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Trade Talk 30 August 2019

Joint Statement on the Prime Minister's first official visit to Vietnam

Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Phuc issued a Joint Statement following the Prime Minister's visit to Vietnam on 22-24 August. The Prime Ministers agreed to develop an Enhanced Economic Engagement Strategy with the aim of becoming top ten trade partners and doubling investment. They emphasised their commitment to promoting bilateral economic opportunities and regional integration, and agreed on the importance of concluding negotiations this year on a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Simon Birmingham, will lead a business delegation to Vietnam in 2020.

Australia-Malaysia Trade Ministers' Meeting

At the 18th Joint Trade Committee meeting on advancing bilateral trade and investment on 20 August, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Simon Birmingham, and his Malaysian counterpart, Minister Leiking, reviewed the outcomes achieved by the Malaysia‑Australia Free Trade Agreement since its entry into force on 1 January 2013, and welcomed progress to date on RCEP.

Parliamentary committee hearings on Indonesia and Hong Kong trade deals commence

Minister Birmingham welcomed the start this week of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties hearings into the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement. The Minister said the hearings will provide business groups and stakeholders an opportunity to highlight the benefits of the agreements. The Government is committed to ratifying the agreements.

Launch of public objections on EU Geographical Indications - call for submissions

The Government has launched a public objections procedure on Geographical Indications, as part of negotiations to secure an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union. This is your opportunity to advise the Government formally of any concerns you may have regarding the protection of individual EU GI names. DFAT is holding public information sessions across Australia on the objections process. Submissions are due by 13 November 2019.

Prospective Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement - call for submissions

DFAT has invited businesses and other interested stakeholders to submit their views on the potential opportunities and impacts of a future free trade agreement with the United Kingdom. Individuals, organisations and groups that make submissions will be registered as stakeholders by the Department for further consultation and follow up, as appropriate. Submissions can be lodged by email to

Record number of firms taking advantage of trade opportunities

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of Australian merchandise exporters increased by over 1,000 to a record 53,015 in 2017-18. Japan ($13.7m) and China ($13.6m), two of Australia's free trade agreement partner countries, led a tally of the largest average export value per Australian merchandise exporter.

Coral Sea Cable lands in Australia

Foreign Minister and Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne, said this week's landing of the Coral Sea telecommunications cable in Sydney marked an important milestone in the continued strengthening of ties between Australia and the Pacific. Australia has provided the majority of funding for the 4,700 km undersea cable that will deliver faster, more affordable and more reliable communications to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

Business Envoy highlights Australia's economic diplomacy in Africa

The August edition of the Department's Business Envoy magazine provides a snapshot of the Australian Government's economic diplomacy agenda in Africa. It features successful government programs that help deepen Australian business relationships in Africa, and bed down their investments with strong community engagement. The release of this edition coincides with the annual Australia-Africa Week, which kicks off in Perth from 1 September.

Inquiry into supporting Australia's exports and attracting investment

A Parliamentary Committee is currently inquiring into, and will report on, supporting Australia's exports and attracting investment. The Committee is seeking submissions addressing the terms of reference with a special focus on new and rapidly growing areas of export. Submissions are due by 23 September 2019.

Did You Know?

The World Bank forecasts that improved internet access and connectivity could bring more than US$5 billion to the Pacific economy and create close to 300,000 new jobs by 2040.

Upcoming Events

Public Information Sessions on Geographical Indications under the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement

Various locations around Australia

DFAT is holding public information sessions on the Geographical Indications objections process as part of negotiations to secure an ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement with the European Union. Upcoming events will take place in Canberra, the Gold Coast, Darwin, Sydney and Adelaide, in addition to a webinar.

Australia-Africa Week

Perth, WA, 1-7 September 2019

The annual Australia-Africa week involves a range of activities and events to promote and advance Australia-Africa relations.

Asian Development Bank Procurement 101 webinar

Virtual event – free – 17 September 2019

This virtual information session will introduce the Asian Development Bank, its mandate, operations, priorities and procurement processes. This event is suitable for Australian businesses in a range of fields including agriculture and food security, education and training, and health.

Last Updated: 30 August 2019
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