Trade Talk

20 December 2012

Australia

Dr Emerson counters the prophets of gloom

In his latest op-ed, Trade and Competitiveness Minister Emerson discusses the potential damage to consumer and business confidence that may be caused by overly pessimistic characterisations of Australia's economic prospects.

Op-ed: Don't let the prophets of gloom get away with it

Asian Century business engagement plan

Trade Minister Emerson has released draft guidelines for a $6 million Business Engagement Plan to help drive trade in the Asian Century. The Business Engagement Plan will be administered by Austrade and involves awarding grants to businesses based on a competitive application process. The draft guidelines are available for public consultation on the Austrade website, with comments due by 31 January 2013.

Press release: Asian Century Business Engagement Plan (ACBP)

Austrade: Draft guidelines for the ACBP

Australia the 'iron man' among OECD countries

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released its Economic Survey of Australia, describing Australia as the "Iron Man" among OECD countries. Noting the economy's resilience through the global economic crisis, the survey highlights the need for continued reform in order for Australia to benefit fully from its position in the Asia-Pacific.

OECD: Economic Survey of Australia

World

EU and Singapore finalise free trade agreement

The European Union and Singapore this week signed a landmark free trade agreement, bringing an end to nearly three years of negotiations. The agreement is expected to come into force in 2013 following domestic approval processes. Australia and Singapore entered into a free trade agreement known as 'SAFTA' in 2003.

Press release from the European Trade Commission

Press release from the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry

More information on SAFTA

PACER Plus negotiations progress

The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations made rapid progress on agreed priority issues and increased engagement in 2012, following two inter-sessional meetings, two negotiating rounds and a workshop. The PACER Plus negotiations include the Forum Island countries, Australia and New Zealand.

More information on the (PACER) Plus negotiations

APEC meetings kick off in Indonesia

Indonesia is gearing up to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in 2013. Earlier this month, APEC held its Informal Senior Officials' Meeting in Jakarta. The theme for APEC in 2013 is "Resilient Asia-Pacific: Engine of Global Growth."

APEC: Informal Senior Officials' Meeting

Chatham House report on resources future

Think tank Chatham House has released a report analysing the future of resources, focusing on possible sources of instability and conflict. The report highlights the potential for export restrictions to make the global resources situation more volatile. The publication is accompanied by an interactive website.

Chatham House: Resources Futures report and interactive website

Did you know?

Australia is well and truly ready for Christmas, with $6.5 million of Christmas decorations and $2.4 billion worth of toys, games and sporting goods imported in 2011-12!

Learn more with DFAT's fact sheets.

More about Australia's trade.

The latest trade statistics.