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Trade Talk, 28 May 2015

APEC Trade Ministers meet in the Philippines

Trade Ministers from the 21 APEC member economies issued a statement at the conclusion of their meeting in the Philippines on Sunday. The statement reflects the outcomes of the meeting and encouraged expanding trade and economic activity towards strong, sustainable and inclusive growth.

APEC meeting: Trade Minister highlights need to reduce barriers for business

Minister Robb attended the APEC Ministerial meeting in the Philippines last week. In this interview with a local TV station, he notes the focus at the meeting on micro and SME businesses, and the impact that the internet has on them. Minister Robb also highlights the need to reduce the barriers to these businesses.

Free Trade Agreements lead to rising exports, study confirms

An APEC study on Free Trade Agreements has confirmed that FTAs boost exports. For the entire sample, the study found that after the FTAs were in place, the following five years saw a sizeable jump in average annual exports. The study also found that the more partners involved in an FTA the better the results.

WTO welcomes strong APEC support for its work program

WTO DG Azevêdo welcomed the strong support by APEC trade ministers of the multilateral trading system during their meeting in the Philippines. Mr Azevêdo underscored that continued backing from APEC will be "critical" for reaching agreement for concluding the Doha Round.

GDP growth slows across the OECD

Economic growth in the OECD area slowed to 0.3% in the first quarter of 2015, down from 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to OECD estimates. Growth slowed most significantly in the US (to 0.1%) and in Germany (to 0.3%). Australia's GDP growth for the first quarter will be released next week.

Australia shines the light on India

With indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps and stoves the second largest cause of death in India, one Australian company has come up with a solution. Pollinate Energy has developed a portable solar light and sold more than 7,000 units in India with expansion planned.

Hong Kong investor signs Melbourne luxury hotel development

A Hong Kong investment group has signed an agreement with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Group for the development of a luxury brand hotel in Melbourne. Located at Spencer Street in the CBD, the new 250 room hotel will be the tallest in Australia and is part of a large scale mixed-use property project.

"Australia fast becoming long-haul destination of choice for Asia-Pacific"

This uplifting clip shows highlights from the QANTAS Tourism Awards, held last month in Adelaide. Trade Minister Robb spoke at the awards, saying Australia was fast becoming the "first and the best long-haul destination of choice for the Asia-Pacific. The awards celebrate the top Australian tourism businesses.

APEC tourism officials agree on revised strategic plan

The Philippines hosted the 46th APEC Tourism Working Group (TWG) Meeting from 17-18 May. The TWG agreed on a new strategic plan for 2015 to 2019, with projects and activities to be championed and co-sponsored by member economies.

The humble flat white helps quench world's insatiable demand for coffee

The flat white, once only found in Australian cafés, is making its mark globally. Starbucks credits its introduction for driving its fastest growth in eight years. Australian coffee culture is also being exported by international baristas, who are coming to Australia in increasing numbers to receive formal training.

Invitation to participate - assessing labour conditions in the Australian tourism industry

Businesses in the tourism industry are invited to complete a questionnaire to help measure the size and nature of labour force problems in Australia. The survey will close on 14 June and takes approximately seven minutes to complete. Any information you provide will be treated with the strictest confidence.

Did you know?

Australia's exports of natural gas to APEC economies has nearly doubled over the last five years, reaching $18b in 2014.

Last Updated: 29 May 2015
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