Economy & Trade

Trends in Australia-ASEAN Trade and Investment

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AB mag 2014 0910_ASEAN Investment HorizonsBy Nishant Dixit

In 2014, Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebrated forty years of diplomatic relations. In that time, bilateral trade between Australia and several ASEAN member-states have seen enormous progress, but relations with others remain surprisingly slow.

Australia is a signatory to the regional ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA), in force since 2010. The agreement is the most comprehensive FTA negotiated by ASEAN and will eliminate tariffs on 96 percent of all products by 2020.

ASEAN countries collectively make up Australia’s second largest trading partner, after China. Two-way trade stood at US$67.9 billion in 2013, or 14.3 percent of Australia’s total trade. However, this amount is only half the size of the US$120 billion trade with China. FDI from Australia to ASEAN was valued at US$20 Billion in 2013, making Australia ASEAN’s seventh largest FDI source.

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The Asia Sourcing Guide 2015 – New Issue of Asia Briefing Magazine

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Sourcing coverThe newest issue of Asia Briefing magazine, titled “The Asia Sourcing Guide 2015“, is out now and available as a complimentary download in the Asia Briefing Bookstore.

Contents:
  • An Introduction to Sourcing from Asia
  • Choosing a Sourcing Model and Location in Asia
  • Expert Commentary: Quality Standards in Asia

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Australia-Japan FTA Enters Into Force

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On January 15, the free trade agreement (FTA) between Australia and Japan entered into force. The agreement provides substantial tariff cuts, set to grant over 97 percent of Australian exports preferential or duty-free access to Japan.

The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) was first signed in July 2014, the result of over seven years of negotiations.

The JAEPA features tariff cuts on Australia’s resource, energy, and manufacturing exports, with 99.7 percent of these goods allowed duty-free access to Japan upon full implementation.

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Israel’s Economic Relationship with the Asia-Pacific, Part 2: India and ASEAN

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By Benedict Lynn and Grace Tate

India has emerged as a surprising friend and strategic partner to Israel. The Asian giant was formerly more closely allied with the Soviet Union and the Arab world; in 1938, Mahatma Ghandi decried the imposition of a Jewish state.

Publically, this anti-Israel sentiment remained until the end of the cold war, although de-jure recognition was granted in 1950 along with the establishment of an Israeli consulate in Mumbai. Normal diplomatic relations were established in 1992 and since then, bilateral trade has flourished, rising from US$200 million to around US$6 billion in 2013.

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Thailand Eyes Increased Bilateral Cooperation with China

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During the past month, the Thai military junta has been attempting to improve relations with China in order to pick up economic growth and legitimize the new government. Economic growth has been sluggish in the country since a group of generals led by Prayuth Chan-ocha overthrew the democratically elected government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra last May.

Following the coup, growth has been slow due to poor domestic consumption and weak private investment. The Bank of Thailand has slashed its projections for GDP growth in 2014 from 1.5 percent to 0.8 percent compared with the 2.9 percent growth in 2013. 

The coup has led to a cooling in relations with the West. Negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Thailand and the European Union have been halted, and the U.S. has partially cut military assistance to the country.

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Israel’s Economic Relationship with the Asia-Pacific, Part 1: China

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By Benedict Lynn and Grace Tate

For a number of years, Israel has carefully cultivated deep running economic and political ties with many countries throughout the Asia-Pacific. Despite a turbulent history in several cases, the importance of the region has not been lost on the West Asian country, and several nations in the Asia-Pacific have in turn recognized the merits of stronger bilateral ties with Israel. Now, as the Jewish state’s policies alienate it ever further from its allies in the West, Israel has ostensibly been moving eastward at a faster pace than ever before.

In part one of this two-part article that highlights Israel’s foray into Asia-Pacific markets, we focus on China. Next week, Israel’s relations with India and ASEAN will be analyzed.

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Senior Chinese Political Advisor Hints at Improved Relations with Vietnam

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SHANGHAI – Yu Zhengsheng, the head of China’s top political advisory body, vowed on Thursday to boost high level exchanges and mutual trust between China and Vietnam. The comments came on Thursday when he met Vietnamese Communist party Politburo member Le Hong Anh during a largely ceremonial visit to Hanoi.

Yu, ranked fourth in the Chinese Communist Party Leadership, is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political bureau of the Communist party of China (CPC) and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Anh is a Vietnamese Politburo member and standing secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee.  Anh had previously visited Beijing in August as special envoy of the CPV Central Committee General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

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Export Procedures in Australia and New Zealand

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SHANGHAI – Recent free trade agreements (FTAs) in the Asia-Pacific have brought more attention to the region’s various export policies.  Two nations that have worked towards signing new deals in recent years are Australia and New Zealand.  Most notably, Australia has signed FTAs with China, Japan and South Korea in the past nine months, whilst New Zealand has secured an FTA with South Korea and is reportedly working towards a slew of new FTAs with various other Asian countries.

These FTAs are indicative of increasing trade between Australia/New Zealand and the rest of the Asia-Pacific region.  As such, in this article we take a close look at the export procedures and policies that Australia and New Zealand currently have in place.

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New Zealand and South Korea Conclude FTA Negotiations

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¾Ç¼öÇÏ´Â ÇÑ-´ºÁúSHANGHAI – On November 15th, New Zealand and South Korea concluded negotiations on a bilateral free-trade agreement (FTA). The announcement was made on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia.

Talks over the agreement first began in 2009 but were impeded by concerns over the impact New Zealand agricultural exports might have on the Korean market. These issues were resolved in February 2014 with the decision to slowly phase out New Zealand’s tariffs, providing an incubation period for domestic producers.

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WHO Report Shows Asia-Pacific is Prepared for Ebola

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By Kangkyu Lee

MedicalWhile Ebola has been declared an acute health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), foreign investors can feel confident that the virus will likely not spread in the Asia-Pacific. According to a WHO study, the region is one of the most well-fortified and prepared in the world to respond to Ebola. Ironically, this is because countries in the Asia-Pacific have previously been the breeding ground for world pathogens, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and bird flu.

In fact, the countries of the Asia-Pacific have been committed to using cooperative methods, frameworks, and contingency plans to improve disease surveillance since 2013. These mechanisms, precipitated through the ASEAN+3 (South Korea, Japan, and China) (APT) framework, have been instrumental in bringing together nations to cooperate on socio-economic and political issues in the past.

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