Trade Talk 8 February 2019

WTO electronic commerce negotiations

Seventy-six WTO members representing over 90 percent of global trade have issued a Joint Statement confirming their intention to commence negotiations on trade-related aspects of e-commerce, with the objective of achieving a high standard outcome involving as many members as possible. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said commencing WTO negotiations on e-commerce was a significant step towards updating international trade rules in line with how modern business takes place. The Joint Statement was issued following a meeting hosted by Australia, Japan and Singapore in the margins of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos in late January.

Media Release

Australia records bumper trade surplus in 2018

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australia had continued to navigate challenging global trading conditions, with 22 monthly trade surpluses recorded in the last 24 months. Last year (2018) Australia recorded a $22.2 billion trade surplus, which is the highest ever for a calendar year, and the first time since 1972 where every calendar month was in surplus.

Media Release

Composition of Trade Australia, 2017-18

DFAT’s latest statistical publication details the composition and direction of Australia’s goods and services trade over the past three years. It includes individual reports on the composition of merchandise trade with Australia’s top 25 trading partners, and selected country groups. Two-way trade increased 8.4 per cent to reach $798.6 billion in 2017-18.


Young people in a car on a dirt track in the desert

Positioning Australia’s tourism industry for the future

Consultations are now open on Australia’s next national tourism strategy, with industry stakeholders encouraged to have their say on a draft report developed by the ‘Beyond Tourism 2020’ Steering Committee. The draft report is available at: Written submissions close on 8 March 2019. Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia.

Media Release

Draft Report

Funding boost to encourage more Chinese tour groups down under

The Australian Government has announced $11 million in funding to attract more Chinese tour group tourists to Australia. The funding boost for Australia’s Approved Destination Scheme will help ensure Chinese travellers receive the highest possible quality tourism experience, and support jobs and communities through attracting additional visitors.

Media Release

Reserve Bank Governor: the year ahead

In an address to the National Press Club of Australia, Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe said the central scenario for the world economy appeared to remain supportive of growth in Australia, despite an increase in some downside risks. He said the RBA expected the Australian economy to grow at a reasonable pace, with forecasts of 3 per cent growth in 2019 and 2.75 per cent in 2020.


PIIE: China should join the new Trans-Pacific Partnership

This article by United States’ think tank the Peterson Institute for International Economics argues that Chinese membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) would yield large economic and political benefits to China and other members, including quadrupling global income gains from the agreement compared to its current form.


Economic slowdown? OECD Chief Economist looks ahead

In this podcast the OECD’s Chief Economist, Laurence Boone, reflects on the risks facing the world economy and the need for international cooperation. She refers to data on shipping to suggest recent trade tensions have shaved around 0.1-0.2 per cent off global GDP growth.


Did You Know?

Inbound tourism employs 1 in 13 Australians.

Upcoming Events

Japan and Australia: Economic Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

Perth, WA, 22 February 2019

The Consulate-General of Japan in Perth and the Australian Institute of International Affairs are hosting this event which will touch on the international geo-strategic environment, areas for greater economic cooperation in specific sectors between Australia and Japan, and the future economic opportunities presented by the CPTPP and the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.


Business SA: Export Ready Program Information Session

Unley, SA, 6 March 2019

The Export Ready Program has been developed especially for South Australian businesses who are new to exporting, already exporting, or considering commencing exporting. This event is supported by the South Australian Department for Trade, Tourism and Investment.


Destination Australia Conference 2019

Brisbane, QLD, 14 March 2019

Minister Birmingham will deliver a speech at Tourism Australia’s annual ‘Destination Australia’ Conference designed for Australian tourism businesses wanting to attract high yield international travellers.


Last Updated: 8 February 2019