Dr Emerson counters the prophets of gloom
In his latest op-ed, Trade and Competitiveness Minister Emerson discusses the potential damage to consumer and business confidence that may be caused by overly pessimistic characterisations of Australia's economic prospects.
Asian Century business engagement plan
Trade Minister Emerson has released draft guidelines for a $6 million Business Engagement Plan to help drive trade in the Asian Century. The Business Engagement Plan will be administered by Austrade and involves awarding grants to businesses based on a competitive application process. The draft guidelines are available for public consultation on the Austrade website, with comments due by 31 January 2013.
Press release: Asian Century Business Engagement Plan (ACBP)
Austrade: Draft guidelines for the ACBP
Australia the 'iron man' among OECD countries
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released its Economic Survey of Australia, describing Australia as the "Iron Man" among OECD countries. Noting the economy's resilience through the global economic crisis, the survey highlights the need for continued reform in order for Australia to benefit fully from its position in the Asia-Pacific.
EU and Singapore finalise free trade agreement
The European Union and Singapore this week signed a landmark free trade agreement, bringing an end to nearly three years of negotiations. The agreement is expected to come into force in 2013 following domestic approval processes. Australia and Singapore entered into a free trade agreement known as 'SAFTA' in 2003.
Press release from the European Trade Commission
Press release from the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry
More information on SAFTA
PACER Plus negotiations progress
The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations made rapid progress on agreed priority issues and increased engagement in 2012, following two inter-sessional meetings, two negotiating rounds and a workshop. The PACER Plus negotiations include the Forum Island countries, Australia and New Zealand.
More information on the (PACER) Plus negotiations
APEC meetings kick off in Indonesia
Indonesia is gearing up to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in 2013. Earlier this month, APEC held its Informal Senior Officials' Meeting in Jakarta. The theme for APEC in 2013 is "Resilient Asia-Pacific: Engine of Global Growth."
Chatham House report on resources future
Think tank Chatham House has released a report analysing the future of resources, focusing on possible sources of instability and conflict. The report highlights the potential for export restrictions to make the global resources situation more volatile. The publication is accompanied by an interactive website.