Appointment of new Austrade CEO

Appointment of new Austrade CEO

The Morrison Government is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Xavier Simonet as the new Chief Executive Officer of Austrade, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

Mr Simonet is currently Group CEO and Managing Director of Kathmandu Holdings, which comprises the Kathmandu, Rip Curl and Oboz brands, and has previously held the roles of CEO of Radley London and International Director of Seafolly Group. He also worked for 11 years for LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) in Europe, Asia and Australia.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Mr Simonet’s appointment comes at a time when Austrade had a critical role to play in helping Australian businesses to maintain global supply chains, export to more markets, help our tourism and education sectors to recover while also attracting game-changing investment.
“As our key agency for promoting Australian trade, investment and education to the world, and developing tourism policy, Austrade’s role in providing advice and support to Australian businesses has never been more important, as they continue to face enormous challenges,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Mr Simonet will bring proven and strong leadership to Austrade, as it plays its part in helping Australian businesses to navigate through and bounce back from this significant period of economic and trade uncertainty.
“Mr Simonet will bring extensive business acumen and broad experience in international business development having previously worked across Europe, the US and the Asia Pacific.
“Bringing a distinguished career in brand sales and marketing, international market development and acquisitions, I am sure that Mr Simonet’s extensive knowledge and wide international experience will serve Australian businesses well.
“Born and raised in France, Mr Simonet and his family have chosen to make Australia their home, where he has worked for iconic Aussie brands like Seafolly and Rip Curl. He brings a passion for Australia found in many a convert alongside an international perspective that will help to identify the right opportunities and messages to boost Australian sales around the world.
“I also thank the Acting CEO, Mr Tim Beresford, for his strong and effective leadership of Austrade during these very challenging times. I look forward to Mr Beresford’s continued contribution as Deputy CEO. Once again, I place on record my gratitude for the contribution of former CEO Dr Stephanie Fahey.”

DDP – Delivered Duty Paid – Incoterms® 2020 Rule

DDP - Delivered Duty Paid - Incoterms® 2020 Rule

Article 10 in our series of Incoterms® 2020 – In each article we will identify the responsibilities of the seller and buyer in the transaction at different points in the shipping journey.

What are Incoterms used for?

Incoterms® are primarily used for determining how the sale of equipment for delivery across international boundaries will be handled and who will pay for what in the transaction. They will not address the consequences of a breach of contract or exemptions of liability. Incoterms® relate to the terms between the exporter and importer.

Incoterms® cover the following broad points

Delivery – Incoterms® 2020 specify when seller delivers to buyer
Risk – Incoterms® 2020 specify when risk transfers from seller to buyer. Risk passes from seller to buyer when seller has fulfilled his obligation to deliver the goods
Costs – Responsibility of costs passes from seller to buyer at a point up to which the seller is obliged to pay transport (and insurance) costs

Our ninth Incoterm® is DDP: Delivered Duty Paid – Incoterms® 2020 Rule

The seller delivers the goods when the goods are placed at the disposal of the buyer, cleared for import on the arriving means of transport ready for unloading at the named place of destination.
The seller bears all the costs and risks involved in bringing the goods to the place of destination. They must clear the products not only for export but also for import, to pay any duty for both export and import and to carry out all customs formalities.

What are the obligations of the seller?

  • The seller is obliged to deliver the goods and all necessary documents to a destination agreed upon by both parties and at a specified date (the documents may be in paper or electronic form),
  • He must properly pack and label the goods so that they can be transported (unless the parties have agreed otherwise in advance),
  • The seller must provide the buyer with all the information/documents required to enable the buyer to take delivery of the goods.

What are the obligations of the buyer?

  • He is obliged to collect the goods,
  • The buyer is not obliged to conclude the insurance contract, but must provide the seller (at his request) the information he needs to obtain insurance,
  • The buyer is obliged to assist the seller (at his request) in obtaining all documentation related to import, export and transit,
  • If both parties agree that the buyer is obliged to determine the time and place of delivery, he must also notify the seller in advance.

Delivery of goods

It is recommended that the parties precisely specify the destination of the shipment. There are several reasons:
  • The risk of loss or damage of the goods passes to the buyer exactly from the moment the products are delivered to the agreed place. Buyers and sellers must be clear when and where the risk is taken over,
  • Until the goods are delivered, all costs are borne by the seller. From the moment the goods are delivered, the buyer bears all costs. It is equally important to know when the replacement takes place,
  • The seller must conclude a contract and arrange the transport of goods to the designated destination. If he does not do so, he violates the DDP rules and be liable to the buyer for all his losses.

Insurance of the goods on Incoterms 2020 DDP

The seller is not obliged to the buyer to conclude the insurance contract. The buyer also has no such obligation. However, the buyer must provide the seller (at his request) information about the risks and costs that are needed to obtain insurance.

Incoterms 2020 DDP in transport

The DDP 2020 rules can be applied to all modes of transport. Also, it can be implemented in more than one mode of transport.

DDP 2020 and other Incoterms rules

Using Incoterms DDP, the seller has the greatest responsibility. This rule is often misinterpreted.

Important points to note

The seller arranges for transportation through a carrier of any kind and is responsible for the cost of that carrier as well as acquiring customs clearance in the buyer’s country, including obtaining the appropriate approvals from the authorities in that country. Also, the seller may need to acquire a license for importation. However, the seller is not responsible for unloading the goods.
The seller’s responsibilities include providing the goods, drawing up a sales contract and related documents, export packaging, arranging for export clearance, satisfying all import, export, and customs requirements, and paying for all transportation costs including final delivery to an agreed-upon destination.
The seller must arrange for proof of delivery and pay the cost of all inspections and must alert the buyer once the goods are delivered to the agreed-upon location. In a DDP transaction, if the goods are damaged or lost in transit, the seller is liable for the costs.


A similar Incoterms® rule is DAP, which stands for “delivered at place.” It is important to know the difference between DAP and DDP.
Just like with DDP, under DAP the seller has responsibility for getting the goods all the way to the named place. However, DAP gives the buyer one key responsibility: sorting out the import process once it has arrived at the destination country’s port or terminal.
This is a very important distinction. Import formalities can sometimes get complex and require detailed knowledge of the importer’s particular country’s rules and regulations. Many sellers will not be in a position to provide all the necessary information themselves – at least, not without incurring delays and extra costs.
This is one of the key problems with DDP, and a reason why DAP may be preferred instead. Often, the buyer will be better placed to handle import customs formalities.

Paving a path through COVID-19?

Paving a path through COVID-19?

Due to COVID-19, the third Home Affairs Portfolio Industry Summit was the first summit to be held on a virtual platform across two days – 23 and 24 November. The Home Affairs Portfolio’s annual Industry Summit is its premier industry engagement event. Industry representatives heard from Portfolio’s leaders about the ABF’s strategic direction and priorities for the future.

The two-day virtual program explored the theme: National Recovery: Building the partnership between Home Affairs and Australian Industry.

The Summit brought together senior leaders from across industry, government, academia, civil society and the diplomatic corp, to collaborate through a series of interactive workshops developed to provide the opportunity to discuss national recovery priorities.
The Export Council of Australia was honoured to be asked to participate in a Leadership Panel – Partnering with industry to reopen Australia: paving a path through COVID-19? during the Summit to discuss the future of trade and how the ABF and Industry can work together to implement the policies, processes and procedures to make the future prosperous for all Australians.
Also on the 23 November the World Trade Organisation released their World Trade Report 2020 which explores increasing use of policies to foster digital innovation
A growing number of governments have adopted policies aimed at promoting innovation and technological progress for their economies, a trend which has implications for trade flows and the rules that govern global commerce, according to the 2020 edition of the WTO’s World Trade Report. The flagship publication, launched in an online event on 23 November, maps out the use of government policies in the digital era and underlines the importance of countries working together to encourage positive global outcomes while minimizing negative spill-overs.
“Historically, governments have often sought to use policy to enhance long-term economic growth and societal welfare,” Deputy Director-General Yi Xiaozhun said at the launch. “In the past decades, these policies have increasingly been outward-oriented, in recognition that openness and access to larger markets and increased competition lead companies to innovate. Thus, trade and trade policies have contributed to innovation.”
“In very recent years, spurring innovation in the digital field, whether new in the world or new in the country, is at the core of many new government policies, which have been adopted in countries at all levels of development,” DDG Yi said.“Just as the WTO fostered broadly open, predictable, and competitive markets in the wider global economy, it can in the future play an important role in reducing uncertainty in markets for digital goods and services. But this will require updating the WTO framework to address new challenges and demands.”

Since the 2008-09 financial crisis, some 115 countries have instituted “new industrial policies” and other industrial and digital development strategies aimed at advancing their economies towards digitally enabled production processes and services, generally supporting the transition to the digital economy through technological upgrading and innovation. The report finds that some of the policy instruments being employed to this aim are relatively new. They include policies aimed at addressing access to data, research and development support such as tax breaks to assist digital innovation, knowledge diffusion through the agglomeration of talents and skills, and technological hubs to maximize knowledge spill-overs.
Other policy instruments are more conventional, such as tariffs on infrastructural equipment, investment and tax incentives to develop local technologies, innovation-oriented procurement to shift markets towards innovative products and incentives to foster patent and other intellectual property creation. The report notes that government policies retain“defensive” aspects, particularly in mature non-digital sectors subject to intense competition and technological transition.
The COVID-19 pandemic, furthermore, has accelerated the uptake of e-commerce and digital innovation and with it the introduction of government support measures for capacity building and upgrading in information and communication technology.
Developing countries are showing a clear interest in the transition to the digital economy. While the report notes some challenges, such as developing the necessary infrastructure, it also identifies opportunities related to the digitization of manufacturing production, inclusion in the new digital services supply chain (for instance in e-commerce and coding industries) and lower costs of reaching international markets through the Internet.
The report examines the rationale for innovation policies and discusses their cross-border effects, noting that while there is no one-size-fits-all approach, an important element, nevertheless, is that government interventions should be grounded in sound expectations of what technological advancement can be achieved and should be aligned with the countries’ comparative advantage. Due to both the positive and negative impact government policies may have on other countries, there may be scope for international cooperation, the report adds.
WTO agreements and the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, reciprocity and the prohibition of unnecessarily trade-restrictive measures, combined with policy space allowing governments to address important societal concerns, have long promoted liberalization and innovation, the report notes, adding that open trade can make innovation policies more effective at achieving their stated goals.

In the digital field, the WTO and its rulebook have proved to be forward-looking. The WTO has already supported innovation in many ways It has done so directly by eliminating tariffs on internet and telecommunications infrastructure products through the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), by liberalizing internet services through the telecommunications agreement and by stimulating e-commerce with the moratorium on duties on cross-border digital flows, as well as by providing a robust and stable framework for the development of global and open standards, intellectual property protection and other critical rules based on the principles of non-discrimination, transparency and reciprocity. Indirectly, it has supported innovation through the improved resource allocation and efficiency that result from open trade, which frees up resources to be devoted to new cutting-edge pursuits.

Moving forward, the WTO will continue to have an important role to play in reducing uncertainty in markets for digital goods and services. Members will have to consider how to encourage the sharing of benefits arising from innovation policies, what measures will be needed to facilitate investment, and whether new flexibilities can be expanded for governments to support domestic digital innovation. The mobility of skilled workers, data flows and privacy concerns, and anti-competitive behaviour in the digital industry will be of high concern as well, the report adds.

International cooperation to foster shared understandings about these policies would help forestall trade tensions — and thus lay a firmer foundation for innovation, investment, and cross-border activity to flourish.

The report can be downloaded here.

Printed copies are available through the WTO Online Bookshop.

An executive summary of the report is available here.

Comment: Australia joins RCEP – the big new deal comes over the horizon

Comment: Australia joins RCEP – the big new deal comes over the horizon

Recent news on the international trade stage has been less than optimistic – especially for those Australian exporters who are held up by ongoing Chinese trade bans on some of our primary products and resources.

It appears to be a direct consequence of some diplomatic disagreements but, to date, falls short of a full trade war.

Evidence is that Australia and China among others have just signed what has been described as the largest free trade deal in history with our regional friends in the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement.

It certainly has been a long haul to get to this stage with eight years of negotiations.
Along the way, India withdrew from negotiations in 2019 but by the end of the negotiation process, when the deal was signed, it was signed by Australia and 14 other countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
Basically, membership comprises of The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and those countries who have free trade deals with ASEAN countries.
Although the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been drafted on the premise that India can join RCEP later, expectations are not high that it will do so in the immediate future – especially as Australia’s negotiations for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement appear to have stopped for the time being.
The negotiations had been described by some in the media as “secretive” a characterisation with which I cannot agree having been part of ongoing industry consultation with Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) on the nature of the negotiations for the entire negotiation period, being provided with updated material and DFAT has always been open to discussing specific issues.
It is not just up to Australia on itself to display successive drafts of its trade deals – they are only draft and would probably prove to be more confusing.
I continue to believe that enough details of the nature of the negotiations were made available for recommendation or input.
Ultimately, RCEP has now been signed and its previously secret text is available here. With details of the commercial outcomes here.
Mind you, there are only a small number of trade law people who will read the whole thing in detail, together with its annexes, side – letters and schedules of tariff rate concessions but the detail is important.
For current purposes, according to DFAT, the headline outcomes are as follows:
  • RCEP will increase opportunities for Australian business to access regional value chains
  • RCEP will include improved mechanisms for tackling non-tariff barriers
  • RCEP will provide a strong platform to expand trade in services throughout the region
  • RCEP will enhance rules governing financial services
  • RCEP will include high-quality rules on telecommunications
  • RCEP will support the movement of business people across the region
  • RCEP will support the recognition of professional services in key markets
  • RCEP will improve the investment environment across the RCEP region
  • RCEP’s modern rules on e-commerce will position Australian businesses and consumers to capitalise on digital trade in the region
  • RCEP will establish a common set of rules on intellectual property protection and enforcement for the RCEP region
  • RCEP will provide a platform for improving the regulatory environment and business opportunities across the RCEP region
  • RCEP will support economic capacity building and the capability of Small and Medium Enterprises in the region to benefit from the Agreement.
The start date is yet to be determined and will await implementation by the necessary number of countries.
In our case, Australia will review RCEP through the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) and following a (hopefully) positive report from JSCOT, passage on enabling legislation.
VIDEO: How RCEP is set to transform trade in the region. Credit: Deutsche Welle and YouTube.
At that time, the real work of RCEP can commence including the important work on trade facilitation, supply chains, e-commerce and economic cooperation.

I will continue to provide details on these developments and future events. For further advice on any questions you may have, please contact our Customs & Trade team for further advice.

This article was first published in November 2020 by Daily Cargo News.

The Lupin Co – Navigating the world of exporting

The Lupin Co - Navigating the world of exporting

ECA Member The Lupin Co started the business in 2016 and manufacture foods from Australian Sweet Lupin, as a high protein (40%+) and low carbohydrate (4%) option in a diabesity challenged world. They built a factory and have vertical integration back to large WA farms which supply the business.

“Our passion is very much focussed on finding the tipping point for Lupin becoming a well-known food brand and we believe that will come from significant exports to a global market,” David Fienberg, Managing Director of Lupin Co said.

Lupin Co started exporting three years ago, and that’s when they joined the ECA. “We didn’t have the skills internally to navigate across the complete world of exporting and wanted the quality backup of a national organisation,” Mr Fienberg added.
The most exciting thing happening for Lupin Co will be the launch of their new range of ready-to-eat foods to a global market in 2021. Their biggest challange for 2021 is understanding the complexity of market access across many languages and laws.

Supporting farming livelihoods of Solomon Islands women through boutique cocoa bean export

Supporting farming livelihoods of Solomon Islands women through boutique cocoa bean export

Diana Yates is Managing Director of Cathliro, a producer and supplier of sun dried (smoke free) cocoa beans. She works closely with Solomon Island’s small cocoa growers to improve their farming practices and ensure they get best prices for their ‘wet’ beans. Cathliro purchases their beans, and then ferments and sun-dries them to a reliably high standard – achieving “a consistent flavour of light fruity and floral notes”.

Diana is very much conscious of the challenges women and girls face in her country – such as their difficulties of staying in school and in finding meaningful employment. Consequently, Diana is motivated to see other Solomon Island women to succeed. She strongly supports women farmers in her supply chain, and uses Cathliro as a means to improve the circumstances of those connected to her business.

Following her participation in the Australia Awards Women Trading Globally program in 2018, Diana has shifted the focus of Cathliro from the ‘bulk market’ to servicing the ‘bean to bar’ movement. The latter is concerned with higher quality small productions, able to trace every aspect of the supply chain, and achieving distinct flavours. It caters for the boutique premium market.
During her time in Australia, Diana connected with Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) and has sold some 10MT of sun-dried beans to an Australian importer (SSM International) in May 2020. Another 15MT is expected to be delivered by the end of the year (2020). But she worries that the fall in international demand and the problem of moving goods out of Honiara during Covid-19 may prove to be an unmanageable hurdle.
For the future, Diana also stressed the need for expert assistance in boosting their unique value proposition, and for support towards securing certification in prospective markets, such as the EU.
Nevertheless, she is moving forward, including in her reassessment of Cathliro’s business model and reaching out to new customers in the UK and mainland Europe. Diana’s experience with Women Trading Globally has usefully enhanced her exporting knowledge and further strengthened her confidence to pursue new avenues and international opportunities.

Regional trade deal to boost export opportunities for Aussie farmers and businesses

Regional trade deal to boost export opportunities for Aussie farmers and businesses

Australian farmers and businesses are set to benefit from better export opportunities with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement between Australia and 14 other Indo-Pacific countries.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the signing of this long-awaited agreement signalled our region’s shared commitment to open trade and investment, despite the challenges of COVID-19.

“Our trade policy is all about supporting Australian jobs, boosting export opportunities and ensuring an open region with even stronger supply chains. RCEP builds on our trade successes and is good news for Australian businesses,” Prime Minister Morrison said.
“With one in five Australian jobs reliant on trade, the RCEP Agreement will be crucial as Australia and the region begin to rebuild from the COVID‑19 pandemic.
“This agreement covers the fastest growing region in the world and, as RCEP economies continue to develop and their middle classes grow, it will open up new doors for Australian farmers, businesses and investors.”
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said RCEP would be the world’s largest free trade agreement and would improve export opportunities for Australian farmers and businesses, especially in the services sector.
“This deal will further integrate Australian exporters into a booming part of the globe, with RCEP countries making up nearly 30 per cent of world GDP and the world´s population,” Minister Birmingham said.
“RCEP has been driven by the ten ASEAN nations, who collectively constitute Australia’s second largest two-way trading partner and have successfully brought Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea into this regional trading block with them.
“This agreement may have taken eight years to negotiate but it could not have come at a more important time given the scale of global economic and trade uncertainty.
“Economic cooperation of this scale sends a strong signal that our region is committed to the principles of open trade for the post COVID-19 recovery, just as we advanced them during the previous years of strong economic growth.
“Greater openness within our region, as well as the greater integration of value chains and more common rules of origin which this deal delivers, will make it easier for Australian businesses and investors to operate throughout our region, helping Australia to continue to grow our exports.
“There are particular gains for Australian providers within the financial services sector, education, health, engineering and other professional services, who can become better integrated within the region and have more access within RCEP countries.
“Australia is committed to fully ratifying RCEP as soon as possible so Australian farmers, businesses and investors can start to access the benefits of this agreement. It will also be an inclusive agreement, with the door open for others, especially India, to join if and when they are ready.”
Australia will also commit $46 million to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help eligible ASEAN countries implement their RCEP commitments, ensuring RCEP delivers on its full potential.
When finalised, the main benefits for Australia will be:
  • A new single set of rules and procedures for accessing preferential tariffs in any of the 15 RCEP markets
  • New scope for trade in services throughout the region including across telecommunications, professional and financial services.
  • Improved mechanisms for tackling non-tariff barriers including in areas such as customs procedures, quarantine and technical standards.
  • Greater investment certainty for businesses.
  • Rules on e-commerce to make it easier for businesses to trade online.
  • A common set of rules on intellectual property.
  • Agreed rules of origin that will increase the competitiveness of Australian inputs into regional production chains.

For more on the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement click here.

The following documents summarise the main RCEP outcomes for Australian importers, exporters and producers.

Vekta Automation:Our focus is on building relationships

Vekta Automation:Our focus is on building relationships

2020 has started as an exciting year for ECA Member, Vekta Automation. They are in the process of strategically planning for the next three years with a focus on increasing their exporting markets and product offering. They are wrapping up the development of two new products, both will disrupt the market and provide Vekta with a strong entry point for the European market. In all the plans, visions and actions Vekta continues to focus on building relationships- their internal Vekta family, customers, suppliers, partners and associations such as ECA. This is how Vekta will continue to grow to be a global business.

In 2014 Vekta Automation became involved in the Export Awards and started to get a better understanding about the role of the Export Council of Australia. After attending a seminar in Perth in February 2019 the decision was instantly made and they signed up the next day. “A decision we should have made 5 years earlier,” said Shelena Serrano, Operations Manager at Vekta. For Vekta, the information, expertise and networking opportunities that the ECA provides has been valuable. “It is reassuring knowing that there are experienced and knowledgeable people we can turn to when advice is needed, ” added Shelena.

Vekta Automation began with three people working out of a backyard shed in 2009. Armed with a flagship product, the Vekta Razer V5 (an automated, CNC linear saw) Vekta was focused on disrupting the timber prefabricated housing industry (Frame and truss manufacturing) by focusing on the customer, automation and providing support. Over the past 10 years, Vekta has added to their product line to include material handling options for the raw material (timber) and for the handling of the finished products – the frames and trusses. Vekta is heavily focused on researching, developing and commercialising new automated products that improve the safety, efficiency and productivity of their customers manufacturing plants and providing after sales support that is known as the best in the industry.

Vekta’s very first sale was an export sale to North America. In their first two years of operation, Vekta sold more machines into North America and New Zealand than Australia. They continue to export to these two markets and are currently investigating what a European presence would look like.

For Vekta, having experienced Engineers to support their products has been the biggest challenge of exporting – having the boots on the ground. To overcome this, they invest in hiring Engineers in the local market, training them at their Perth manufacturing facility and then relocating them back to the export area. The result – Vekta is getting quite the global family.

2019 Women Trading Globally Participant Empowering Cambodian Women Through Employment

2019 Women Trading Globally Participant Empowering Cambodian Women Through Employment

In 2019, Simheang Tex of Kei Meas, Cambodia, participated in the Australia Awards Women Trading Globally program along with 14 fellow participants from South East Asia and Mongolia. Simheang shares her inspiring story with us below.

Simheang Tex
Founder / Managing Director
Kei Meas

Simheang established her company because she wanted to do business that can empower women. By providing work to her female staff, she hopes to build their financial independence. Through her textiles and clothing business Kei Meas, Simheang also hopes to protect the planet by using natural dye and hand weaving processes (her products are 100% handmade and natural).
What drove Simheang to commence international expansion was the need to find a larger market than the domestic market in Cambodia, even before COVID-19. Simheang explains, “it is difficult for a lot of mothers in Cambodia to find a job to do at home. That’s why I try to find a big market so I can help mothers by offering work that allows them time to take care of their children at home. That way they can make more income to provide for their family financially, and ensure they have enough money for their children to go to school.”
Simheang’s latest initiative is her Lotus Silk and Kapok project due for launch in 2021. Cambodia has many lotus farms and kapok plants which can be used to make natural fabrics. She employs a team of mothers who use natural dyes, living in Kompongchhnang Province and Kompongcham Province. Through this, Simheang is able to help more mothers and empower women in regional Cambodia.
She has read many books that say, “if we have clear visions and goals, we will succeed with what we are doing if we don’t give up”.
Her company Kei Meas is ready to export a variety of textiles including silk clothes, silk fabric, silk scarfs, lotus silk scarfs, kapok fabric and scarfs, and men’s and women’s clothes. As a result of participating in the Women Trading Globally program, Simheang has had some successes in her business including joining an exhibition in China, resulting in the sales of some products to China. She has already created additional new products and designs to provide to clients. Simheang is currently trying her best to find partners to distribute her products to Australia and other overseas markets.
Simheang remains committed to her staff during COVID-19. Although her company has lost money, she knows her weaving team needs money to provide for their families, so she has continued to pay their salaries. It has been an emotionally challenging time for her, but Simheang is staying optimistic and is trying to learn more new things to improve her knowledge to run her business better, and she has had more time to spend with her daughter.
Simheang is thankful to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for this program “that can help a lot of women entrepreneurs in South East Asia”. She also thanks the Export Council of Australia including all facilitators and team.
“By participating in the Women Trading Globally program, I now have more self-confidence, passion and energy to run my business despite the challenges. I know more about how to choose the right products for the right international market, how to produce more good products to supply, how to process export documents, how to expand my company, and how to manage relationships with other people in different country. I know more about being a real entrepreneur.” – Simheang Tex, Kei Meas

PACER Plus will come into force on 13 December 2020

PACER Plus will come into force on 13 December 2020

The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus is a regional development-centred trade agreement. It is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) covering goods, services and investment. Negotiations on PACER Plus commenced in 2009 and concluded in Brisbane on 20 April 2017.

PACER Plus opened for signature on 14 June 2017, and has been signed by Australia, New Zealand and nine Pacific island countries (Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu).

As of October 2020, New Zealand, Australia, Samoa, Kiribati, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Niue and Cook Islands have ratified the Agreement. PACER Plus will come into force on 13 December 2020.
PACER Plus is an important part of Australia’s engagement in the Pacific and provides an avenue to help foster a secure, stable and prosperous region. PACER Plus will provide commercial opportunities for Australian exporters and investors in a range of sectors. These opportunities will increase over time as the provisions of the Agreement lead to more open and transparent policies, and as wider relationships are built regionally and beyond.
Dedicated development assistance is being provided as part of PACER Plus.