Trade Talk, 2 March 2017

Indonesia-Australia Leaders' Meeting

Leaders recommitted to concluding the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership by the end of this year at the annual Indonesia-Australia Leaders' Meeting in Sydney last weekend. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the FTA would facilitate more opportunities for Australian and Indonesian businesses and create more jobs for both Australia and Indonesia. Indonesia also announced it would lower the tariff on Australian sugar exports to the ASEAN level of 5 per cent and expand opportunities for Australian cattle exports.

Indonesia-Australia Business Week trade mission

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo will lead a 120-strong trade mission to the Indonesia-Australia Business Week in Indonesia from 6-10 March. IABW will develop business opportunities in key areas where Indonesian demand aligns with Australian capability, such as vocational education and training, tourism, financial services and technology, water and sustainable urban design and agribusiness supply chains.

Trade Facilitation Agreement enters into force

The new WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation will reduce trade-related red tape and administrative costs making it easier for Australian businesses to export and create jobs, Minister Ciobo said last week.  Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott welcomed the Agreement saying it had the potential to add $1 trillion to the world economy.

December quarter delivers record trade surplus

Surging export values of rural goods, iron ore and coal delivered Australia its largest ever trade surplus of $4.7 billion for the December quarter, Minister Ciobo announced this week. This result was driven by large increases in export values to China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, the UK and Thailand. Export volumes of LNG and coal increased as major infrastructure projects came online and tourism's record visitor numbers also made a significant contribution to the result.

Celebrating Australia's tourism industry

Minister Ciobo congratulated the 25 winners of this year's Qantas Australian Tourism Awards held in Darwin last week. Minister Ciobo noted the more tourists Australia welcomes, the more jobs they create for Australians. "One in 12 Australians currently work in the tourism industry which is worth $120 billion, contributes $53 billion to Australia's GDP, and is a key driver of the national economy".

Modelling supply and demand of Australian non-commodity exports

This Treasury Working Paper released last week models the supply and demand of Australian non‑commodity exports to derive long-run export demand relationships. On the demand side, the Working Paper finds relatively low substitution elasticity between Australian exports and a broad basket of foreign produced goods and services.

Did You Know? 

Since Australia’s FTAs with Korea eliminated the sugar tariff, the Australian dollar value of calendar year 2016 sugar imports from Australia have more than doubled compared to 2014.

Upcoming Trade Events

Free Trade Agreements Information Seminar

Little Bay, NSW, 3 March

Find out how you can take advantage of Australia's FTAs with China, Japan and Korea at these interactive seminars involving a keynote speech by Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Keith Pitt and sessions run by officials from DFAT, Austrade and other relevant government agencies.

Tourism Australia & VTIC Melbourne Industry Briefing

Melbourne, VIC, 6 March

TA will provide an overview of their latest activities, market insights, business events activity and partnership opportunities relevant to Victoria's tourism industry in session one. Victoria Tourism Industry Council will lead session two covering the 2017 event calendar, updates on the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards, the Victorian Tourism Conference and the Visitor Information Centre Summit.

North Asia FTA Training Session for SMEs - Selling goods to China

Dandenong, VIC, 7 March

With the help of a Free Trade Agreement Training Provider Grant, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will deliver this workshop covering the key trends and opportunities in China and the information you need to export under the ChAFTA, including how you can take advantage of preferential tariff treatment, understand rules of origin, and a checklist of export documentation requirements and record keeping.  This event will also be held in Melbourne on 29 March.

North Asia FTA Training Session for SMEs – Agribusiness workshop

Canberra, ACT, 15 March
With the help of a Free Trade Agreement Training Provider Grant, Charles Sturt University's Centre for Customs and Excise Studies will deliver this workshop with a plenary session on Market Awareness and two breakout sessions on Technical Training and Transport and Logistics Management.

Destination Australia 2017

Sydney, NSW, 16 March

This year's #DestAus17 will bring together top executives from Tourism Australia and leading international companies to focus on the top global megatrends defining travel in 2017; how Tourism Australia is tapping into high-yield international markets to increase the tourism spend; how global political, economic and demographic trends will affect Australian tourism; the latest travel insights from internet search tools, and key factors in growing demand from Asia's expanding middle class.

Business SA: Understand and Utilise FTAs

Port Lincoln, SA, 22 March

Business SA's FTA training sessions are developed and delivered by industry experts with extensive exporting experience in China, Japan and Korea and are targeted towards SMEs, export managers, international sales and marketing specialists and logistics and procurement specialists. The sessions will cover the essential elements of FTAs, including tariff classifications and preferential tariff schedules, rules of origin and certificates of origin.

Last Updated: 2 March 2017