Trade Talk

1 February 2013

Australia

Dr Emerson: We’re all in it together

In his latest op-ed, Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson writes about the importance of applying guiding principles aimed at locking in jobs growth and fighting poverty. Dr Emerson highlighted this message at the recent World Economic Forum, arguing that countries adopting protectionist trade policies would invoke retaliation, causing damage to the world economy and lost jobs.

Op-ed: Whatever the system, we're all in it together

New Austrade office slated for Myanmar

Austrade is set to open a new office in Myanmar’s commercial centre of Yangon this year. Austrade has committed more resources to helping Australian businesses break into and expand in emerging markets. The move is part of the Government's commitment to expand Australia's footprint in Asia. Merchandise trade between Australia and Myanmar – worth $95 million in 2011-12 – has expanded strongly in recent years, with annual average growth of 14.5 per cent since 2007-08.

Press release: Austrade office for Myanmar

Government response to EFIC review released

Dr Emerson has released the Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s review of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) on 29 January, during his trip to India.  The response builds on the commitment in the Asian Century White Paper to direct more of EFIC’s resources to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to expand into the emerging and frontier markets of Asia.

Press release: EFIC reforms to help business in Asia

World

New OECD publications

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released several new publications, including updated editions of International Trade in Services, International Trade by Commodity Statistics, and Main Economic Indicators. These useful resources contain a wide range of statistical information for the 34 OECD countries, including Australia.

OECD publications: International Trade in Services, International Trade by Commodity Statistics, and Main Economic Indicators.

Shanghai free trade zone

Shanghai’s Acting Mayor, Yang Xiong, has unveiled a new free-trade zone action plan aimed at transforming the city into a ‘mini-Hong Kong’. According to the South China Morning Post, the action plan is expected to be officially launched on a trial basis this year. A free-trade zone facilitates the flow of goods with zero tariffs on imports.

South China Morning Post news article: Free-trade Shanghai aims to create a 'mini-Hong Kong'

Latin America, Europe back free trade

The 27-member European Union (EU) and Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held trade talks last week at a two-day summit in Santiago, Chile. The Australian reported that EU and CELAC leaders pledged to ‘avoid protectionism in all forms’ and ‘boost their strategic partnership to foster free trade’. The EU also expressed a desire to conclude free trade agreement negotiations with the South American trading bloc Mercosur.

The Australian news article: LatAm, Europe back free trade

Pacific Alliance trade deal struck

Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico are set to eliminate 90 per cent of tariffs under a new trade deal struck last week at the annual Summit of the Pacific Alliance. According to The Santiago Times, targets for 2013 include facilitating financial, transport, telecommunication and professional services between the four countries, and promoting increased customs cooperation and market access.

Santiago Times news article: Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico to eliminate trade barriers

Did you know?

Australia exports a range of its own native animals - $20.6 million of kangaroo meat, $12.9 million of kangaroo skins, and $24,000 of live emus were sold overseas in 2011-12. Learn more with DFAT’s fact sheets.

Visit the DFAT trade portal for more on Australian trade, including FTA updates and the latest trade statistics.