Issue: 028: December 2022
PBEC Trade Report December 2022 – Part II
INDO-PACIFIC & OTTAWA GROUP COMPLETE MEETINGS: Negotiators from the 14 Indo-Pacific Economic Framework economies have completed their first negotiating round in Australia. The talks were attended by 450 officials. Meanwhile the Ottawa Group has met virtually to plan its 2023 agenda for WTO reform.
ASEAN & EU KEEP FTA ON HORIZON: ASEAN and the EU have kept the prospect of an FTA between them as a long-term objective. In a leaders’ statement in Brussels, they welcomed EU FTAs with individual ASEAN economies and planned to intensify engagement in areas like green technology and supply chain resilience.
CHINA PURSUES WTO ACTION: China has launched dispute action at the WTO over US restrictions on the export of semiconductors. Foreign spokesman Wang Wenbin said countries needed to stand up and say no to US unilateralism and protectionism. He said the US action hindered trade and distorted supply chains.
AUSTRALIA FURTHER EXTENDS NITRATE INQUIRY: The Anti-Dumping Commission has for the second time extended an anti-dumping inquiry into ammonium nitrate from Vietnam, Chile and Lithuania. The latest delay is due to the case’s complexities and analysis needs. A final report is now due by May 16.
PHILIPPINES TRADE LEADER BACKS RCEP FTA: Trade Secretary Pascual has called for the Philippines to urgently ratify the mega RCEP FTA. Its ratification was delayed by an election earlier this year. He told a Senate Committee the agreement would establish a conducive environment for business and investors.
JAPAN & BANGLADESH TO STUDY FTA: Japan and Bangladesh have agreed to establish a joint study group to explore the potential for an economic partnership agreement between the two economies. The study group comes on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Bangladesh.
INDIA & UK TRADE MINISTERS MEET IN DELHI: Commerce Minister Goyal and Trade Secretary Badenoch met for the first time during the week where they sought to accelerate FTA negotiations between the two economies. The meeting coincided with a 6th round of FTA negotiations in Delhi.
INDONESIA PROCEEDS WTH WTO DISPUTE APPEAL: Indonesia has appealed a WTO Dispute Panel ruling that its export restrictions in nickel ore violated global trade rules. However the WTO’s current lack of an appellate body means the appeal is unable to be heard and the restrictions will be able to stay in place.
SINGAPORE & EU REACH DIGITAL AGREEMENT: Singapore and the European Union announced during the week they had substantially concluded negotiations for a new digital partnership agreement. The agreement seeks to advance cooperation in areas such as trade facilitation, data flows and digital trust.
TAIWAN CALLS ON CHINA TO LIFT BANS: Taiwan has called on Beijing to lift bans on exports of key foods and beverages to China. It claims the bans, which could spark WTO dispute action, were a restriction of global trade. China claims Taiwanese exporters have failed to comply with food registration requirements.