Trade Talk

28 February 2013

New R&D centre to aid Asian expansion

Kraft Australia has opened the first stage of Australia’s largest food research and development (R&D) centre in Melbourne. Working in conjunction with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the new centre will specialise on innovation in chocolate and confectionery. Melbourne was last week named the ‘food precinct’ as part of the Australian Government’s $1 billion plan to nurture industry innovation.

Press release: Kraft opens R&D centre in Australia as foundation for Asian expansion

Press release: Australia’s $1bn innovation plan to benefit Australian exports

Australia-Vietnam 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations

Foreign Minister Bob Carr welcomed the fortieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam this week. The growth in trade between Australia and Vietnam shows how much the relationship has strengthened through this period. On average, two-way merchandise trade grew at 22.8 per cent, compared to 9.9 per cent growth in Australia's overall trade.

Press release: 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Vietnam

Fact sheet: Vietnam’s trade and economic profile

OECD: Online survey for business

In the lead up to a workshop on "Barriers to 21st Century Commerce," the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is inviting businesses to complete an online survey about their experiences operating internationally.

Survey: Barriers to 21st Century Commerce

WTO: Trade policy review of Japan

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has conducted its eleventh review of Japan's trade policies and practices. Since its last review in 2011, Japan has aligned more of its industrial standards with international standards and taken steps towards greater liberalisation in international air transport. The review period 2011-2013 was dominated by the reconstruction effort necessitated by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Japan was Australia's second largest trading partner in 2011-12, accounting for 12.1 per cent of total trade in goods and services.

Report: Japan’s Trade Policy Review

Fact sheet: Japan's trade and economic profile

OECD: Trade and Labour Market Adjustment Paper

A recent research paper by the OECD examines the difficulties faced by the labour market in adjusting to freer trade. The paper highlights the importance of targeted labour market and trade policies in helping reduce the potential impact of structural adjustment.

Research paper: Trade and Labour Market Adjustment

US-EU negotiations announced

The United States (US) and the European Union (EU) last week announced their decision to launch negotiations on a new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The Partnership aims to advance trade and investment liberalization and address regulatory and other non-tariff barriers. The economic relationship between the US and EU is the largest in the world, representing around half of global output and nearly one trillion US dollars in goods and services trade.

Office of the United States Trade Representative: U.S., EU Announce Decision to Launch Negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

Did you know?

Australia exported over $67 million worth of lollies and almost $174 million worth of chocolate in 2012. Seems our next door neighbour has the biggest sweet tooth – New Zealand accounted for 64 per cent of lolly exports and 63 per cent of all chocolate exports!

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