June was a productive month for ASR and there is more to come in July. Here is a short update of the last month’s highlights.
New Publication on Services and Global Value Chains
Amid escalating trade tensions, threats of “trade war” and new tariffs from the administration of US President Donald Trump, the globalised nature of world trade including world services trade has tended to be neglected. But for at least the past three decades, business-to-business trade in intermediates has accounted for more than half of global merchandise trade.
ASR President Jane Drake-Brockman has authored a policy paper, published as part of the World Economic Forum’s comprehensive Global Value Chain series, that puts trade in services back in focus.
The paper can be read in full at the ASR website. A summary of the series as a whole is available as a blog post on the World Economic Forum’s portal. And the full set of policy papers can be accessed here. From the WEF’s blog post:
Factors affecting services competitiveness have become important for economic growth and development more generally. Investment in human capital, digital infrastructure (including reliable mobile broadband), efficient and flexible domestic regulation and connectedness with international markets (including open cross-border flow of data, visa facilitation and mutual recognition agreements) are key. The services sector has strong inclusiveness dimensions: it is more SME-intensive than the goods sector is and has more women workers, owners and managers.
ASR Event Series on Cross-Border Data Flows
ASR convened a roundtable forum in co-operation with IBM Australia and MinterEllison on the topic of Digital Trade and data responsibility. The June 26 forum was held in Canberra, and was hosted by ASR Board member Kaaren Koomen AM, Director of Government & Regulatory Affairs at IBM. ASR was grateful for contributions from four experts in the field of international trade negotiations, finance and data responsibility:
- Peter Alexander, Chief Digital Officer at the Australian Government’s Digital Transformation Agency
- Daniel McAuliffe, Senior Adviser at Treasury’s Structural Reform Group
- Caroline McCarthy, Assistant Secretary Digital Trade and Other Issues Branch at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and
- James Bond, ASR Vice-President and Head of Government Affairs at Citi.
Guests enjoyed a productive and informative Q&A with the speakers, followed by refreshments and networking. The roundtable is a sign of things to come for ASR’s further forums in 2018. Congratulations to Kaaren Koomen AM, and thankyou to MinterEllison and all the speakers.
Letter from Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
ASR’s contribution to early-stage negotiations for the Australia-EU Free Trade Agreement has been acknowledged by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo. The minister, in correspondence with our President Jane Drake-Brockman, has affirmed that services will be a priority in the upcoming negotiations and that he is “conscious of the importance of digital trade outcomes” in this FTA. For more information, contact ASR here.