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Trade Talk 8 November 2019

Australia welcomes agreement to finalise regional trade deal

Fifteen countries including Australia have committed to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement in 2020. RCEP includes 9 of Australia's top 15 trading partners and 66 per cent of Australian exports. No other free trade agreement brings together the collective economic weight of Australia, the ten countries of ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Australia will work with India on its outstanding issues with a view to it joining the deal.

Media release


Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment – travel to China

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Senator Simon Birmingham led Australia's delegation of more than 200 companies to the China International Import Expo in Shanghai this week. In China, the Minister engaged in ministerial-level discussions covering the next steps in WTO reform and pushed for the successful conclusion of work on unsustainable fisheries subsidies and on advancing negotiations on agriculture, e‑commerce and services domestic regulation.

Media release

2019 Stan Kelly Lecture – DFAT Secretary

During a lecture held at the University of Melbourne last month, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, spoke about the present and future potential of services exports and the Government's work to reform and open international services markets, including in the WTO and through free trade agreements. The Secretary also outlined DFAT and Austrade's joint efforts to develop a Services Export Action Plan. The Plan will contain a range of policy suggestions to address domestic impediments to competitiveness, and increase exports.


Australian exporters thriving from new market opportunities

According to the latest Australian International Business Survey released in October, most Australian exporters remain optimistic, expect to improve their financial position, and are looking to expand into new markets. Almost 80 per cent of those surveyed indicated they were planning to expand their business into at least one new market in the next two years.

Media release

Photo of a group of DFAT staff

Australia-EU FTA – report on fifth negotiating round

The fifth round of negotiations on the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement took place in Canberra from 14-18 October. Following Australia's publication of the list of product names the EU wants Australia to protect as geographical indications, and an initial exchange of goods market access offers, the fifth round of negotiations was positive and constructive. The sixth round of negotiations will be held in early 2020.

A-EUFTA news

Finalists of the 57th Australian Export Awards

The 94 finalists competing in Australia's Export Awards employ 34,000 Australians and generate more than $7.8 billion in export earnings. The overall winner, recognised as the Australian Exporter of the Year, and each category winner, will be announced at an event in Canberra on 3 December 2019. Finalists include Clean Seas Seafood, Swisse Wellness, Alana Kaye College and Australian Blue Cypress.

Media release

Report highlights untapped opportunity for beef and cattle exports

A new report by the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in ASEAN found that exports to Southeast Asian nations could deliver a substantial boost to the Australian economy by 2025. The study, 'Capturing the ASEAN Agricultural Opportunity for Northern Australia' identified live cattle, beef, wheat, sheep meat, milk and cream powder, malt, table grapes, cheese, cream, oranges, infant food preparations, rock lobsters, macadamias, avocados and soybeans as having the greatest export potential.

Media release

Lowy: India's RCEP exit a setback, but not a disaster

India's RCEP withdrawal is disappointing for the Indo-Pacific, but in the current climate, a successful agreement is too important to the region to delay, Dr Jeffrey Wilson writes in The Interpreter. RCEP's single set of trade rules will help unlock cross-border value chains, putting the region on par with the integrated trading arrangements of North America and Europe that have been in place for more than two decades.


Did you know?

Services contribute 73 per cent of Australia's GDP.

Upcoming events

Free Trade Agreements Information Seminars – Barossa

Lyndoch, SA, 14 November 2019

Participants will hear directly from government and industry experts on the practical benefits of exporting and how to take advantage of Australia's free trade agreements. At the completion of the seminar a Wine Industry roundtable will be held in partnership with Wine Australia. The roundtable is an opportunity to hear about, and discuss, trends and opportunities in a range of wine markets including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.


Free Trade Agreements Collaboration Workshop – Kangaroo Island

Kingscote, SA, 15 November 2019

In partnership with the South Australian Government, Austrade and DFAT are holding a collaboration workshop titled 'Towards Developing the Economic Agenda for Kangaroo Island'. The workshop will include a briefing on the local benefits and opportunities created by Australia's free trade agreements, recently signed deals, and those we are negotiating. Participants will also lean about assistance available for business from Australian Trusted Trader, TradeStart and AusIndustry representatives.


Free Trade Agreements Networking Seminar – Melbourne

Melbourne, VIC, 21 November 2019

Network with like-minded businesses and learn from government and industry representatives at this seminar for exporters and those considering exporting. The Seminar will cover opportunities under free trade agreements including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, recently signed agreements with Indonesia and Hong Kong, and existing free trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China.


Last Updated: 8 November 2019
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