Andrew Jory - Australia, the G20 and Global Trade

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Jun 06, 2014
by Louise Hallman
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Andrew Jory - Australia, the G20 and Global Trade

Counsellor to Australia's Permanent Mission to the WTO speaks to Salzburg Global about why Australia will be focusing on trade during its presidency of the G20 Andrew Jory speaking in Parker Hall

Andrew Jory is a counsellor at the Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibilities include Australia’s interactions with the WTO during its year as chair of the G20 as well as WTO agriculture negotiations. Prior to this Jory held positions in the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as director of the Industrials and Market Access Section as well as director of the Investment and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Section. From 2011 to 2013 he was Australia’s lead market access negotiator in the TPP.

He presented Australia's G20 presidency and its relation to global trade to the 40 expert Fellows at the Salzburg Global session New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Agreements and answered questions from Salzburg Global Editor, Louise Hallman.

Salzburg Global: How important is trade to Australia’s G20 agenda during its presidency this year? And why focus on trade?

Andrew Jory: Australia sees trade as a key element of Australia’s G20 host year. Trade is a central part of G20 country growth strategies because it is a driver of growth and jobs. The World Bank Growth Commission found that countries that have embraced openness have been more successful in sustaining growth and generating more and better jobs over time than those that have remained closed. G20 Finance Ministers at their meeting in Sydney in February identified the need to take concrete actions across the G20, including to enhance trade, along with actions to increase investment, lift employment and participation and promote competition.  

SGS: What possible actions does Australia want to see achieved?

AJ: Australia wants to see ambitious trade-creating actions under G20 growth strategies. This could include opening services (e.g. professional licensing requirements), streamlining customs procedures (e.g. reducing the number of documents needed for export and import), more efficient regulation (e.g. a low cost approach to regulation of coastal shipping), investing in trade infrastructure (e.g. upgrading ports), skills development to support business growth and reducing tariffs.  

SGS: What is the ultimate goal of this agenda? What do you realistically hope to achieve by the end of Australia’s G20 presidency?

AJ: The G20 has committed to develop ambitious and realistic policies with the aim to lift our collective GDP by more than two per cent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming five years. Action to boost trade can make a substantial contribution to this goal. We hope to see high quality growth strategies (including action on trade) at the end of our Presidency that deliver on this 2 percent growth ambition.  

SGS: How receptive do you think the other 19 countries will be to Australia’s agenda given the disparate attitudes towards international trade within the Group?

AJ: This is not Australia’s agenda, but an agenda agreed to by members of the G20. This includes on the importance of trade to growth and jobs - an agenda that featured in both Mexico (2012) and Russia’s (2013) host years. The G20 is not looking to negotiate outcomes. Rather, each country will take individual action to boost growth through trade by facilitating business access to global value chains and ease the cost of business. All members are actively participating in the process of developing trade-creating actions for G20 growth strategies.  

SGS: What role does the G20 currently have in the wider global trade architecture? Should this role change?

AJ: Recognising that the G20 represents about 85 per cent of global gross domestic product and over 75 per cent of global trade, the G20 has a real interest in the global trading system. Recognizing the benefits of trade to growth and jobs, it has regularly provided political support to the global trading system and pledged to avoid protectionism. The G20’s call for fresh approaches to the Doha Round for example, sowed the seeds for an important achievement at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC9). This role should continue.  

SGS: Why come to Salzburg to share this agenda?

AJ: Australia considers outreach to be a central element of its responsibilities as G20 President and is committed to consultation to ensure that non-member views are also considered by the G20. A focus for Australia is explaining the G20's work, its link to growth in the global economy and employment, and listening to views on the Group's agenda.  


Andrew Jory was a participant of the the Salzburg Global program New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Agreements, which was supported by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/533