Trade Talk 11 October 2018
New market opportunities driving Australian business optimism
According to the results of the latest Australian International Business Survey released last week, 45 per cent of businesses surveyed expected to move into at least four new international markets, 66 per cent expected to have a better financial outlook, and 75 per cent planned to employ more staff in the next two years. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the results reflected greater certainty and positive reactions to the more open trading environment. Out of the top 20 countries where businesses were looking to expand, Australia has in force, or is negotiating, a bilateral or multilateral free trade agreement with 18 of them, including six within the TPP-11.
Release of the IMF’s October 2018 World Economic Outlook
The latest World Economic Outlook report published this week projects global growth will remain steady over 2018 and 2019, at last year's rate of 3.7 percent. Although this growth would exceed that achieved each year between 2012 and 2016, these figures represent a downgrade since the last report in April 2018, from a forecast of 3.9 per cent in both 2018 and 2019. Growth projections for Australia are stronger for 2018 (revised up by 0.2 percentage points to 3.2 per cent), but slightly weaker in 2019 (revised down by 0.3 percentage points to 2.8 per cent) in part due to the effects of trade tensions. World trade volume growth is also forecast to weaken to 4.2 per cent in 2018 and 4.0 per cent in 2019, down 0.6 and 0.5 percentage points respectively.
Perth to play host to major business events showcase
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham has announced Perth will host the major business event ‘Dreamtime’ in December 2019. The event will showcase business and incentive experiences to international business events buyers and media. Business events and incentive travel injected around $4.75 billion into the Australian economy last year through an extra one million visitors.
Mining industry forecast to earn Australia a record quarter-trillion dollars in exports
Australia’s mining industry is set to deliver a record $250 billion in exports this year, according to forecasts in the September 2018 ‘Resources and Energy Quarterly’ compiled by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Announcing the findings last week, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the results highlight the hard work of Australian exporters in supplying the growing Asian market and provide evidence that the mining production boom is far from over.
Additional funds poured into Wine Export Grants
The Australian Government has invested an extra $500,000 in the Wine Export Grants program to make it easier to sell Australian wine to our largest trading partners, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud announced last week. Small and medium producers can claim up to $25,000 or 50 per cent of the cost of promoting their wine in China or the United States.
Assistant Minister’s speech to Fiji Business Forum
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton attended the 24th annual Fiji-Australia Business Forum gathering of senior business and government representatives to discuss new and emerging trade and investment opportunities last week. The Minister underscored Australia’s support for a more resilient Pacific through enhanced cooperation and greater economic integration, and conveyed Australia's wish that Fiji join the development-focused free trade agreement ‘PACER Plus’.
International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Aug 2018
In seasonally adjusted terms, the balance of Australia’s exports and imports was a surplus of $1.6 billion in August 2018, an increase of $56 million on the surplus in July, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week. Exports of ‘other’ mineral fuels reached $4.5 billion, representing a 70 per cent increase over August 2017. LNG exports contributed strongly to this growth.
New United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement
The Office of the United States Trade Representative has announced the United States, Mexico and Canada have concluded the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will come into force following domestic approvals processes, including a Congressional vote on an implementing bill.
Australia’s internationally-active businesses well-positioned for an integrated ASEAN
In this blog, Austrade’s Divya Skene analyses the results of the Australian International Business Survey 2018 and Australia’s trade with ASEAN. She highlights that nearly a third of respondents reported at least one country in the ASEAN region as among their top two sources of revenue, making the Southeast Asian bloc more important as a revenue-generator than the United States and China.
How Global Trade Can Promote Growth for All
In opening remarks to the IMF-World Bank Annual Meeting’s joint Trade Conference in Bali yesterday, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde called on policymakers to work constructively to deescalate current trade disputes, to modernise the global trade system, and to implement domestic policies to ensure that global trade is more effective in delivering benefits to all.
WTO high-level panel calls for integration of fragile states into the global economy
At a working session on ‘trade for peace’ at the WTO’s Public Forum 2018 last week, panelists stressed the need for fragile states to be integrated into the global economy so they can reap the benefits of trade. Discussion moderator WTO Deputy Director General Alan Wolf noted the WTO’s two newest members were Liberia, which was suffering the consequences of war and disease, and Afghanistan.
Did You Know?
Australia is Fiji’s largest tourism market, with Australian travellers making up 43 per cent of short-term visitors to Fiji in 2017.
Upcoming Trade Events
Asialink: China’s Greater Bay Area – the next Silicon Valley?
Sydney, NSW, 26 October, 2018
This Asialink Business and Macquarie University event on the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will explore developments in the region’s economic integration and how to strategically respond to opportunities and challenges arising from the fast-growing e-commerce sector. Speakers include representatives from Austrade and the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office.
Australian Indigenous Tourism Conference
Lorne, VIC, 30 October – 1 November 2018
This three day-long conference, hosted by the Western Australian Indigenous Tourism Operators Council, presents a platform for Indigenous tourism businesses to meet, learn from and forge new partnerships with wholesale and retail operators, including airlines, accommodation and media as well showcasing their product through a globally recognised tourism forum.
Free Trade Agreements Information Seminars
Byron Bay, NSW, 7 November; Mt Isa, QLD, 8 November; Townsville, QLD, 9 November 2018
Find out about how you can take advantage of Australia’s free trade agreements with China, Japan, Korea, Peru and the TPP-11 at these interactive seminars with government and industry experts. Assistant Minister Coulton will deliver a keynote presentation in Byron Bay and Townsville.
AIIA: Without Precedent: Australia's Changing World
Hobart, TAS, 7 November 2018
Australia's region, the Australian Government's 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper declared, is changing "in ways without precedent in Australia's modern history". Australian Institute of International Affairs’ National President Allan Gyngell will discuss the nature of these changes and how can we best respond to this disrupted world.
WA-ASEAN Trade and Investment Dialogue - The Power of Proximity
University of Western Australia, WA, 16 November 2018
This event, hosted by the Perth USAsia Centre and the Government of Western Australia, aims to change the way Western Australia sees Southeast Asia. This public forum will feature senior government and business leaders from WA and the ASEAN region delivering presentations and participating in panels.