More goods and services were traded across international lines last year than before the GFC, after a sharp, severe fall during the 2008 crisis.
According to a report released by the Productivity Commission today, global trade has recovered past pre-GFC levels, as nations ease up on temporary “protectionist” measures.
The Commission reported that Australia had forged a large number of preferential trade agreements in the past decade, involving Singapore, Thailand, the US, Chile, ASEAN, New Zealand and Malaysia.
Australia now has 7 free trade agreements with countries that account for what the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimates to be 28% of Australia’s total trade.
DFAT is also engaged in 9 other FTA negotiations with China, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia, as well as TPP, GCC, PACER Plus and RCEP partners. Those agreements will potentially account for a further 45% of Australia’s trade.
There has been a huge increase in the number of free trade agreements within the Asia Pacific region since 1990, when there were only 5 agreements in force in the region, accounting for 20% of agreements worldwide.
The Productivity Commission reported that there were 20 APAC agreements in force in 2000, and 150 by the end of 2012, accounting for morethan 40% of global agreements.
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