8 March 2019
Landmark trade agreement with Indonesia
On 4 March 2019, Australia and Indonesia signed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in Jakarta. Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Indonesia’s population of 270 million, and forecast rise from the 16th to potentially the fourth largest economy in the world, made strengthening our ties both strategically and economically important. Both sides are committed to ratifying the agreement as soon as possible.
Standing up for Australia’s sugar industry
Australia and Brazil have launched formal dispute action in the WTO on India’s continuing sugar subsidies. The two countries contend that India is dragging down prices to unsustainable lows and depressing world prices. “While Australia respects the rights of WTO members to support their farmers and agricultural industries, this support must be consistent with WTO rules and provide a level playing field,” Minister Birmingham said.
Helping enhance infrastructure in the Pacific
The House of Representatives has passed a bill to provide the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation with more flexible infrastructure financing powers. This flexibility will enable EFIC to support infrastructure initiatives in the Pacific that have a broad national benefit for Australia.
Government releases first national resources plan in a generation
In the first National Resources Statement in 20 years, the Australian Government has outlined how it will attract investment, develop new resources and markets and share the benefits of success with more regional communities. By 2030, Asia will produce more than half the world’s economic output, consume 40 per cent of its energy and be home to a middle class of almost 3.5 billion people. Given this growth, if Australia can maintain its global share of commodity production, at least 24,000 new direct mining jobs could be created. The Statement builds on the recommendations of the Resources 2030 Taskforce commissioned by the Government last year.
Tough choices to reach $100 billion by 2030
Making tough choices will be central to Australian agriculture’s continued success, according to ABARES Executive Director, Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodd’s opening address at the 2019 ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra this week. Some of the choices will involve ensuring agriculture remains attractive to workers and investors; harnessing innovation to boost performance; promoting on-farm resilience and risk management; persisting with water reforms, and respecting and responding to evolving consumer expectations.
Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement will deliver investment and jobs for Australia
In a joint media release the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Industry Group have highlighted the benefits the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement will unlock, including supporting open and fair trade and generating more highly-paid, highly skilled jobs in both Peru and Australia.
What are the prospects for UK trade with Australia and New Zealand?
A free trade agreement between Australia and the United Kingdom would have its greatest effect on food products exports, Swinburne University of Technology Associate Professor of Economics Malcolm Abbott estimates in this LSE blog. Global value chains may also link British exports to Asia-Pacific markets by way of Australia.
Time to modernise, not abandon, the WTO
In an article for the East Asia Forum, the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce, John WH Denton, argues that drawing attention to the WTO’s shortcomings should be done in order to give additional motivation to its supporters to modernise the system, not dispense with it.
Report: the impact of the 2018 trade war
This Centre for Economic Policy Research discussion paper explores the impact of recent trade policy decisions in the United States. The paper concludes that the full cost of the tariff has fallen on US consumers, with a reduction in real income of $1.4 billion per month by the end of 2018.
IMF: Australia’s economy in six charts
Australia’s continued commitment to openness and trade will support longer-term growth, the IMF says in its chapeau to the latest six charts on Australia’s economic profile and policy priorities.
Did You Know?
Indonesia is Australia’s 4th largest agricultural export market, worth $3.35 billion in 2017.
Free Trade Agreements Information Seminar
Penrith, NSW, 19 March; Orange, NSW, 20 March 2019
This seminar is an interactive session where you’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from government and industry experts on the practical benefits of exporting and how to take advantage of Australia’s FTAs, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton will deliver the keynote speech at both events.
Going Global: an export guide for small businesses
Sydney, NSW, 10 April 2019
This free workshop aims to help aspiring and existing exporters from Western Sydney. Regional Development Australia Sydney, Liverpool City Council and the Export Council of Australia have combined to host the event.