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Trade Talk, 4 June 2015

Australia one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world

Australia's real economic growth rose by 0.9% in the March quarter according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Strong growth in services exports were highlighted by Treasurer Hockey: "significantly, services exports are up 8% over the past year…This is the fastest growth since 2007."

Australia launches bid to join global procurement agreement

Australia has launched a bid to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA). "Membership of the GPA would mean our firms will be able to participate on an equal footing with local competitors in GPA member countries" said Trade and Investment Minister Robb.

The Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank, iron ore prices and more

This edition of Export Monitor looks at the opportunities from Australia's participation in the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB). Export Monitor also analyses what the falling iron ore price means for Australia, determining that despite the price fall, most Australian production remains profitable.

NY Times: Australian start-ups lure Silicon Valley money

US venture capital firms are scouring Australia for investment opportunities according to the New York Times. These firms are attracted to Australia by the wealth of innovative start-ups. Over US$240 million was invested in Australia by US venture capital companies in the year ending June 2014.

FTA roadshow comes to NSW Central Coast, Friday 12 June – register now

Parliamentary Secretary Steven Ciobo will headline an FTA Information Seminar Series event in Tumbi Umbi (near Gosford) on Friday 12 June. Government experts will be presenting and available for discussions on taking advantage of Australia's FTAs, particularly with north Asia.

Further Info and Registration: North Asia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Information Seminar 2015, Tumbi Umbi

WTO's dispute settlement has helped curb protectionism–Azevêdo

WTO DG Azevêdo credits the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism as helping to curb trade protectionism. "In just two decades almost 500 disputes have been raised at the WTO. The fact that members use the system in this way is a huge vote of confidence in its effectiveness" said Mr Azevêdo.

Chinese currency no longer undervalued says IMF

The Chinese Renminbi is "no longer undervalued" said the IMF, following its latest review of China. The IMF however urged Beijing to continue working toward greater exchange rate flexibility, suggesting China move to "an effectively floating exchange rate" within the next two to three years.

China and South Korea sign Free Trade Agreement

Three years after negotiations began, China and South Korea have signed a free trade agreement. The agreement will eventually eliminate tariffs on 90% of the goods traded between China and South Korea. The FTA is expected to enter into force later this year, once both legislatures have approved it.

EU jobs increasingly supported by exports

New research from the European Commission suggests EU exports are increasingly supporting jobs in Europe. Jobs supported by exports increased 67% between 1995 and 2011, reaching 31.1 million. Germany hosted the biggest number of jobs supported by EU exports, followed by the UK and Italy.

New work and holiday agreement with Slovak Republic

Young Australians and Slovaks can now explore and work in each other's countries under a reciprocal work and holiday visa arrangement. "The agreement will allow up to 200 people from both countries to enjoy a holiday in each other's country each year" said Assistant Minister for Immigration, Michaelia Cash.

Did you know?

Australia's imports of chocolate and cocoa products from the Slovak Republic increased from just 270 kilograms to almost 135 tonnes between 2010 and 2014

Last Updated: 9 June 2015
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