Trade Talk, 7 December 2017

ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA General Review

The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) entered into force in 2010 and remains Australia's largest regional FTA.  Parties have released a public version of their General Review report, assessing implementation of the Agreement to date. The Report notes AANZFTA has been a key platform for Australia and New Zealand's trade and investment engagement with ASEAN and has been a useful 'incubator' for regional cooperation, technical capacity building and policy dialogue, including through its accompanying Economic Cooperation Support Program.  The Report concludes that Parties need to devote greater attention to issues including rules of origin and trade facilitation, non-tariff measures, services, investment and engagement with business, including MSMEs.  Officials will make recommendations to Ministers in August 2018 on how to upgrade and improve the Agreement.

Singapore FTA upgrade now in force

The Agreement to Amend the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement entered into force on 1 December 2017 creating significant new opportunities for Australian businesses, including better access for education, legal, financial and other professional services and locking-in benefits for sectors such as road transport, construction and engineering. 

Australian Exporter of the Year

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo, announced on 6 December that Victorian family-owned business Ego Pharmaceuticals had won the 2017 Australian Exporter of the Year award. The dermatological products maker, which increased sales to China by 179 per cent in 2016-17, exports to 27 countries.

Argentina announces G20 trade priorities

Argentina has announced the trade agenda under its 2018 G20 Presidency will focus on rethinking an effective system for enhancing trade and investment to reinvigorate strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, create jobs and promote the participation of micro and SMEs in global value chains.   Argentina assumed the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2017, taking over from Germany.

ASEAN-Australia Business Summit CEO Forum consultation papers

The Export Council of Australia is seeking input from Australian businesses with experience trading and working in ASEAN on a series of papers to help shape roundtable discussions at the ASEAN-Australia Business Summit CEO Forum in March 2018.  The papers are available on the ECA website and cover: agri-food supply chain logistics; tourism destination development and aviation; future energy supply chains; infrastructure; and preparing for digital transformation and Industry 4.0.

WTO: Fewer trade-restrictive measures this year

World Trade Organization members continued to implement more trade‑facilitating than trade-restrictive measures, according to the Organization's annual overview of trade-related developments. 

OECD: World economic growth is projected to improve slightly in 2018

The OECD predicts the global economy will grow by 3.6 per cent this year, 3.7 per cent in 2018 and 3.6 per cent in 2019.  Australia is forecast to continue to grow at a robust pace, with exports to reflect new resource-sector capacity coming on stream.

Earth moving machinery in a mine

Another Australian export record broken

The value of Australian exports reached a new record of $373 billion in 2016-17, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Exports of goods and services to China reached a record $110 billion over the same period through strong increases in exports of iron ore, coal, LNG and education.

New Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Trusted Traders

A new MRA signed on 27 November 2017 between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) will provide faster and more efficient access for Australian Trusted Traders into China, and is expected to bring a benefit of $440 million to Australia's economy over 10 years. 

'China Path' Podcast with Senior Trade Commissioner

Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner in China, Richard Coote, explores topics such as the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and Australia's first mover advantage, how the Australian government can help with Export Grants, utilising the Shanghai Landing Pad, and the 'A Week' event taking place in 2018 in this Australia-China Business Council podcast.

WEF: These 5 industries will be first to do business in space

This World Economic Forum article co-authored by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg takes a look at the sectors that could be the first to take advantage of business opportunities in the "vast marketplace" of space.

Did You Know?  

This is our last Trade Talk for 2017, but next Thursday (14 December) we will publish a special web-only wrap-up edition of the year in trade at

Upcoming Trade Events

Food trade shows 2018

Expressions of interest open

Trade Victoria is taking registrations for its trade missions to Gulfood (Dubai, UAE 18 – 22 February 2018), Foodex (Tokyo, Japan 6 – 9 March 2018), Food and Hotel Asia (Singapore 24 – 27 April) and SIAL (Shanghai, China 17 – 19 May) until Friday 15 December 2017.

Export Ready Program Information Session

Unley, SA, 16 January 2018

The Business SA Export Ready Program combines workshops with one on one support from an Export Adviser and is suitable for business people considering exporting as well as new and experienced exporters.

ASEAN-Australia Business Summit 2018 - SME Conference

Sydney, NSW 16 March 2018

Australian SMEs currently exporting to ASEAN or considering doing so are invited to register their interest in the ASEAN-Australia Business Summit 2018 SME Conference. The conference will bring together regional specialists, business leaders and successful exporters to share their knowledge and insights. Attendees will be able to tap into expertise and obtain advice about free trade agreements, government programs and trade facilitation services.

Last Updated: 7 December 2017