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PBEC Trade Report February 2023 – Part I

PBEC Trade Report February 2023 – Part I

AUSTRALIAN TRADE MINISTER TO VISIT CHINA: Trade Minister Farrell will visit Beijing soon in a bid to improve trade relations between the two economies. It follows a virtual meeting between Minister Farrell and Commerce Minister Wang. It was the first meeting of the respective trade ministers since 2019.

USTR VISITS VIETNAM & MALAYSIA: US Trade Representative Tai – the Biden Administration’s top trade official – is visiting Vietnam and Malaysia this week. The visit by Tai to the two ASEAN economies follows last week’s second round of the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework negotiations in India.

EU REPORTS AUSTRALIAN FTA PROGRESS: The EU has reported good progress during the 14th round of FTA negotiations with Australia saying it was committed to achieving a high quality, ambitious and balanced trade deal. The negotiations in Canberra involved more than 150 negotiators and technical specialists.

MALAYSIAN INDUSTRY LEADER PASSES AWAY: The Malaysian Automotive Association’s president since its formation in 2000 Datuk Aisha Ahmad Badjunaid passed away in Jeddah on February 2. She was 71 and a well-known leading participant in APEC Automotive Dialogues and ASEAN automotive trade policy forums.

CANADA & TAIWAN TO PURSUE INVESTMENT ARRANGEMENT: Canada and Taiwan are to negotiate a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Arrangement. It follows a virtual meeting between Trade Ministers Ng (Canada) and Deng (Taiwan) and comes a year after they announced a scoping study.

AUSTRALIAN WINE EXPORTERS EXPAND MARKETS: Australian wine exporters have continued to diversify their markets in the face of punitive tariffs in China. Wine Australia reports exporters shipped wine worth $1.94 billion to 120 destinations in 2022 compared to 112 destinations in the previous year.

SINGAPORE SIGNS WTO FISHERIES AGREEMENT: Singapore has become the second economy and first coastal state to formally accept the WTO’s Agreement of Fisheries Subsidies. It follows Switzerland’s acceptance. The agreement aims to protect fish stocks by curbing and prohibiting a range of subsidies.

INDIA & EU ESTABLISH NEW TRADE COUNCIL: India and the EU have established a new Trade and Technology Council. The Council will seek to deepen strategic engagement in key trade areas and by initially focussing on strategic technologies, green technologies and trade and resilient value chains.

UK MINISTER PURSUES MEXICAN SUPPORT: Trade Secretary Badenoch visited Mexico during the week in a bid to boost support as the UK seeks to finalize its potential accession to the CPTPP Free Trade Agreement. She also discussed progress with the renegotiation of the UK-Mexico Trade Agreement.

PHILIPPINES LEGISLATORS WARNED ON RCEP DELAY: Trade Secretary Pascal told a Senate Committee during the week the competitiveness of Philippine products could be affected should ratification of the RCEP FTA continue to be delayed. The Committee was convened to discuss concerns of agriculture groups.

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