Australian tourism trade booms
New tourism numbers for November 2012 show that the industry is thriving, with international arrivals up 6.9 per cent year-on-year. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that China is now Australia’s second largest source of visitors after New Zealand, overtaking the United Kingdom. The number of Australians travelling abroad is also booming as the Australian dollar remains strong - over eight million departures were recorded in the same period.
More on MAFTA
What do Swinburne University, Hella Australia, Harvey Fresh Milk and Solahart have in common? They’re all set to benefit under the new Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA), which entered into force on 1 January this year. DFAT last week released an online MAFTA fact sheet containing case studies, answers to frequently asked questions, and an overview of the Malaysia-Australia trade relationship.
Aussie exports to Republic of Korea strong
New 2012 merchandise trade statistics for the Republic of Korea are out, and the story is a good one for Australia. DFAT analysis shows that demand for our agricultural commodities and resources remains strong, with Australia ranking as the Asian nation’s largest supplier of coal, iron ore, sugar and beef, and second largest supplier of wheat, copper ores and aluminium.
New trade data for China, India
China has released its merchandise trade data for December 2012. After a weakening in their trade surplus in November, Chinese trade rebounded strongly - exports in December rose around 14 per cent year-on-year, while imports rose six per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, India’s trade deficit widened in December 2012 to US$17.7 billion, with Bloomberg reporting that ‘India’s economy has been hurt by elevated inflation, tumbling overseas sales and subdued investment’. This puts India’s trade deficit for 2012 at a record US$199 billion.
Trade in value added database
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Trade Organisation have jointly launched a Trade in Value-Added database. This data gives improved information on the role of Global Value Chains in global trade. According to the OECD, the initiative seeks to ‘analyse the value added by a country in the production of any good or service that is then exported’, offering a fuller picture of commercial relations for 40 countries.
Australia ranks third in Index of Economic Freedom
The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation have this week jointly launched their 2013 Index of Economic Freedom. Australia has ranked third, after Hong Kong and Singapore. The Index rates countries on 10 ‘freedoms’, including trade freedom, business freedom, monetary freedom, property rights and government spending. An interactive ‘heat map’ and graphing tool is also available, where users can compare data for 185 countries.
APEC at a glance
Curious to know what the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is all about? The APEC Secretariat has just released the updated APEC at a Glance, which outlines APEC's goals, structure, operations, and how APEC benefits its 21 member economies.