More tariff cuts under Japan-Australia FTA
The fifth round of tariff cuts under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement came into effect this week. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo said the new tariff cuts will boost Australia’s already vibrant trade and investment relationship with Japan, our second-largest trading partner and the world’s third largest economy. Almost 96 per cent of eligible products exported to Japan made use of JAEPA’s preferential access in 2017.
Australia and Britain - partners in free trade
Minister Ciobo delivered a speech last week outlining the ways in which Australia is working with Britain to advance common interests, and where he envisaged this collaboration was heading. The Minister highlighted four main areas of work: helping the UK define its trade policy and emerge as a great new liberal voice in the international trading system; building an exemplary trade partnership, including a high quality and ambitious post-Brexit bilateral trade agreement; helping the UK succeed in its ambition to be a global champion for free trade; and working together on reinforcing market principles and international standards as we help meet developing countries’ infrastructure needs.
Promoting Australia's economic and trade interests in Vietnam
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton is meeting senior government and business representatives in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City this week to further expand trade, tourism and investment opportunities for Australian companies. The elevation of the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership in March 2018 reflects the Australian Government’s enhanced engagement with Southeast Asian countries and builds on the successful ASEAN-Australia Business Summit in Sydney.
TPP-11 tabled in parliament
The text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership was tabled in the Australian Parliament last week. A National Interest Analysis tabled alongside the TPP-11 text confirms the agreement will significantly enhance Australia’s economic relationships, while delivering gains greater than anything current multilateral or plurilateral negotiations could generate. The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties is now taking submissions on the TPP-11 which close 20 April 2018.
National Interest Analysis [PDF]
International Trade in Goods and Services, February 2018
Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today show Australia’s monthly trade balance in February was a surplus of $825 million, a fall of $127 million from the revised $952 million surplus in January 2018. Exports were steady and there was a small increase in imports (0.4 per cent).
Taskforce to focus on next phase of resources boom
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the Resources 2030 Taskforce announced last week will identify reforms that will help secure the sector's future. The Taskforce will focus on policy areas that can attract investment, contribute to regional economic progress, build community support, cut red tape, find new minerals, and ensure that Australia gets best use of its mineral resources. The Australian Government will use the Taskforce's report to develop a Resources Statement in the latter half of 2018.
A win for Aussie FinTechs looking to London
Australian FinTech companies will benefit from improved access to global markets thanks to the new UK-Australia FinTech Bridge. The Bridge will enhance bilateral trade and investment flows, with trade and investment promotion agencies supporting FinTech firms looking to expand overseas; and promote engagement between Australian and UK FinTech sector bodies to discuss collaboration opportunities between businesses.
Papua New Guinea and APEC’s Digital Development
Bringing Papua New Guineans and neighbours in APEC closer together could mean wider and cheaper access to smart phones and Wi-Fi, greater availability of mobile banking and payment services, as well as business and job growth, Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat, Dr Alan Bollard writes in this Op Ed.
Latin America is the focus of the latest edition of business envoy
The Government has been strengthening our economic partnerships with Latin American countries, Minister Ciobo says in the latest edition of business envoy. “We are delivering three major agreements that will transform our relations with the region, boost jobs and drive economic growth in Australia.”
ADBI: Next generation of quality development and investment in the new Pacific trade pact
This Asian Development Bank Institute ‘Asia Pathways’ blog provides a positive scorecard for three less-remarked-upon sections of the TPP-11: surety for capital flows and protection for foreign direct investment; the pursuit of environmental, socially-responsible and well-governed investment and trade; and cooperation in harmonising rule-making and policies, leading to a positive future for high-quality development and ethical investment.
Did You Know?
Of the more than 25 minerals or metals used to construct mobile phones, 18 are produced in Australia and of the 16 minerals and metals that go into the manufacture of a solar panel, 10 are produced in Australia.
Upcoming Trade Events
Free Trade Agreements Information Seminars
Sydney, NSW, 13 April 2018
Bendigo, VIC, 16 April 2018
Swan Hill, VIC, 17 April 2018
Broadbeach, QLD, 20 April 2018
Find out how you can take advantage of Australia's FTAs with a focus on Korea, Japan, and China and also new agreements with Peru and TPP-11 countries. These seminars are interactive with government and industry experts and are free of charge.
Take your Business Global – An introduction to Funding your Export Venture
Canberra, ACT, 18 April 2018
This half day Canberra Business Chamber workshop focuses on financing exports, overcoming export barriers, accessing export assistance programs and grants for funding success in international markets.
Beef Australia 2018
Rockhampton, QLD, 6-12 May 2018
Australia’s national beef expo is held every three years and includes a trade fair promoting more than 500 businesses, a symposium, and seminars with industry and government representatives.
Global Shippers Forum
Melbourne, VIC, 10-11 May 2018
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Customs Organization (WCO), and the World Bank will present at the Global Shippers Forum. The conference will address emerging issues and trends relating to trade facilitation, international trade compliance and international shipping. Participants include major importers, exporters and logistics providers from Australia, the US, UK, Europe and Southeast Asia. Representatives from the Departments of Home Affairs, Agriculture and Water Resources and the ATO will present on trade facilitation and e-commerce.
FTAs for Agricultural Exporters
Online training, 15 May 2018
This Business SA webinar is aimed at exporters of agricultural goods, manufactured foods and beverages. It will cover topics such as Rules of Origin and agricultural outcomes under the TPP-11. This activity received funding from the Australian Government as part of the Free Trade Agreement Training Provider Grant Program.