Trade Talk, 15 October 2015

Global value chains (GVCs) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

GVCs are transforming international trade and investment, including in the Asian region. As a regional free trade agreement, the combined effect of new market access opportunities and common rules under the TPP will make it easier for Australian businesses, exporters and consumers to tap into and benefit from GVCs.

DFAT: Background papers: Global value chains and the TPP

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the TPP

SMEs are key contributors to Australian employment and economic growth, including through goods and services exports. In 2013-14, SMEs comprised 90% of goods exporters and over 60% of services exporters. The TPP explicitly recognises the significance of SMEs and includes provisions that will make it easier for Australian SMEs to benefit from international trade and investment.

DFAT: Outcomes: Small and medium sized enterprises

G20 Trade Ministers discuss slowdown in global trade

G20 Trade Ministers, responsible for over 75% of global trade, discussed the cyclical and structural reasons for the slowdown of trade growth, as well as policies to strengthen the multilateral trading system, at a meeting in Istanbul last week. Recent forecasts by the WTO, OECD and others have estimated trade growth to be as low as 2.8% for 2015 and 3.9% for 2016.

WTO News: G20 Trade Ministers Meeting

WTO News: Falling import demand, lower commodity prices push down trade growth prospects

OECD: Sub-par global growth and slowdown in emerging economies

Momentum builds for trade deal with European Union

The European Commission released its new trade and investment strategy on 14 October. The strategy includes strengthening the EU’s trade relationships with Australia and New Zealand as a priority. The European Commission will request authorisation to negotiate FTAs with Australia and New Zealand, taking into account the EU agricultural sensitivities.

TIM Media Release: Momentum builds for trade deal with European Union

European Commission: Trade for all: European Commission presents new trade and investment strategy

Opportunities for trading with China

DFAT Secretary Peter Varghese highlights how ChAFTA will deliver benefits to the Australian economy and addresses ChAFTA misconceptions in this op-ed. Mr Varghese says that this agreement is a “major economic asset for Australia, with the potential to underpin our prosperity for years to come”.

DFAT: Trade with China – an opportunity we cannot afford to miss

Australia’s trade in services on the rise

DFAT’s latest statistical publication, Trade in Services Australia 2014, shows that our total trade in services increased 3.6% to $130.6b in 2014. The United States was Australia’s largest two-way services trading partner, accounting for 15.2% ($19.8b) of total services trade.

DFAT: Trade in services Australia

More flights between Australia and Qatar announced

New air services arrangements will see up to 50% more flights between Australia and Qatar. The extra flights will provide a boost to the tourism industry and greater market accessibility for Australian exporters, particularly for our premium agricultural trade, such as dairy, horticulture and meats.

Joint Media Release: Up to 50% more flights between Australia and Qatar

Accommodating international visitors

A report commissioned by Austrade has identified opportunities to improve the planning and approval processes for new hotel developments in Australia. These opportunities will help better accommodate our growing numbers of international visitors, which reached 7 million in the year to March 2015.

Joint Media Release: Report finds room for improvement in hotel development approvals

IMF World Economic Outlook

The IMF World Economic Outlook has global growth projections for 2015 at 3.1%, 0.3% lower than 2014. This is expected to strengthen in 2016 to 3.6%. Factors which have contributed to this slowdown include the decline in commodity prices, reduced capital flows and pressure on currencies for emerging markets.

IMF: World Economic Outlook: Adjusting to lower commodity prices

IMF Videos: World Economic Outlook press briefing

Australian fashion showcases creativity in LA

Minister Bishop was recently the guest of honour during G’Day USA’s showcase of Australian designers at the Los Angeles Fashion Week. While Australia is known for its agricultural exports, Minister Bishop said that our greatest resource in fact is “our people and the ability to innovate”.

Sky News: Julie Bishop all for 'fashion diplomacy’

Cherries prove fruitful for Tasmania

Tasmania’s cherry industry is growing rapidly which is attributed to Australia’s free trade agreements with Korea and Japan. An ABC report mentions that since KAFTA came into force in 2014, 185 tonnes of cherries have been exported to Korea over the summer period compared to the five tonnes from the previous year.

ABC News: Tasmanian cherry industry blossoms as exports surge with free trade agreements

Exporting to Japan: Free eBook for SMEs

Efic has released a new e-Book, Exporting to Japan, as part of its SME Information Series. This e-book provides helpful guidance which businesses can take advantage of, for operating successfully in the Japanese market.

Efic: Exporting to Japan

Did you know?

International flights in and out of Australia carried over 3 million passengers in July 2015. That is enough people to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground at least 30 times over.

Upcoming Trade Events

North Asia Free Trade Agreements Information Seminars: Winchelsea VIC | Beenleigh QLD

If you are a current or prospective exporter don’t miss these free, interactive sessions which explain practical benefits your business could realise from Australia’s historic FTAs with our three largest export markets – China, Japan and Korea.

Register: North Asia FTA information seminars

Free Trade Agreement Training Provider Grant Information Sessions: Perth WA | Adelaide SA | Melbourne VIC

If you are a member-based business organisation and interested in running FTA training for your members, attending this information session will assist you in making an informed decision on whether you can apply for an FTA Training Provider Grant. Further sessions will be run in Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra.

Register: FTA Training Provider Grant Information Sessions

Indonesia Australia Business Week 2015: 17-20 Nov Jakarta

Minister Robb will lead an Australian trade and investment mission to Indonesia from 17 to 20 November. The mission aims to enhance bilateral relationships through high-level political and commercial exchanges, and promote Australia and Australian capability. Register interest by 16 October.

Register: Indonesia Australia Business Week 2015

Last Updated: 15 October 2015