Trade Update – 11 Feb 2021: India Boosts Solar Import Duties, China & Korea Studying Bid For FTA Membership and more…
Weekly trade review provided by Chatto Creek Advisory Pty.
Chatto Creek Advisory Pty Ltd is a Melbourne-based strategic consultancy specialising in trade policy advice and government engagement strategy. It is headed by Russell Scoular, an executive with rich government relations, trade policy, and business experience throughout the Asia Pacific.
AUSTRALIAN FARMERS SEEK TRADE BUDGET BOOST
The National Farmers’ Federation has called on the Government to develop and invest in a long-term agriculture trade strategy. A strategy would help deepen access to existing markets, diversify export destinations and improve supply chains.
INDIA BOOSTS SOLAR IMPORT DUTIES
India has sought to boost its solar manufacturing capacity by boosting its import duties. Finance Minister Sitharaman has announced immediate basic customs duty increases from five to twenty per cent for solar inverters and from five to fifteen per cent for solar lanterns.
KOREAN WITHDRAWAL CLEARS ROAD FOR NEW WTO BOSS
Korean Trade Minister Yoo has withdrawn her candidacy for the leadership of the WTO. This has cleared the way for Nigerian Okonjo-Iweala to be appointed as the first woman leader of the trade body. The US has now backed the latter’s appointment.
AUSTRALIA WELCOMES NEW WTO LEADER
Trade Minister Tehan has described Okonjo-Iweala as an outstanding candidate who would bring a depth of experience to the role. He acknowledged the dignified step Korea’s Yoo had taken in withdrawing from the selection describing her as a close friend of Australia.
INDIA & EU TO EXPLORE INTERIM FTA
India and the European Union have talked during a high-level trade dialogue of working toward a comprehensive FTA via a smaller interim agreement. Negotiations for a comprehensive FTA began in 2007 but have remained stalled since 2013.
CHINA & KOREA STUDYING BID FOR FTA MEMBERSHIP
The Ministry of Commerce said this week China was readily considering seeking to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Spokesman Gao said it was actively conducting research. South Korea is also studying whether to seek CPTPP membership.
TAIWAN URGED TO PURSUE TRADE AGREEMENTS
Meanwhile, Taiwan has been urged to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and to continue its pursuit of an FTA with the US. The Taipei Times reported US semiconductor industry leaders had made the call during a meeting of the US and Taiwanese industries.
THAI STUDY TO TAKE THREE MONTHS
Thailand’s long-running study on whether to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will take a further three months. The Bangkok Post has reported the government requires more in-depth studies despite the work of house panels established by Cabinet in May last year.
EU & JAPAN EXPAND PROTECTED NAMES LIST
The EU and Japan have commemorated the second anniversary of their trade agreement by expanding the list of protected geographical indications, more closely aligning wine standards and cutting the number of vehicle standards requiring double approvals.
KOREA TO LAUNCH NEW INVESTMENT ROADMAP
Trade Minister Yoo announced this week South Korea would announce a detailed foreign direct investment policy roadmap in March. The government also intended to create a “high-tech investment zone” for semiconductor, bio-health and future car industries.