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Trade Talk, 7 May 2015

7 May, 2015

Australia's trade deficit improves as both imports and exports fall

Australia's exports of goods and services fell 1.5% to $27.2 billion in March. Resource exports were the largest contributors to the fall, decreasing 3.1%. Imports of goods and services were also down, falling 2.4% to $28.5 billion. Overall, Australia's trade deficit improved by 17.8% in March to $1.3 billion.

US trade deficit lifts Aussie dollar, despite RBA rate cuts

The Australian dollar climbed against its US counterpart, despite Tuesday's Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) interest rate cut. The currency would normally be expected to fall on a rate cut. The climb followed figures showing the US trade deficit surged by 43% in March to more than $US51 billion.

Overseas visitors to Australia hits record 7 million

International visitors to Australia for the 12 months ending March 2015 hit over seven million, according to preliminary data estimates. The figure, the highest Australia has ever seen, represents year-on-year growth of 8% and has been matched in spending, a key measure of Australia's long term tourism strategy.

New Consulate-General opens in Houston, Texas

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb announced the opening of a new Consulate-General in Houston on Monday. The consulate will seek major trade opportunities for Australian companies. Texas is the second-largest US state by GDP and home to more than 50 Fortune 500 companies.

The Australia-China investment relationship: a two-way street

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that there is nearly as much Australian capital in China as Chinese capital in Australia. However, on a per-person basis, Australians have invested in Chinese assets on a scale more than 50 times greater than in the reverse direction.

Insiders reveal insights on North-Asia FTAs

Australia's Senior Trade Commissioners in China, Japan and Korea discuss the unprecedented opportunities in their markets in three new videos. Following the conclusion of the North-Asia FTAs, they reveal insights on the individual markets and how Austrade can help Australian business access these opportunities.

Chile tops Latin American countries for enabling trade

Chile was ranked 8th in the World Economic Forum's Enabling Trade Report 2014, making it the highest-ranked Latin American country. Chile boasts the lowest average import tariff in the world (3.5%) however the report identified transport infrastructure as a challenge, ranking Chile 64th for the measure.

Is economic openness an "enemy of the people"?

The Peterson Institute for International Economics discusses the fear of trade and investment openness in countries such as Brazil and the US. The op-ed shows, however, that despite short-term losses from greater liberalisation, there are substantial gains in the long-run, citing examples from Singapore to Korea.

Australia's sake success story

Australia's only sake brewery, Sun Masamune, exports its sake to Japan, South Korea, China and the US. With a team of just four people the company produces over 500,000 litres of sake every year. Managing Director Allan Noble attributes the success of Sun Masamune to Australia's clear water and quality rice.

Did you know?

Australia was the 6th largest source of wine for Japan in 2014, behind France, Italy, Chile, Spain and the US.

Last Updated: 7 May 2015
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