The opportunities created by the historic China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) took another step towards reality today following the official signing of the agreement by trade ministers from both countries.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the agreement would deliver significant benefits to Australian farmers upon entry into force later this year.
"The China–Australia FTA eliminates tariffs on a wide range of key agricultural and fisheries products in Australia's largest agricultural export market," Minister Joyce said.
"We exported around $9 billion of agricultural products to China in 2014 at tariffs up to 30 per cent—which makes Australian farmers less competitive and less profitable.
As part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to strengthen and deepen our relationship with Germany, we are formally starting negotiations on a new Double Taxation Agreement between our two countries.
Our current Double Taxation Agreement, which was signed in 1972, needs updating to reflect the changing natures of both our economies since that time.
Discussions will focus on how we can maximise efficiency in our trade and investment relationship by ensuring double taxation is minimised while also seeking to tighten the rules to address base erosion and profit shifting to ensure multinationals pay their fair share of tax consistent with current OECD and G20 objectives.
The total value of Australian farm production is forecast to reach a record high in nominal terms of $53.7 billion in 2015–16, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said that farm production value directly supported the livelihoods of Australian farmers and regional communities, as well as making a powerful contribution to the national economy and the way of life for all Australians.
“The Australian Government understands the importance of that contribution that agriculture delivers to the national economy, year in year out,” Minister Joyce said.
16 June 2015: Deloitte’s momentum nationally, and in the Canberra market, remains strong, with the firm announcing record revenue of $1.336 billion for the year ending 31 May 2015.
This is a 15% increase over the prior year. Deloitte’s Canberra office performance was a foundation for the national result, with year-on-year growth exceeding 25%.
Announcing the results, Deloitte Canberra Managing Partner Lynne Pezzullo also confirmed the promotion to partner of two of the firm’s best and brightest talent in Dave Salmon and Debbie Hicks.
The Abbott Government's tough negotiations in an effort to seal an Indian Free Trade Agreement (FTA) next year should see 70 per cent of Australia's two-way trade covered by a free trade agreement, PwC Asia Practice leader Andrew Parker said today.
"With President Obama unable to seal Congressional support for the fast-track legislation needed to complete a deal, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been dealt a significant blow. It is likely that Australia will now turn its attention to the less advanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) discussions," Mr Parker said.
The time has come for the Australian media and entertainment industry to innovate and 'have a go', with the headwinds facing traditional media players set to continue through to 2019, according to a PwC report released today.
PwC's 14th annual Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook shows that growth in total consumer and advertising spending in the sector slowed to 3.3 percent in 2014, compared to 6.8 per cent in 2013, reflecting a subdued economy and continued industry challenges. Globally, the sector grew 6.2 percent and 8.8 percent in Asia-Pacific.
According to Megan Brownlow, Editor of PwC's Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook, the time has come for the Australian industry to 'have a go' and innovate, or face terminal pressures on revenues and margins.
By Kris Poria
Australia is generally a good launch pad for Cloud companies. Cloud means different things to different people starting from most of technical aspects of IT to a standard business function provided by a vendor. How do you know that your organisation is ready to take advantage of cloud?
Here are five common signs indicating that you are potentially ready to explore cloud option:
Industry productivity and road safety in north west Queensland has received a major boost, with Treasurer Joe Hockey today opening Andrew Daniels Drive, Cloncurry's $13 million Heavy Vehicle Bypass.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government provided $8.2 million towards the bypass, which connects the Flinders Highway and the Barkly Highway.
“Cloncurry is in the heart of the North West Queensland Mineral Province, producing 80 per cent of Queensland's mineral wealth, and this bypass will provide a vital freight link between northern Australia and the east coast and beyond,” Mr Truss said.
Australia's aviation industry has received a major boost with the Australian Government completing the formal accession to the Cape Town Convention.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said acceptance of the Convention will help Australian airlines gain access to lower cost finance for aircraft purchases.
“The Cape Town Convention is an internationally recognised legal framework for registering and enforcing security interests in aircraft,” Mr Truss said.
“It is intended to reduce risk for creditors, meaning lower borrowing costs for the purchase of aircraft assets.
The Tasmanian Jobs Program payment has doubled the benefit to businesses and job seekers across Tasmania.
Federal Lyons MP Eric Hutchinson today congratulated one of the first employers and a job seeker who have signed up to the redesigned Tasmanian Jobs Program.
“I’d like to thank local employment services provider WorkSkills Bridgewater and the Tasmanian Cask Company, at Bridgewater, for being one of the first businesses to take up this opportunity,” Mr Hutchinson said.
Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker MP said the Government was committed to rebooting the Tasmanian economy and was focused on creating opportunities for individuals, families and businesses.
In contrast to national celebrations of the ANZAC legend, Foreign Soil offers an alternative narrative for the centenary of the First World War. Taking her grandfather’s experience as an Italian soldier as a starting point, Costantino reflects on the international tragedy of the war and the legacy of migrant histories within Australia that exist alongside the Anzac story. By investigating themes of belonging, estrangement, and the construction of cultural memory, the exhibition critiques the political forces shaping the war and its commemoration.
John Curtin Gallery Director Chris Malcolm said Costantino’s work explored how we commemorate war through the personal lens of her own family history.”
The Journeys of Change discussion, sponsored by the Maribyrnong City Council, will take place Friday 19 June at VU at MetroWest, 138 Nicholson Street, Footscray from 10am to 12pm.
It will feature the CEO and founder of the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre (ASRC) Kon Karapanagiotidis, and be opened by Maribyrnong Mayor Nam Quach, a proud Vietnamese-Australian inspired by his own parents’ journey to Australia.
Two former asylum seekers will tell their stories about arriving in Australia as refugees.
Isabel FitzGerald, a former adviser with the ACT Human Rights Commission and now senior producer at the Footscray Community Arts Centre, will also join the panel.
Investors should look to Northern Australia, one of the few high-performing but relatively untapped markets still available.
This is the key message from ‘Northern Australia – emerging opportunities in an advanced economy’ – a publication just released by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade).
The publication outlines Northern Australia’s value proposition to investors, including its economy and workforce, industry-specific capabilities and opportunities, success stories, and investor-ready projects.
Consultation has started on a $100 million investment in the redevelopment of the Hobart International Airport, which includes a $38 million commitment from the Australian Government.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said consultation is now underway for both the airport's proposed runway extension and redevelopment of its terminal.
“We are happy to see additional investments being made on such a vital piece of Tasmanian infrastructure,” Mr Truss said.
Australia’s expertise in international animal health issues and standard-setting has been recognised with the election of Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Schipp, as Vice President of the World Assembly of the Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said Australia would be in a unique position to contribute to and influence the work of the OIE, with a number of other Australians also elected to key positions on the four Specialist Commissions of the OIE.
“Australia is a world-leader in animal health and disease control issues, and I am pleased to see this being recognised in this important international forum,” Minister Joyce said.
The Australian government has established a A$5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility to provide concessional loans for the construction of major infrastructure projects such as ports, railways, pipelines and electricity generation in Australia’s north.
The loan facility, which was announced during the federal government’s 2015 Budget in May, will be available to the private sector, as well as to the governments of Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. It marks a major step in the government’s plans for the economic development of the country’s north.
Today I announce the appointment of Barry O’Farrell to the board of the Australia-India Council (AIC). Mr O’Farrell will take on the role of Deputy Chair. He will make a positive contribution to the work of the AIC at this important time in the bilateral relationship.
The Australian Government has placed our relationship with India at the forefront of our foreign and trade policy agenda.
Mr O’Farrell’s commitment to building deeper economic and community ties between Australia and India is well demonstrated. As Premier of New South Wales, he led annual trade missions to India. He also initiated the sister State relationship between New South Wales and Maharashtra in 2012.
All Australians can have their say on what they want in clearer country of origin food labelling in an online survey that will help design the Australian Government’s new labelling system.
The Australian Government has been consulting with industry – including growers, processors and retailers – to implement a clearer, more direct system for food labelling that will give consumers the information they want in a way that is easy to read and understand.
“We have completed a two month industry consultation process, and we are now asking for consumer feedback from the very shoppers who will be in the supermarket making use of the new labels,” said Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane.
Global investors are increasingly recognising investment opportunities in Australia’s agribusiness and food sector. The firstAgri Investor Australia Forum, which will discuss agriculture as an investment option, will be held in Melbourne on 11 June. The forum will bring together institutional investors from around Australia and internationally, as well as regulators, advisors, and fund and asset managers.
Austrade Senior Investment Specialist, David Watson, is opening the forum to discuss what’s happening in the Australian marketplace and to highlight opportunities for foreign investors.
The Australian Government continues to play a role in addressing climate change and rejects outright claims made by the Africa Progress Panel in a report released today.
Claims that Australia will not meet its commitments and has withdrawn from constructive international engagement are based on incorrect assertions and are completely false
Australia has met its commitments under the Kyoto Protocol first commitment period – unlike other countries.
Australia is also on track to meet the Kyoto Protocol’s second commitment period target and Australia’s emissions will be down 13 per cent on 2005 levels by 2020.
The Australian Government supports the science and the need for policies that actually reduce emissions.
The global mining industry's fight for value and free cash flow has descended into a brawl, after 2014 saw the world's 40 largest miners ramp up production, slash capital spending, and rein in costs, according to PwC analysis released today.
CloudSense, the UK cloud integrator and services provider, has invested in the software and IT sector in Australia, opening its first office in Sydney.
The CloudSense platform, built on global cloud computing company Salesforce, delivers sales effectiveness for companies in configuring, pricing and quoting products and services.
The Government’s Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) has today signed an agreement with the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) for the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.
The agreement will see SIMTA develop and operate an intermodal freight terminal and warehousing across both Commonwealth and SIMTA-owned land at Moorebank, with direct rail access to Port Botany via the Southern Sydney Freight Line. Combining the site into a single development optimises the outcomes and minimises taxpayer exposure.
SIMTA is a consortium which represents two of Australia’s largest logistics companies, Qube Holdings and Aurizon Holdings.
A veritable fruit salad of Australian horticultural products is being exported overseas in record numbers, demonstrating the tangible benefits of the government’s trade efforts to growers’ bottom lines.
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said products such as cherries from Tasmania, table grapes, citrus and a range of other fruits had access to vastly improved trade conditions in the past 18 months in many of Australia’s key markets.
“Our horticultural exports have exploded recently giving producers and exporters a big boost across Australia with improved farmgate returns,” Minister Joyce said.
“Improved market access for Tasmanian cherries to South Korea and other parts of Asia has boosted cherry exports by 30 per cent this season.