Australia is aiming to strengthen ties with the United States including attracting more skills and international student and trade.

The United States is Australia's largest source of foreign investment with around $617 billion invested in 2012 and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is this week heading a delegation on a visit aimed at boosting opportunities.

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The US is Australia's third largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, worth around $56 billion in 2012​

Strengthening the Australia-United States alliance to improve trade and investment opportunities will be one of the core priorities during the visit to Washington, New York and Chicago, according to Bishop.

The visit includes meetings with key government and business partners and a keynote address to the Alliance 21 flagship conference.

Bishop pointed out that the US is also Australia's third largest two-way trading partner in goods and services, which was worth around $56 billion in 2012. 'We work closely on every level, from trade and defence cooperation to education, science and research collaboration,' she added.

The focus of the keynote address to the Alliance 21 Conference will be on the emergence of Asia as a major economic and political presence, bringing both positive changes to the region as well as new challenges.

A major theme of an address to the Australian Outlook Luncheon in New York will be the new Government's commitment to 'economic diplomacy' which is exemplified by Australia's commitment to openness in foreign investment, borne out by the government's approval of 130 foreign investment proposals since the election last autumn.

A major promotional highlight will involve the Empire State Building lit up in green and gold in recognition of the friendship between the two countries to mark Australia Day. It is part of the G'day USA programme to promote Australia as a trade and investment partner and tourism destination.