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PBEC Trade Report October 2021

Issue: 011:

CHINA REACTS TO TAIWAN’S FTA BID: China has responded strongly to Taiwan’s bid to become a member of the CPTPP FTA. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao said in Beijing China firmly opposed official interactions with Taiwan and rejected its accession to any agreement or organization of an official nature.

JAPANESE AMBASSADOR TALKS FTA WITH AUSTRALIA: Japan’s Ambassador to Australia Shingo Yamagami met with Trade Minister Tehan earlier in the week. In what Yamagami-san later described on Twitter as a “deep discussion,” their talks included the CPTPP FTA. Japan is currently chair of the CPTPP Commission.

AUSTRALIAN MINISTER’S MAJOR TRIP: Trade Minister Tehan has embarked on an extensive trip with key trade meetings in Jakarta, Delhi, Dubai, Paris and London. He will be seeking to progress an “early harvest” FTA with India, explore FTA talks with the UAE, finalize the UK FTA and keep EU FTA talks moving forward.

A PATIENT WAIT FOR A FRENCH MEETING: Trade Minister Tehan will wait for a meeting with French Trade Minister Riester. The ABC said a meeting request by Australia had been rejected. Tehan said the request was an “open invitation” and he looked forward to being able to explain Australia’s submarine decision.

NEW ZEALAND MINISTER HEADS OVERSEAS: Trade Minister O’Connor is returning to the Northern Hemisphere for a series of trade talks. He will initially head to Washington DC to meet with USTR Katherine Tai followed by Sweden, France, Ireland, Italy and Belgium. NZ is negotiating FTAs with the UK and EU.

US LIFTS IMPORT BAN ON JAPANESE FOOD GOODS: The US Food and Drug Administration has lifted a decade-long import ban on food produce, including rice and vegetables, from the Fukushima Prefecture. The ban followed damage to a nuclear power plant following an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

INDIA LAUNCHES FTA NEGOTIATIONS WITH UAE: India and the United Arab Emirates have launched negotiations for a closer economic partnership agreement. The first negotiating round was held on September 23-24. The two economies are working to conclude an agreement by December 2021.

PHILIPPINES PROMOTES RCEP OPPORTUNITIES: Trade Secretary Lopez has told a seminar of more than 300 businesses the Government will host extensive information campaigns to ensure industry could fully benefit from the mega free trade agreement. President Duterte recently issued a ratification instrument.

INDIA & AUSTRALIA LAUNCH BUSINESS CHAMPIONS GROUP: Commerce Minister Goyal told this week’s inaugural meeting of the Australia-India Business Champions Group a key goal of the two economies must be to strengthen global supply chains and to fully capitalize on a favourable geopolitical environment.

TAIWAN LEGISLATOR WARNS ORANGES COULD BE NEXT: A Taiwanese legislator fears oranges could be the next fruit to face a biosecurity ban by China. The follows a ban on pineapples and more recently apples. The Taipei Times reported Legislator Lai Hui-yuan as saying Taiwan should begin preparing for such a ban.

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