Trade Talk, 7 July 2016
Trusted Trader now open to Australian businesses involved in international trade
Australian businesses engaged in international trade are able to benefit from faster customs clearances and processes by qualifying for the Australian Trusted Trader Programme. The Programme, which has been developed by DIBP in consultation with importers, exporters and other bodies, is voluntary and is aimed at shifting the customs control framework to a partnership network. Over time, mutual recognition arrangements planned with Australia's trading partners would deliver major advantages for Australian exporters through lower transaction and compliance costs.
Trade deficit rose $433m in May
Australia's trade deficit increased 24.3 per cent ($433 million) to $2.2 billion in May compared with April this year. Exports of goods and services rose 0.7 per cent ($188 million) to $26.2 billion. Rural exports fell 2.2 per cent and resources exports rose 4.3 per cent. Imports of goods and services rose 2.2 per cent ($620 million) to $28.4 billion.
WTO board will meet to discuss an increase in global trade-restrictive measures
The Chair of the WTO Trade Policy Review Board has called a meeting for July 25 after Director-General Roberto AzevÃªdo's latest review found an increase in the use of trade restrictive measures in the face of a volatile world trade environment. The review found an increase of about 50 per cent in new trade restricting measures compared to the same period last year and is seen as a sign of members adopting more protectionist positions on trade.
Launch of the 2016 OECD / FAO Agricultural Outlook
This year's Outlook confirms the recent period of high agricultural commodity prices is most likely over. The Outlook projects inflation-adjusted agricultural commodity prices will remain relatively flat overall in the coming decade. However, livestock prices are expected to rise relative to crops. As incomes improve, especially in emerging economies, demand for meat, fish and poultry will demonstrate strong growth.
Value of Australia's trade in goods and services increases
The value of Australia's total trade has increased an average of 3.4 per cent per annum from 2010 to 2015 while volumes increased 3.7 per cent per annum, as reported in DFAT's recent Composition of Trade Australia 2015 publication. Exports of manufactures increased 4.0 per cent to $44.0 billion in 2015, driven by exports of transport equipment (up 11.1 per cent to $5.7 billion) and machinery (up 9.2 per cent to $10.4 billion).
Visa changes support our international education sector
Applying for an international student visa in Australia just got easier. The simplified student visa framework reduces the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two. Australia's international education sector is our third-largest export industry and our largest services export. It was estimated to exceed $19 billion in 2014–15.
Fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth in international visitors
Australia welcomed 542,000 international visitor arrivals during May, an increase of 11.4 per cent, and the fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth in international visitor arrivals this year. Total international arrivals reached 7.78 million for the year ending May 2016, an increase of 9.6 per cent relative to the previous year, equating to an extra 682,000 visitors.
Western Distributor project attracts international investors
Three international consortiums have been shortlisted to bid on Melbourne's $5.5 billion Western Distributor project:
- Salini Impreglio (Italy), Fluor Australia (US) and Lane Worldwide Infrastructure (US)
- John Holland (China) and CPB Contractors
- Lend Lease Engineering and Bouygues Construction (France).
The consortiums will prepare fully costed designs for the Western Distributor, which includes the widening of the West Gate Freeway, a tunnel under Yarraville, a second river crossing, and connections to the port, CityLink and the city. The contract will be signed by late 2017, with the project expected to be completed in 2022.
Brexit makes an impact
World share markets lost US$2 trillion, or 4.8 per cent, in the 24 hours after the British electorate voted to leave the EU on June 23. In Australia, the ASX and S&P200 has recovered most of the initial losses, while the AUD was down 2 per cent against the USD. Longer term impacts will depend on the ultimate terms of the UK's trade relationship with the EU.
Did you know?
Tourism Tasmania's Instagram page recently became the most popular of all Australian state tourism organisations' pages, overtaking Queensland. Tasmania has more than 278,000 followers, and Queensland is a few hundred behind with Victoria rapidly catching up.
Upcoming Trade Events
Know-How for Inbound Tourism Excellence program
Melbourne, 21 July I Indonesia Market Insights webinar, 20 July 2016
This program by the Australian Tourism Export Council helps businesses connect with the $36.6b international tourism market. The Know-How for Inbound Tourism Excellence or KITE program prepares tourism businesses for international readiness, providing market specific insights and specialist topic webinars. Visit the registration page to search for further dates and locations.
Speed Networking for International Business
Western Sydney, 5 July I Griffith, 6 July I Byron Bay, 12 July I Wollongong, 22 July 2016
The NSW Government and the Export Council of Australia invite you to attend a free Speed Networking for International Business program which covers important topics that matter to all international traders. Industry experts discuss topics including managing international freight risks, protecting your intellectual property rights, finance for success and FTAs.