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FORMER Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called for a "one-page" free trade deal with the UK and greater visa access for Australians post-Brexit.


The one-time Remain supporter has changed his tune since the referendum result and is now backing a report that recommends opening up free-trade between the two countries.


Contributing to the Free Enterprise Group's report Reconnecting with the Commonwealth, the former leader said "Brexit means that Britain is back" and outlined plans for a quick deal to ensure greater movement of goods and people.


"If Britain is determined to make the most of Brexit - and everything about Prime Minister May shows this steely determination - why not strive for a one-page FTA with Australia?"


"The movement of goods between our two countries should be absolutely free of tariffs or quotas.


And each country's product and service standards should be recognised in the other. If a car is fit to be sold in Britain, it's fit to be sold in Australia.


"If a doctor is fit to practise in Australia, he or she is fit to practise in the UK," he said.


"Provided people are coming to work rather than to take advantage of social security or health services, Australians should also be free to live in the UK and vice versa."


The comments come as the UK scrambles to figure out what its relationship with the EU and rest of the world will be post-Brexit, with little certainty over whether the government favours staying in or out of the single market.


In January, the UK's representative in Brussels, Sir Ivan Rogers, quit his post just two months before Britain was due to trigger Article 50, accusing the government of "muddled thinking" on the issue.


"We do not yet know what the government will set as negotiating objectives for the UK's relationship with the EU after exit," he wrote in a resignation letter sent to 1400 staff.


The Commonwealth accounts for a tiny proportion of total UK trade in goods and services with the top ten countries making up just eight per cent of the total, as opposed to around 45 per cent for the European Union.


However the UK remains an important trading partner for Australia, ranking 9th in terms of imports and exports and in the top three in terms of services, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.


Conservative MPs James Cleverly and Tim Hewish claim Brexit offers a chance for the UK to return to "free trading principles," saying the Commonwealth has been "neglected" in this area for decades.


Mr Abbott said trade between two historically linked nations with much in common remains the "obvious" place to start.


The authors propose a five-phase approach that would include a scoping group for the possibility of freedom of movement for those on Tier 2 visas for citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK.


It claims the quota of 20,700 Tier 2 visas for skilled professionals "will need to change if free movement is altered for EU nationals."


"Exploring this with a feasibility study and working group between these nations should be an option," they said.


But free-trade advocates shouldn't get their hopes up too soon. The MPs claim the "priorities will be deals with the EU and the United States as well as China who represent 44 per cent, 17 per cent, and 3.6 per cent of the UK's total exports respectively."


Australia is also in the process of scoping a free trade deal with Indonesia and the EU, which will take precedence over new deals in the pipeline.


Source:Chinchilla News

The UAE and India have been discussing ways to enhance economic ties and expand areas of bilateral trade


Talks were held between Minister of State, His Excellency Dr. Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of an investment summit in Gujarat.


Discussions mainly focused on joint partnerships in infrastructure, energy, tourism and logistics sectors.


Modi also lauded the expertise and international experiences of UAE companies operating in these fields.



The ECA is pleased to welcome Heath Baker as the newest addition to the ECA team. Heath will be joining the ECA as head of trade policy and industry engagement.



We are incredibly lucky to have Heath working on behalf of our members to represent your interests, before joining the ECA, Heath spent four years at Austrade, with roles including manager of trade policy, State Director for NSW and the ACT, and Trade Commissioner in Seoul.


Prior to Austrade, Heath spent four years in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Most of this time was in its international policy division, where his focus was medium- to long-term strategic policy advice. Heath also spent 18 months as an intelligence analyst.


Before joining government, Heath spent five years in investment banking, working with Macquarie, JP Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse First Boston.


Given the full agenda we have planned for the year ahead, we are keen to engage early with our and as always we are very keen to engage with our members and industry partners on trade policy related issues.


Please feel free to reach out to Heath Baker directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or register your comments via our online web form: http://www.export.org.au/trade-policy/engage-with-the-export-council-of-australia


We look forward to a busy year ahead working closely with your  our members and industry partners to advance the interests of Australian companies engaged in trade.


Source:ECA News

Alibaba Group (Australia and New Zealand) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GS1 Australia to formalise, promote and strengthen online trade between China and Australia.


Russell Stucki, Chairman, GS1 Australia said, “The MoU signed here today will formalise the strategic partnership to support the growth and introduction of Australian brands, using GS1 standards, to the millions of online shoppers using Alibaba Group’s platforms in China. The alliance with GS1 Global Office will also foster great opportunities for Alibaba to connect with over two million member businesses worldwide.”


The signing of the MoU follows the October 2016 announcement from Alibaba Group, GS1 Global Office and GS1 China to standardise product information for the benefit of all supply chain stakeholders, especially consumers. Alibaba invited brand owners to adopt GS1 standards for product information management and the use of the barcode, or Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), for uniquely identifying their products within the Alibaba e-commerce network.


“We are excited to enter into this agreement with GS1 Australia and support local businesses entering the Chinese market through Alibaba’s platforms,” said Alibaba Group’s Maggie Zhou. “The demand for Australian products on Alibaba Group’s platforms continues to grow and Chinese consumers recognise the importance of safe and authentic products.”


Sean Sloan, Manager – Omni-channel & RFID at GS1 Australia said, “The purpose of this MoU is to provide a framework for Australian businesses, in particular SMEs, to benefit from this alliance. The adoption of GS1’s Global Data Synchronisation Network™ is a major win for Chinese consumers seeking to purchase authentic Australian products from Australian brand owners.


Source:Fresh Plaza

Growing Mexican household expenditure and the rise of premium supermarkets spell opportunity for Australian food and wine producers.


About this event

 Austrade and FIAL have partnered to provide Australian businesses with the opportunity to attend Expo Antad 2017 and to participate in an all-­inclusive market visit as part of the food and beverage mission to Mexico. Expo Antad Mexico 2017, is designed to become a consolidated international benchmark forum in the trade circuit within the food and agribusiness sector as the largest yearly food exhibition in Central and South America.


Why you should participate 

Visit Expo Antad 2017 to look at sourcing, networking and export opportunities.

Meet with buyers from main supermarkets and department stores in Mexico.

Gain first-­hand understanding of Mexico’s growing food and beverage sector and opportunities.

Market your capabilities to Mexican companies leveraging Austrade’s established in-­market connections.


Event information: 

Date: 6-­10 March 2017

Location: Mexico City and Guadalajara

Apply by: Friday 3 February 2017


Who should attend?

Australian businesses with experience or expertise in in:


Gourmet and premium products


Beverage products

Wine and other alcoholic products

Processed food products

Grains and seeds

Confectionary and others

ETS (Equipment,Technology and Services).


Source:ECA News