Trade Talk

4 April 2013

Trade deficit narrows in February

Australia's seasonally adjusted trade deficit shrank in February on the back of stronger exports. The deficit contracted from $1.2 billion in January to $178 million in February. Exports rose by 3.3%, led by strong manufacturing and rural goods exports. The result was at odds with market forecasts for a $1 billion deficit.

Press release: Trade deficit narrows in February on higher exports

Australia and Saudi Arabia further trade relations

Australia and Saudi Arabia met to discuss a series of trade related issues at the ninth meeting of the Saudi Arabia-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) on March 22 in Canberra. Ministers from the two countries discussed issues ranging from trade and investment to energy and resources. The Ministers welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Australia-Saudi Business Council and the Council of Saudi Chambers establishing the Saudi-Australia Joint Business Council.

Press release: Saudi Arabia-Australia Joint Ministerial Commission

The ACCC gives the green light for an alliance between Qantas and Emirates

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted conditional approval for an alliance between Qantas Airways Limited and Emirates. The alliance includes coordination of passenger and cargo operations and flight training amongst other services.

Press release: ACCC grants authorisation for an alliance between Qantas and Emirates

New study: benefits to US from emerging economies

The Peterson Institute for International Economics has launched a publication which debunks several myths about the negative impact to the US economy of trading with emerging economies.

Press release: Study Examines benefits to the US from growth in Emerging Economies

WTO Director pushes for commodity sector growth

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Pascal Lamy, has recommitted his organisation to support commodity sector growth as a conduit to economic growth and poverty reduction in a speech at the UNCTAD Global Commodities Forum in Geneva.

Speech: Lamy speaks to UNCTAD on economic growth and poverty

FTA negotiations to commence between the EU and Japan

The European Union (EU) and Japan officially launched Free Trade Agreement negotiations on March 25. The EU is Japan's third largest trading partner and both economies combined total more than one third of world GDP. An agreement is expected to boost the EU's GDP by between 0.6% - 0.8%, creating over 400,000 jobs.

Memorandum: A Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Japan

Did you know?

Australia exported 48kg of hare and rabbit to East Timor and 1000kg to the United Arab Emirates in 2012. This generated approximately $33,000 but still left plenty of bunnies to deliver Easter eggs across Australia.

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