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Australia's economy gained momentum in the last quarter of 2016, allowing the resource-rich economy to extend its 25-year streak without recession

 

It brings the country close to breaking the Netherlands' record of modern-era uninterrupted economic growth

 

Australia's economy had contracted in the third quarter but the surprise 1.1% rise pulled the annual figure back to a 2.4% growth rate

 

The recovery was attributed largely to strong exports and consumer spending

 

Mining and agriculture enjoyed relatively strong growth in the three months to December

 

Iron ore and coal are Australia's biggest exports and reduced demand from China has cooled a mining boom and hurt the Australian economy

 

Australia has not had a recession - defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth - since June 1991

 

It is now just one quarter short of the Dutch record set between 1982 and 2008.Treasurer Scott Morrison welcomed a 2% rise in business investment in December - the first rise after a dozen quarters of decline

 

"Our growth continues to be above the OECD average and confirms the successful change that is taking place in our economy as we move from the largest resources investment boom in our history to broader-based growth," he said

 

'Bright' outloo

 

ANZ analysts said the figures confirmed that the weakness in the third quarter "was only temporary, and underlying momentum in the economy remains solid"

 

Capital Economics chief Australia economist Paul Dales said the economy was firmly "back on track"

 

"The decent rebound in real GDP in the fourth quarter doesn't just dash any lingering fears that Australia was in a recession, but it also boosts hopes that the surge in commodity prices will trigger a rapid recovery," he said

 

"The outlook for the next year is reasonably bright," Shane Oliver of AMP Capital told the BBC. "We are seeing a pickup in export volumes and we have seen a big rebound in key commodity prices.

 

Mr Oliver added: "Growth should probably get back to 2.5%, maybe 3% over the course of this year.

 

Estimates by the country's central bank point to economic growth rising to about 3% for 2017 on the back of recovering commodity prices.

 

Source:BBC News

AUSTRALIA’S largest trade surplus ever was seen in the December quarter of last year, with the value of exports exceeding imports by $4.7bn.

 

Trade minister Steven Ciobo cited surging export values of rural goods, iron ore and coal as the main drivers of the surplus.

 

“This record result was driven by large increases in export values to China, Japan, Korea Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, The UK and Thailand,” he said.

 

“The growth in rural exports was underpinned by strong gains in vegetables, oil seeds, wool, meat and fresh dairy products.”

 

The December quarter also saw the lowest current account deficit since 2001, at $3.9bn, a decrease of $6.3bn

 

“Australia's impressive overall trade position in 2016 was boosted by large increases in export volumes of LNG and coal as major infrastructure projects in those sectors came online,” Mr Ciobo said.

 

“Tourism also made a significant contribution to our exports, as Australia continues to attract a record number of international visitors.”

 

Source:Lloyds List Australia

“India has the potential for a growth rate higher than what we are achieving today,” Jaitley said. He added that in the early days of liberalisation there had been dissenting voices but those “fears have receded to the background.”

 

Support for refor

 

“You have much greater support for reform than any other time in history. The idea of a protectionist economy has not been an issue for India…We’ve opened up and it’s been more welcomed than opposed.”

 

However, he said that discussions with his counterparts in Britain have convinced him that Brexit cannot be “confused with any protectionist idea.” “There is a keenness to expand trade with India.”

 

Jaitley has used his public appearances during the trip to focus on India’s reform agenda, outlining the long-term impact it hopes the implementation of GST, and demonetisation, will have on efforts to improve the collection of taxes, enabling the government to increase spending on infrastructure and poverty reduction.

 

Teething troubl

 

On Monday, he acknowledged there could be “teething problems” in the first days after the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), but maintained confidence in it coming into effect by July 1, and September at the very latest.

 

“We’ll have to learn to live with it,” he said.

 

Personnel are being trained for it, he said, and the IT network prepared.

 

“But in any great experiment of this kind it is likely to be there...it will be a far more efficient system,” he said.“It will ensure evasion doesn’t take place. Every limb of a transaction would be captured in software and the quantum of taxes will go up — and as the taxation base increases, the state’s ability to make taxes more reasonable will be there.”

 

Asked about the health of the banking sector, and particularly non-performing loans in the state banks, he said the current quarter is looking better and that it is best to focus on the future, rather than “panic.”

 

The problems are confined to a particular few sectors and the Centre has taken steps to address the issue, he added.

 

He further said that there are calls for the creation of a “bad bank” or public sector agency to address the issue. “We are looking at several options on the table.”

 

Source:Business Line

Head of Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong said President Joko Widodo held a business meeting with a number of Australian business investors on his first day in Australia.

 

The Indonesian president discussed issues on cooperation in mining and tourism sectors.

 

“There were approximately 10 companies and two associations, accompanied by a number of representatives from the Australian government. The discussion included issues on mining, especially gold, as it has high investment value,” he said in Sydneys Shangri-La Hotel on Saturday (Feb. 25).

 

The investment value in the gold mining sector, is recorded to be at 7 to 13 trillion rupiah for each corporation, he stated.

 

The Agency Head further stated that the gold mining sector currently acts as a contributor for foreign exchange and is currently performing very well.

 

As for the tourism sector, Lembong said that Australia is a nation with strong maritime embodiment and spirit.

 

“Australia is very strong country with a strong culture, and the people are keen on spending their leisure time on a ship,” he noted.

 

The agency noted that there are a number of Australian companies that are currently building marinas in Lombok and Rajaampat, aimed at expanding Indonesias tourism sector.

 

Although Australias investment in Indonesias tourism sector is not significant yet, he believed that the construction of the marinas can open new investment sectors in a number of tourist destinations.

 

“Furthermore, supporting services and tourism can also generate foreign exchange for the country. All foreign tourists who sail through Indonesias islands pay their spending with foreign currencies. In the beginning, it may not appear to be that significant, but it will surely affect the people and job field,” he remarked.

 

He also said that Widodo had listened to all the needs and complaints of Australian investors in a bid to strengthen both countries economy.

 

“We should not be overwhelmed by excessive regulations. The president even stated that this was a fragmentation, and if each region comes up with their own regulations, standards and formats, then it is like turning one massive market into hundreds of smaller ones,” he explained.

 

In the beginning of March, Indonesia will host the Indonesia-Australia Business Meeting in Jakarta, which will also open the opportunity for both countries to strengthen their cooperation in the investment sector, he asserted.

 

The BKPM targets Australias investment in Indonesia to reach US$3 billion, or Rp39 trillion, in the next 3 to 5 years.

 

 

Source:BKPM

 

LONDON: Visiting Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley opened trading on the London Stock Exchange on Monday in the presence of British Member of Parliament and UK Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, India's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Y.K. Sinha and Pankaj Patel, President, FICCI.

 

Following the market open ceremony, Nikhil Rathi, CEO, London Stock Exchange plc hosted a roundtable event with Minister Jaitley, delegates from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Fintech companies and leading investors to discuss London’s significant role as a partner to India, supporting the country to develop its FinTech ecosystem and deliver key Indian priorities like infrastructure development, sustainable energy investment and the growth of smart cities.Rathi said, “Minister Jaitley’s second visit to the UK in a year underlines the success of the business and financial partnership between the UK and India and builds on recent landmark visits by Prime Minister Theresa May to India and Prime Minister Modi to the UK. We’re honoured once again to welcome Minister Jaitley to open trading on our historic markets. 2016 was a tremendous year for Masala bonds in London, with the Indian corporate Masala bond market launching in London with HDFC’s landmark bond issuance in July 2016, cementing London Stock Exchange’s clear position as the leading global venue for offshore Rupee denominated fundraising." 

 

He further stated,“India’s growth trajectory is truly remarkable, with the highest growth rate among the G20 economies and the Minister’s Union Budget announced earlier this month will only spur this on. With the depth, liquidity, multicurrency and profile of London’s markets, together with the UK remaining the largest G20 investor in India, London Stock Exchange is ideally suited to partner with India in this extraordinary growth story to deliver key Indian priorities like infrastructure development, sustainable energy investment and the growth of smart cities.”

 

Dr. Liam Fox said, "The UK-India investment relationship is hugely important. India is now the third largest investor and second largest job creator in the UK; the UK is the largest G20 investor in India and plays an important role in building skills in the Indian workforce.

 

The UK Government is committed to deepening this relationship further and in my first months as Secretary of State for International Trade, I’ve been lucky enough to visit India twice - most recently accompanying the Prime Minister on her first bilateral visit outside Europe, as well as her first trade delegation. In the words of Prime Minister Modi, India and the UK are an ‘unbeatable partnership’.  And I’m very glad that our Prime Ministers recently committed to ‘building the closest possible commercial and economic relationship’.”

 

Source:Indian Express