MAFTA enters into force
The New South Wales Government has joined the chorus welcoming Australia's Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia, which entered into force on 1 January 2013.
Press release: Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in Force
Dr Emerson on continuing optimism
Dr Emerson's latest op-ed lists thirteen reasons the future is bright for the Australian economy in 2013. Among the reasons for optimism is a 50-year high in investment in Australia and 3.3 per cent productivity growth in the past twelve months.
Feeding the Future
The potentially vital role of Australian food and agriculture exporters in the Asian Century was recently explored in-depth in a landmark study, jointly authored by Australia and China. Released in late December, the study is the first collaboration of its kind between our two countries. It provides a blueprint for helping Australian farmers raise productivity and outlines practical ways to strengthen investment and technological cooperation in agriculture between Australia and China.
Report: Feeding the Future
Laos joins the WTO
After 15 years of negotiations, Laos will officially become the 158th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) on February 2. The accession is a significant achievement for Laos, a developing country which has undertaken extensive domestic reforms in order to join.
Press release: Laos ratifies membership package
Russia and the G20
Russia is the host country for the G20 in 2013, and has stated it will focus on developing a framework for strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth. Australia will host the G20 in Brisbane next year and has now assumed its place within the 'Troika' of G20 leaders.
Progress on free, open trade within APEC
A new article by the Chair of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment looks at APEC's progress over the past two decades. Among the major achievements are the increase in trade among APEC countries by 6.4 per cent to US$19.7 trillion between 1989 and 2011, and the reduction in tariffs to an average of 5.7 per cent. This compares with 5.8 per cent growth for the rest of the world, and worldwide average tariffs of 10.3 per cent.
Stats to look for in 2013
The OECD will release its ground-breaking Trade in Value Added (TIVA) statistics series later this month. The series will help illustrate the impact of global value chains on international trade. From DFAT's own statistics team, look out in the next few months for a new series of fact sheets that will chart the history of Australian trade since 1900. Updates to Australia's Trade by State and Territory and Trade in Services are also due for release in late January and February respectively.