The department represents Australia in international forums where decisions are made that may affect national interests in broadband, communications, the digital economy and other international issues. In trade negotiations, the department supports efforts by the department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to enhance access to foreign markets. In other international activities, the department supports international standardisation arrangements and works to encourage other countries to adopt policy changes and establish regulatory arrangements that build investor confidence and facilitate commercial ventures by Australian business. The department also supports training and other capacity-building activities to assist developing countries, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

Key areas of activity include:

  • representing Australia's interests in bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations
  • representing Australia in specialised international organisations, such as: ITU, OECD, APEC
  • developing bilateral links with other organisations with responsibility for ICT policy
  • raising awareness of Australia's liberalised communications market and innovative business activity
  • facilitating links with the business sector.

The department promotes and supports its domestic agenda and communications priorities at an international level. There are four streams of international engagement.

  • Trade engagement

    An outline of how the department participates in the World Trade Organization (WTO) processes and negotiation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to seek liberalisation of international trade in telecommunications services and e-commerce multilaterally, regionally and bilaterally.

  • International Telecommunication Union and related engagement

    The department coordinates Australia's participation in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT).

  • Multilateral engagement

    This section provides an overview of the department’s involvement in the activities of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Commission.

  • Internet governance

    A brief description of the international organisations concerned with the administration and development of global internet use.

  • ITU World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT-12)

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