Trade Talk 8 March 2018
TPP-11 to be signed in Chile
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo will join TPP-11 Ministers to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) in Santiago on 8 March. The TPP-11 is one of the most comprehensive trade deals ever concluded and will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone with a combined GDP worth $13.7 trillion. The signing is a significant moment for open markets, free trade and the rules-based international system. "It sends an important message to the world that prosperity is achieved through breaking down trade barriers, not building them," Minister Ciobo said.
ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, Sydney 17-18 March
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is hosting ASEAN Leaders for the ASEAN‑Australia Special Summit in Sydney next weekend. A Business Summit, including an SME Conference, will take place in the days leading up to the Special Summit. In less than two decades, ASEAN's combined GDP has more than doubled. With a population of over 637 million and a burgeoning consumer class, ASEAN countries present significant opportunities for Australian exporters.
Trans-Tasman trade cooperation
At the Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum, Prime Minister Turnbull said Forum discussions reinforced the determination of both countries to work more closely together to defend and advance our values and objectives. The Prime Minister pointed to joint leadership, also with Japan, on the TPP-11 as a strong example of cooperation to promote the free trade our economies thrive on.
Visit to Brazil - Australia's largest trade partner in Latin America
Minister Ciobo visited São Paulo this week and met prospective Brazilian investors in Australia's agribusiness sector to identify new opportunities for Australian companies. As the largest economy in Latin America, Brazil offers opportunities for Australian enterprises in all sectors, including innovation, research, mining, education and financial services.
RCEP Ministerial Meeting
At the fourth RCEP Intersessional Ministerial Meeting held on 3 March 2018 in Singapore, Ministers emphasised the immense potential of an RCEP agreement to contribute to the growth of global trade and enhance economic growth, provide more jobs and improve the livelihood of people in the RCEP region in an inclusive way. Negotiators continue to progress negotiations with the next officials-level meeting in April in Singapore.
Exporters embrace Australia's trade agreements
Australia's North Asian FTAs have high utilisation rates for merchandise trade, according to a PwC study commissioned by DFAT. For the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, as much as 95 per cent of eligible exports are benefiting from tariff preferences. The comparable figures for the China and Korea FTAs are both over 80 per cent. The study also found FTAs are influencing business activity, confidence, strategy, expansion planning and international investment, including in the services sector.
International Trade in Goods and Services, January 2018
Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today show Australia's monthly trade balance in January was a surplus of $1.1 billion, a turnaround of $2.2 billion from the $1.1 billion deficit in December 2017. The surplus was driven by both an increase in exports, up 4.3 per cent to $33.9 billion, and a decrease in imports, down 2.4 per cent to $32.9 billion.
Statement on Monetary Policy Decision
The Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Decision notes the Australian economy is expected to grow faster in 2018 than it did in 2017. The Statement also says business conditions are positive, non-mining business investment is increasing, and further growth in exports is expected after temporary weakness at the end of 2017.
WTO warns against triggering an escalation in trade barriers
World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto AzevÃªdo warned of the risk of an escalation of trade barriers across the globe. He said, "Once we start down this path, it will be very difficult to reverse direction. An eye for an eye will leave us all blind and the world in deep recession".
TPP-11 outcomes and background documents
DFAT has prepared a comprehensive set of background documents to explain what the agreement will deliver for Australian businesses. The guides cover the full agreement from goods market access through to outcomes on health, environment, labour and anti‑corruption.
Trade and Investment at a Glance 2017
DFAT's latest trade publication 'Trade and Investment at a Glance 2017' provides high level statistical data on Australia's trade and investment profile and outlines Australia's trade and investment framework, including the international trade and investment forums through which we progress Australia's economic interests.
ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Survey
The ASEAN-Australia Digital Trade Standards Survey aims to determine areas of opportunity for digital standards harmonisation, technical alignment, regulatory coherence and policy cooperation. The Survey is being conducted across ASEAN Member States and Australia until 26 March.
ECA recommendations to boost SMEs in international trade
The Export Council of Australia's 2018 Trade Policy Recommendations focus on growing the number of SMEs which export. Recommendations include raising awareness of the international opportunities available and helping exporters receive the right services.
Inquiry into access to FTAs by SMEs
The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade is conducting an inquiry titled 'Access to free trade agreements by small and medium sized enterprises'. The Committee invites submissions addressing the terms of reference by Friday, 20 April 2018.
Did You Know?
New Zealand is Australia's sixth-largest trading partner, although its population is just a tenth of most of our other top ten trading partners.
Upcoming Trade Events
Presentation by Australia's Ambassador to Germany and Switzerland
Adelaide, SA, 14 March 2018
Australian Ambassador to Germany and Switzerland Lynette Wood will speak about her first 18 months in Berlin and reflect on her career as a diplomat at this University of Adelaide Institute for International Trade event.
Tourism Australia's 'Destination Australia' Conference 2018
Melbourne, VIC, 15 March 2018
Tailor-made for Australian tourism businesses serious about attracting high yield international travellers, Tourism Australia has hand-picked experts to delve into the big issues and tackle today's most important tourism marketing questions.
Free Trade Agreements Information Seminars
Logan, QLD, 19 March 2018
Ipswich, QLD, 20 March 2018
Participants at these interactive seminars will hear directly from government and industry experts on the practical benefits of exporting and how to take advantage of Australia's FTAs. Representatives from DFAT, Austrade, EFIC, TradeStart and AusIndustry will be available to answer your questions.
Pop up Event: Vietnam-Australia Bilateral Trade Relations
Perth, WA, 19 March 2018
This Australian Institute of International Affairs event will feature Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick and Australia's Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Karen Lanyon discussing Vietnam-Australia trade relations and insights from the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.
Panel Discussion on Foreign Policy White Paper
Adelaide, SA, 22 March
DFAT's Chief Economist for Trade and Investment David Holly will deliver a presentation and participate in a panel discussion on Australia's Foreign Policy White Paper. The White Paper set outs a framework for our international efforts over the next decade and beyond. This event is hosted by the University of Adelaide's Institute for International Trade.
Business SA: Become an Expert Exporter
Unley, SA, 10 April 2018
Business SA's Expert Exporter evening is for business people considering taking their product or service to an overseas market. Participants will learn about Business SA's Export Ready Program.