Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said his first overseas delegation representing Australia at the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Mexico was a worthwhile and interesting experience. Mr Coulton and four other MPs were joined by representatives from countries in the Pacific Rim including Japan, China, the United States, Russia and New Zealand. More than 150 delegates gathered at the conference which looked at issues that affect the who Asia Pacific region including trade, security and the environment. Federal parliament speaker Bronwyn Bishop, Mr Coulton, and one Liberal and two Labor MPs attended the forum as representatives for Australia. "This is the 20th year they have had this forum for parliamentarians and we worked on a number of statements and motions. I was involved in one on trade, and there were others to do with issues like security and the environment," Mr Coulton said. "There was a lot of discussion about free trade agreements, the possibility of a free trade agreement that encompasses the whole region. The point of the forum was about getting together and finding where everyone stands." He said it is crucial that Australia take every opportunity to liaise with other countries to ensure ties remain strong. "The world is a much smaller place now and it is important that Australia has a good relationship with our neighbours and is involved in discussions," Mr Coulton said. One new challenge Mr Coulton encountered during the forum was translation. Mr Coulton said it was the first time that he had been in a situation that required multiple translations. "It was fascinating the way it happened. If you had a delegate who was talking in Spanish, there would be translators in the booths and you would listen to the translation though headphones. For the smaller groups, there were interpreters available. "The Japanese member was the only one who didn't speak English, the Russians and the Mexicans all spoke good English." The Australian delegation also met with prominent business people in Mexico City to discuss trade possibilities for the future.