Trade Talk

7 December 2012

Australia

Dr Emerson: Doha Takes Off On New Flight Path

In his latest op-ed, Trade Minister Emerson writes about the importance of building momentum in the Doha Round negotiations. Dr Emerson hopes the Round — now in its 11th year — will soon see a deal struck on trade facilitation and agricultural reforms.

Op-ed: Doha Takes Off on New Flight Path

Australian Senate Passes MAFTA

The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) is on track for entry into force in January 2013. Last week the Australian Parliament amended Customs legislation to implement the deal. Signed in May 2012, MAFTA will bolster our healthy goods and services trade with Malaysia by eliminating tariffs on most goods.

MAFTA website

Australia-Russia 70th Anniversary

Australia and Russia recently celebrated 70 years of official diplomatic relations. Today Australia and Russia have developed a political and trading relationship that is both deep and broad, with shared membership in regional fora such as the East Asian Summit and APEC, and two-way trade valued at $2.2 billion in 2011-12.

Learn about the important Australia-Russia relationship on the DFAT website.

World

Papua New Guinea in the Asian Century

Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, last week delivered a speech at the Lowy Institute in Sydney. Key topics included the Australia-PNG bilateral relationship and PNG’s role in the Asian Century. PNG is forging closer ties with a range of Asian countries, with demand for PNG energy and mineral resources set to drive its exports in coming years.

Speech by PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill: Papua New Guinea in the Asian Century

China Overtakes United States as Top Goods Trading Partner

China’s importance as a global trading partner has surged in recent years. According toAssociated Press analysis for 180 countries, merchandise trade with China averaged 12.4 per cent of GDP last year, up from three per cent in 2002 — and higher than that with the United States at any time in the last 30 years. China has now also overtaken the United States as the largest merchandise trading partner for most of the world.

Associated Press — China’s Reach

Japan-European Union Free Trade Negotiations to Start

Trade Ministers of the 27 European Union member countries last week agreed to commence free trade agreement talks with Japan, its third largest trading partner. The EU is expected to push for specific caveats to protect their ailing automobile industry, which faces strong competition from Asian manufacturers.

Nasdaq news article: Japan-EU free trade agreement negotiations

Did you know?

Aussies are well and truly ready for summer, with more than $31 million worth of rubber thongs imported in 2011-12. That’s almost 13 million pairs! China and Brazil — famous for its Havaianas brand — are our two biggest sources of the iconic footwear.

Learn more with DFAT’s fact sheets.

More about Australia’s trade.

The latest trade statistics.