4.9 Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio

The Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio’s role is to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. This involves working to strengthen Australia’s security; enhancing Australia’s prosperity; delivering an effective and high quality aid programme; and helping Australian travellers and Australians overseas.

The Minister administers 40 pieces of legislation ranging from the Australian Passports Act 2005 to the Registration of Deaths Abroad Act 1984.

The Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio receives total resourcing of $8.2 billion of which $2.1 billion is departmental funding and $6.1 billion is administered funding. The portfolio employs nearly 7,200 staff.

Table 4.9.1: Portfolio resourcing: Foreign Affairs and Trade

Funding ($'000)

Staffing

Entity

Departmental

Administered

Total

ASL

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

           1,480,979

           5,879,473

            7,360,452

         5,976

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

                 11,835

               118,774

               130,609

               73

Australian Secret Intelligence Service

               247,719

                            -

               247,719

 *

Australian Trade Commission

               195,969

               140,647

               336,616

             930

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Nat'l Interest)

 *

 *

 *

                  7

Tourism Australia

               130,351

                          -  

               130,351

             198

PORTFOLIO (1)

2,066,853

6,138,894

8,205,747

7,184

Source: Department of Finance. 201314 Budget updated for machinery of government changes.
(1) As individual entity resourcing includes inter-agency transfers and payments, total resourcing for the portfolio may be overstated by this amount.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides foreign, trade and development policy advice to government. It provides a diplomatic and consular presence overseas via the network of 96 posts it manages; combined with 17 Austrade‑managed posts and 67 posts headed by an honorary consul. Further, it seeks to promote Australia internationally through its public diplomacy programmes.

Since 1 November 2013, DFAT has been responsible for managing foreign aid – previously managed by a separate agency (AusAID). Finally, DFAT helps coordinate the work of government agencies to ensure Australia’s effective pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests.

The role of the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is to help Australian businesses, education institutions and tourism operators develop international markets; including through administration of the Export Market Development Grants scheme and the TradeStart programme.

The Australian Secret Intelligence Service is an intelligence agency regulated by the Intelligence Services Act 2001. Its primary goal is to obtain and distribute secret intelligence about the capabilities, intentions and activities of individuals or organisations outside Australia which may impact on Australia’s interests and the wellbeing of its citizens.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research is a statutory authority which provides agricultural expertise to developing countries as part of Australia’s aid programme.

The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation is an export credit agency which provides loans, guarantees and other financial services to support the international activities of Australian companies when private sector financial providers are unable to provide support.

Tourism Australia is statutory authority responsible for attracting international visitors to Australia and encouraging Australians to travel domestically, both for leisure and business events.

Chart 4.9.1 is a graphical representation of the relative size of bodies within the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio.

 

Chart 4.9.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade

This chart shows the Department and Portfolio agencies, as described above, diagrammatically.

This chart shows the Department and Portfolio agencies, as described above, diagrammatically.