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Last Updated:[09-08-2010 05:08:23 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Australian Opposition Unfurls Trade Map Ahead of Polls

tradenews The Nationals' leader Warren Truss revealed that a Coalition government at the centre would restore funding to exporters and appoint an ambassador for trade reforms and specialist trade representatives for Australia's manufacturing and service Industries. An Abbott government would increase the EMDG cap to AUD 200mn from July 1, 2011, restoring an AUD $50mn shortfall caused by Labour government mismanagement, he added.

Truss' announcement gains prominence following a recent pre-poll survey gave a slight edge for the Coalition to form the next government of Australia. An opinion poll of Newspoll, a market research firm, commissioned by The Australian newspaper has found that the opposition Liberals leading 52 percent to 48 percent over the ruling Labour.

Truss was echoing similar trade plans which the Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced on Monday for the tourism industry of the country. Abbot declared a Coalition government would spend an extra AUD $90mn (US$82mn) to help attract visitors to Australia.

The tourism package includes an AUD $40mn (US$36mn) fund that would provide grants of up to AUD $100,000 to build infrastructure for tourism projects.

Another AUD $14mn fund would provide grants to tourism organizations in regional areas. Tourism Research Australia will also be provided with AUD $8mn to identify emerging trends and gaps in the market, to make the industry to become more sustainable.

The Coalition sees tourism a niche business to Australia as the industry employs close to 500,000 people and earns AUD $24bn in export earnings. The Opposition has also allocated AUD $27mn for Regional Medical Workforce Plan to increase the number of doctors, nurses and dentists in regional and remote areas of Australia.

Truss said the Coalition would appoint an ambassador for trade reform to promote global trade reform and re-establish the Trade Advisory Council abolished by the Labour. He clarified that the Coalition's highest trade priority would be the Doha round of negotiations towards freer world trade, but it would vigorously pursue FTA with China, Japan, Malaysia, the GCC, South Korea and Indonesia.

All details on future plans for trade and industry by the Opposition were laid out during the election campaigns, and were loaded with the Ruling's inefficiencies and inequities. Australia's general elections will be held on 21 of this month.

By Jose Roy

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