue to be of major strategic importance to our engagement in the region,” Ms Bishop said.

“We’ll supply 40 per cent of both China and Japan’s LNG needs and 25 per cent of South Korea’s.

“This all adds to our reputation as a mining, energy and resources superpower, which adds enormous weight to our strategic influence.

“Its absolutely fundamental to our enagement with our trading partners.”

The importance of the industry was highlighted by recent trade agreements signed with South Korea, China and Japan, and the multilateral TransPacific Partnership.

“Under the Korean and Japanese agreements, we’ve won the right to unrestricted investment for LNG,” Ms Bishop said.

“Under the TPP, we’ve eliminated tarriffs on LNG exports to member countries, including Vietnam.”

In the Chinese free trade agreement, wider rights were secured for mining services companies and for extraction of coalbed methane and shale gas, she said.

“Throught the TPP we’re also levelling the playing field for mining and energy companies wanting to expand into pacific rim markets,” Ms Bishop said.

That was by ensuring state owned enterprises wouldn’t get an unfair advantage when competing against Australian businesses.

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