25 September 2023

DFAT to digitise Pacific region

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Governments and businesses around the Indo-Pacific region can expect a boost to their digital capabilities following the launch of a new overseas aid program by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

DFAT’s $4.5 million E-commerce Aid for Trade Fund will focus on building e-commerce capacity and capability across the Indo-Pacific, including within the ASEAN region.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Simon Birmingham said digital trade was an increasingly important way for Australia’s region to connect and do business with the rest of the world.

“This fund is about providing innovative businesses and Governments within the region with assistance so they can build their digital capabilities, enabling them to operate across borders and access new markets,” Senator Birmingham said.

“It builds on our ongoing commitment to help boost the economic development of individual countries in the Indo-Pacific, which benefits Australia and helps contribute to an economically stronger and more secure region.”

He said that whether it was a grant for digital skills development or support to develop data storage solutions, he was committed to supporting developing countries in the region get ahead and export more of their goods to the world.

“It follows our recent efforts that will see 76 World Trade Organisation members, representing 90 per cent of global trade, commence negotiations on new international rules for digital trade which will present new opportunities for businesses within Australia and the wider region,” Senator Birmingham said.

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