PBEC Trade Report May 2023
US CALLS OUT EU GI POLICY: The USTR has again called out what it describes as the EU’s aggressive promotion of its exclusionary geographical indications (GI) policies. In an IP report the US said it remained concerned with the EU’s proposed expansion of its GI system to cover non-agriculture and food products.
AUSTRALIA-EU FTA TALKS: A 15th Australia-EU FTA negotiating round between was held in Brussels during the week. A large Australian contingent travelled for the talks which were aimed at progressing the fiveyear-old negotiations to a stage where chief negotiators and ministers would then seek to conclude an FTA.
TAIWAN & EU HOLD SECOND DIALOGUE: Taiwan and the European Union held a second trade and investment dialogue during the week. It focussed on strategic trade issues and bilateral concerns including offshore wind and agri-food, digital trade facilitation and the security-related aspects of trade.
AUSTRALIA & PHILIPPINES LOOK TO BOOST TRADE: Trade Ministers Farrell and Pascual met in Manila during the week where they explored boosting trade relations as part of the two economies moving toward a strategic partnership. A Ministerial Meeting and a Trade Dialogue will be held later this year.
APEC BUSINESS LEADERS MEET: The APEC Business Advisory Council met in Brunei during the week. It ended its meeting urging APEC Trade Ministers to leverage regional challenges to firmly place it on a new path of economic inclusion, resilience and sustainability. The Ministers will meet in Detroit on May 25-26.
INDIA & EFTA SEEK TO RESUME TRADE TALKS: Ministers from India and the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) met in New Delhi during the week to discuss resuming negotiations for a trade and economic partnership agreement. Negotiations first began in 2008.
JAPAN’S INDO-PACIFIC CALL: Foreign Minister Hayashi spoke with US Commerce Secretary Raimondo during the week emphasizing the importance of ensuring inclusiveness and the active involvement of all Indo-Pacific Economic Framework members. A third negotiating round will be held in Singapore next week.
AUSTRALIAN WINE EXPORTS FALL: Australia’s wine exports fell by 7 per cent to $1.9 billion in the year ended March 2023. Wine Australia’s Export Report also shows a 1 per cent decline in volume to 620 million litres. Australian wine producers exported to 118 countries during the year, up from 112 the previous year.
THAILAND HOLDS FOURTH FTA ROUND: Thailand and the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) held a 4th round of FTA talks during the week. They reported significant progress in talks canvassing such topics as goods trade, rules of origin and trade remedies.
WTO REPORTS DIGITAL TRADE BOOM: The WTO has reported a boom in digitally delivered services trade, such as telecommunications, computer and technical services during the COVID pandemic. Intra-regional trade in Asia was up by 25 per cent in 2021. It reached 43 per cent of the region’s total trade.