Peter Costello

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South Africa - Australia Joint Economic Research

NO.098

SOUTH AFRICA - AUSTRALIA JOINT ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Australian Treasurer, Mr Peter Costello, today announced funding for a Joint Economic Research Program me with South Africa. The programme will explore how lessons learned from Australia’s economic growth experience can help address the key economic challenges facing South Africa.

Mr Costello made the announcement in Cape Town, South Africa at a joint press conference with Mr Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s Minister for Finance.

Australia will contribute $250,000 to the research program from AusAID’s development assistance programme.

The funding will be used to consider some key economic challenges facing South Africa with researchers and policy-makers from Australia.

The joint research project will significantly enhance the level and quality of economic policy dialogue between South Africa and Australia.

The joint research project is in keeping with the commitment in the Accord for Sustained Growth of the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (G‑20) to open and constructive dialogue between industrial and emerging-market economies.

Grant to the South Africa Finance and Fiscal Commission

Australia will also provide $70,000 to the South African Finance and Fiscal Commission to build its capacity in public financial management.

Australia’s contribution will assist the Commission in its important work of balancing the provision of basic government services mandated under South Africa’s Constitution within the constraints of macroeconomic management.

The grant will also be used to build local capacity for the development of a model informing the South African Government on intergovernmental finance issues under its federal system.

Training and an exchange programme to improve the Commission’s economic and financial skills will be conducted in collaboration with Curtin University.

The Australian aid programme has supported the Commission for a number of years with funding totalling over $300,000. Activities have included support (utilising Australian expertise) for the development of a capital grants model, which is now being used by the national government to assist with key resource allocation issues.

Australia provided around $7.6 million in aid to South Africa in 2005-06.

Cape Town, South Africa
11 September 2006

Contact: Renae Stoikos
02 6277 7340

11 Sep 2006

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