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Australia - Latest News/Current Events, Economic Overview & Trade Relations

AEI | Quick Facts about Australia

Official Name Commonwealth of Australia
Capital Canberra
Location Oceania, continent between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean
Area total: 7,686,850 sq km land: 7,617,930 sq km water: 68,920 sq km note: includes Lord Howe Island and Macquarie Island
Climate generally arid to semiarid; temperate in south and east; tropical in north
Terrain mostly low plateau with deserts; fertile plain in southeast
Australia
Australia

Australia's Central Bank Will Not Change Interest Rates Yet

Australia's central Bank may keep its interest rate at the same level for a fourth month, which means that next on the agenda are increasing borrowing costs as the economy shows signs of improvement. Glenn Stevens, Reserve Bank Governor, will maintain…

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Australia

Australian Agriculture Exports May Achieve $26 billion

Australia, the world's fourth-largest wheat exporter, may produce more of the grain than previously predicted after rain lifted crop prospects, National Australia Bank Ltd. said July 22. Australian farmers sow crops including wheat, barley and canola…

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Australia

Costco to Invest $ 22 Million in Australia

The store on the fringe of Melbourne's central business district will be followed by an outlet in Sydney's western suburbs before Costco looks at more openings in the nation of almost 22 million, Australian Managing Director Patrick Noone said in an…

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Australia

Australia's Central Bank Kept Interest Rates Unchanged

Australia was one of the few major economies including China and India to grow in the first quarter as government cash handouts and rate cuts stoked consumer spending. Growth may slow after recent reports showed exports dropped to a 14-month low, bank…

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Australia

CSR Planning to Increase Sugar Value

CSR Ltd., Australia's second-largest maker of building products, is planning to spin off its sugar unit to take advantage of a 27 percent jump in prices for the sweetener in the past year and improving capital markets.

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Australia

Australian Airlines Addresses $66 Million Shortfall

National Australian airline Qantas has committed $66 million to cover a shortfall caused by the current economic crisis.

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Trade Agreements

Australia - New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership

The Australian New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement (ANZCERTA) aims to strengthen the partners’ relations, to eliminate trade barriers between the two countries, to develop closer economic relations, promote fair competition in trade within the two countries. ANZCERTA was entered into force in 1983 and began as an effort to integrate the two countries through free trade in goods and services. Once the initial goals were met, the governments from both countries have moved to a deeper integration of the two economies. http://www.fta.gov.au/default.aspx?FolderID=285&ArticleID=231

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Singapore - Australia Free Trade Agreement

The Singapore – Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed in 2002 after 10 rounds of meetings and negotiations.  SAFTA will be the first bilateral free trade agreement the Australia has entered into, as the last one was in 1983 with New Zealand.  According to the agreement, all tariffs will be eliminated, Australian exporters will gain more market access and the market will be more open and predictable.  Investors from Singapore will have more opportunities to invest in   Australia.  The customs procedures will be improved and Singapore will have access to the Australian workforce.  The FTA will not only benefit the economies of both countries but the service industry as well. http://www.fta.gov.sg/fta/pdf/FTA_SAFTA_Agreement.pdf

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South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement

Cook IslandsCook Islands
FijiFiji
KiribatiKiribati
Marshall IslandsMarshall Islands
Micronesia (Federated States Of)Micronesia (Federated States Of)
NauruNauru
PalauPalau
SamoaSamoa
Solomon IslandsSolomon Islands
TongaTonga
TuvaluTuvalu
VanuatuVanuatu

New Zealand, Australia and the countries of the South Pacific Forum signed the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement in 1981.  Under the agreement, the products coming from South Pacific Forum countries will have duty free access to the markets in both Australia and New Zealand.http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/other/dfat/treaties/1982/31.html

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Thailand - Australia Free Trade Agreement

In Force since 2005, the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) is a market opening agreement which allows Australian products greater access.  Upon entry into force, Thailand eliminated more than half of its tariff, which over a significant amount of Australian exports. While Australian exports were previously pushed out of the Thailand market due to quotas and high tariffs, it now has access in numerous areas. http://www.thaifta.com/english/eng_au.html

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United States - Australia Free Trade Agreement

United States of AmericaUnited States of America

Signed in 2004 and in force since 2005, the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement opens up to Australia the world’s largest economy.  The United States is perhaps the most significant trading and investment partner to Australia as it aims to create a transparent business environment.  The United States will also allow Australia access to its market. http://www.ustr.gov/Trade_Agreements/Bilateral/Australia_FTA/Final_Text/Section_Index.html

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Trade Organizations

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries or regions (styled 'member economies') to discuss the regional economy, cooperation, trade and investment. The membership is claimed to account for approximately 41 percent of the world's population, approximately 56 percent of world GDP and about 49 percent of world trade. The activities, including year-round meetings of the members' ministers, are coordinated by the APEC Secretariat.

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Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP)

The Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP) is a non-governmental (second track) process for dialogue on security issues in Asia Pacific.

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East Asia Summit (EAS)

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a Pan-Asia forum of 16 countries in East Asia, with ASEAN in a leadership position.

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Pacific Islands Foum (PIF)

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)is an inter-governmental organization which aims to enhance cooperation between the independent countries of the Pacific Ocean and represent their interests. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum; the name was changed in 2000 to better reflect the correct geographic locations of its member states both in the north and south Pacific. The Forum's member states are: Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Since 2006, associate members territories are New Caledonia and French Polynesia.

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