Trade Talk 22 November 2019
New financing measures to help build critical minerals sector
The Australian Government has announced a suite of new measures to secure the future of rare earth and critical mineral projects in Australia. These include the opening of a Critical Minerals Facilitation Office within the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in January 2020, new financing arrangements through Export Finance Australia for projects that develop Australian rare earth and critical mineral assets, and $4.5 million to fund critical minerals research by key Commonwealth scientific agencies.
Inaugural Australia-France trade and investment dialogue
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Simon Birmingham, welcomed French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian to Adelaide this month, for the inaugural Australia-France Trade and Investment Dialogue. The Dialogue focused on the additional benefits a comprehensive and ambitious Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement would deliver, including strengthening Australia's bilateral relationship with France, and signalling our shared commitment to an open, rules-based trading environment.
Opening of Australia House in Shanghai
Minister Birmingham delivered a keynote speech at the Australian-China Chamber of Commerce launch of Australia House in Shanghai earlier this month. Minister Birmingham discussed the complementarity of the Australia-China economic relationship, the benefits of economic openness with our largest trading partner, and the higher living standards the partnership has sustained.
Australia's 21st consecutive monthly trade surplus
Minister Birmingham welcomed Australia's 21st consecutive monthly trade surplus in September. ABS data showed a monthly trade surplus of $7.2 billion, with new monthly highs of $34.6 billion for goods exports and $8.6 billion for services.
WTO: Increase coverage and benefits of global trading system
In a speech delivered in China this week, WTO Deputy Director-General Alan Wolff called for a renewal of the charter for the multilateral trading system, including a recommitment to shared ideals and goals, and the central premise that market forces determine competitive outcomes. The Director-General also pushed for urgent progress in addressing distortions in agricultural trade, in the context of increasing disruptions and food shortages caused by natural disasters.
Goods barometer suggests world trade to remain below trend as tensions take toll
The latest WTO Goods Trade Barometer indicates the WTO expects world merchandise trade to remain below trend into the fourth quarter of 2019. Some components of the barometer have stabilised, such as export orders, automotive products and container shipping. However, international air freight, and trade in electronic components and raw materials remain on a downward trajectory, reflecting heightened trade tensions and rising tariffs in key sectors.
Structural reforms can counter slower economic growth across APEC
According to a report by the APEC Policy Support Unit, trade tensions continued to dampen investment and consumer spending in the Asia-Pacific region in the first half of 2019. The Unit's new report, Slower Growth, Bigger Challenges, outlines policy reforms to support economic growth, such as promoting services trade, attracting investment in digital technology, and removing barriers to women's economic participation.
Strengthening horticulture ties with India
Hort Innovation conducted a relationship-building tour in India last week with the aim of boosting the sector's economic partnership with India across research, marketing and trade. Participants met representatives of major agribusiness companies, retail food chains, horticulture import giants, Indian research agencies and government officials. Australia's horticultural exports to India have more than doubled since 2013.
DID YOU KNOW?
Australia's trade surplus has been worth an accumulated $63 billion over the past 12 months and an accumulated $93 billion over the past three years.
Free Trade Agreements Information Seminars – Hobart (6 December) and Smithton (9 December), Tasmania
Participants will get practical advice on exporting and how to take advantage of Australia's Free Trade Agreements. Minister for Regional Services, Decentralisation and Local Government, and Assistant Minister for Trade and Investment, Mark Coulton, will speak at both seminars.
What you need to know if your trade mark is challenged - IP Australia Webinar, 3 December 2019
Join IP Australia for their new webinar explaining the trade mark oppositions and hearings process. This webinar will provide you with the tools you will need if your trade mark is being opposed.