Legislation to implement landmark TPP-11 passes through House of Representatives
Australia is a step closer to ratifying one of the most comprehensive trade deals ever after the House of Representatives approved legislation to implement the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) last week. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham welcomed the news, saying the TPP-11 would open markets for Australian farmers, manufacturers and businesses across the Americas and Asia. The TPP-11’s implementing legislation will now be considered by the Senate.
G20 trade ministers support a revitalised multilateral trading system
For the first time, G20 trade ministers have endorsed the urgent need for WTO reform. Meeting in Argentina on 14 September, they recognised the importance of enhancing confidence and mitigating risks to international trade. Minister Birmingham used his bilateral meetings to establish relationships and advance Australia’s trade negotiating priorities. Photo shows Minister Birmingham meeting WTO DG Azevêdo in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Credit: WTO.
Speech on WTO reform
WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo discussed the renewed focus on the multilateral trading system as a potential solution to the world’s trade problems in a speech in Berlin this week. He noted a range of priorities for WTO reform had been put forward by members, including to resolve disputes and reach agreements more rapidly and effectively, address a variety of trade distorting practices, advance the trade and development debate, and improve notifications and transparency.
Defending the rules based trading system: the role of business
In a speech to the Trans-Tasman Business Circle last week DFAT Secretary Frances Adamson stressed the important role of the business sector in setting the tone of public debate. The Secretary encouraged business to work with government in making the case that trade delivers real benefits across the Australian community. She also outlined work underway with New Zealand to improve trade, including practical advances in electronic invoicing, and a joint study by productivity commissions on promoting opportunities for SMEs in digital trade.
Brisbane wins bid to host major aviation conference
The Business Events Fund Program helped Brisbane secure the rights to host the 2019 International Air Transport Association Slot Conference, which will bring more than 1,200 aviation professionals from 230 airlines to Brisbane next year, Minister Birmingham announced last week.
Trade and the digital economy
The Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth tabled its report on trade and the digital economy this week. The inquiry examined the responsiveness of Australia’s trade architecture and regulatory system to the contemporary needs of the digital economy and disruptive technology, and measures to improve the cyber resilience of Australia’s trade‑focused business sector. The Committee recommended the Australian Government continue to place digital issues at the centre of its trade and other international discussions.
Joint Standing Committee
Consultation for a wine export label directory now open
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources commenced a four-week consultation period on 21 September to consider whether a wine export label directory would benefit the industry by preserving Australia’s internationally-recognised reputation for quality and integrity. The proposal includes a new export control, requiring wine exporters to make their labels accessible to the public to give registered brand owners visibility of copy-cat labels.
First national plan for Australia's resources sector for 20 years
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan welcomed the release of the ‘Resources 2030’ report this week. The report’s 29 recommendations, designed to position Australia’s resources sector at the forefront of the global industry and promote investment in the sector, will be used a basis to develop a National Resources Statement by the end of the year.
As global trade tensions rise, Australia must focus on building resilience
The Business Council of Australia’s submission on the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement, lodged with DFAT last week, says the agreement could expand market access for Australian agricultural exporters, service providers, and investors. Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott emphasised the importance of “pulling out all stops” to secure the agreement, which would help improve competitiveness and protect Australian workers against a backdrop of growing trade tensions.
Trading up: digital drags trade into the 21st century
This Bluenotes article by ANZ’s Head of Transaction Banking Mark Evans looks at how electronic preparation and lodgement of trade related documentation offers greater efficiency and security through the supply chain, and outlines two projects currently taking place in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The potential of manufacturing and industrialisation in Africa
This Brookings Institute report delves into trends, opportunities, and strategies for Africa. It follows the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area in March, which created a single market for goods and services to unlock manufacturing potential and facilitate industrialisation, and the centrality of manufacturing in the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063’.
Did You Know?
WTO economists have assessed that a scenario involving a global trade war and a breakdown in international trade cooperation would result in global trade growth declining by around 17 per cent.
Upcoming Trade Events
Business SA 2018 International Trade Expo and Conference
Adelaide, SA, 4 October 2018
This inaugural Business SA conference will have expert speakers providing insights into global trade trends and the possibilities and pitfalls of specific markets. Breakout sessions will focus on a range of topics such as e-commerce, distributor selection, market research and negotiation techniques.
Papua New Guinea METS
Webinar, 4 October 2018
This Austrade webinar will examine the opportunities and challenges in the PNG mining industry, particularly for Australian Mining Equipment, Technology & Services companies, in both existing and new mining projects.
China Intellectual Property: What Australians need to know
Webinar, 9 October 2018
In this webinar, IP Australia’s Beijing-based Counsellor David Bennett will talk about the practical steps businesses can take to protect their IP in China and how to avoid common IP issues.
International Development Opportunities seminars
Sydney, NSW, 22 October; Adelaide, SA, 23 October; Melbourne, VIC, 24 October, Brisbane, QLD, 26 October 2018
This Austrade seminar will focus on how to engage with key multilateral finance and international development agencies, such as the ADB, WB, DFAT, IFC and EBRD, their key market and sector priorities, as well as ongoing and upcoming business opportunities.
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 as showcasing their product through a globally recognised tourism forum.
AIBC Conference 2018: Partnering for Prosperity in a World of Change
Surfers Paradise, QLD, 11-13 November 2018
In the context of evolving relationships between world powers, a challenging international economic system, and the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership on 31 August, this year's Australia-Indonesia Business Council annual conference will address the opportunities for Australia and Indonesia to strengthen their partnership for mutual prosperity. Speakers include Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk and Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan.
Mexico: A Country in Transformation
Deakin, ACT, 29 November 2018
This Australian Institute of International Affairs event will focus on Mexico’s rapid transformation as a result of fully embracing democracy, free trade and openness to the world. Keynote speaker, Mexican Ambassador to Australia, Eduardo Peña Haller, will also discuss the importance of the Asia-Pacific region and Australia in Mexico’s quest for diversification in economic relations, as evidenced by its membership of the TPP-11.