14 February 2013
Clear the decks to get us all on board for growth
In his latest op-ed, Trade and Competitiveness Minister Dr Craig Emerson writes about the link between world-class infrastructure and productivity. In order for Australia to be competitive in the growing Asian market, the government must continue to invest in infrastructure to facilitate the flow of trade.
Op-ed: Clear the decks to get us all on board for growth
APEC Senior Officials' Meeting
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) has wrapped up its first set of meetings for 2013. Officials from APEC's 21 member economies met in Jakarta, Indonesia and identified work activities for the year. Australia's priorities will be structural reform, services liberalisation, higher education cooperation, good regulatory practices and faster, less-costly movement of goods, services and business people.
APEC Secretariat: Better infrastructure for better connectivity in the region
WTO Director-General candidates
Candidates for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have made presentations to WTO members at the General Council. Ghana, Costa Rica, Indonesia, New Zealand, Kenya, Jordan, Mexico, Brazil, and the Republic of Korea have all put forward candidates to replace current Director-General Pascal Lamy, whose term expires on 31 August 2013. Provided consensus can be reached, a new Director-General will be named no later than 31 May 2013.
WTO news item: WTO members meet the DG candidates
Global Trends 2030 report
The US-based National Intelligence Council has released its latest 'Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds' publication. The report provides a framework for thinking about possible global trajectories and their implications, by identifying 'megatrends', 'game-changers' and 'potential worlds'. Potential 'megatrends' set to gain momentum during the next 15-20 years include increased demand for resources, shifting demographic patterns, and the growth of Asia's weight in the global economy.
National Intelligence Council: Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds
Agricultural trade and developing countries
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released a new report analysing the some of the constraints affecting agricultural trade of developing countries. Agricultural trade is an important driver of economic growth, poverty alleviation and food security. The report highlights the importance of tariff reduction, and quality transport and trade-related infrastructure in promoting agricultural trade for these developing countries.
OECD: Estimating the Constraints to Agricultural Trade of Developing Countries
China edges out US as world largest goods trader
For the first time, China has ranked as the world's largest merchandise trading nation. China reported two-way trade of US$3.87 trillion in 2012, compared to US$3.82 trillion for the United States. China again ranked as Australia's largest merchandise trading partner in 2012.
Forbes: In World Trade, China Edges Out The U.S.
Did you know?
Australia imported almost 78 million cut roses and rose buds (worth $10.9 million) in 2012, mainly from Kenya, Colombia, India and Ecuador. Happy Valentine's Day!
Visit the DFAT trade portal for more on Australian trade, including FTA updates and the latest trade statistics.