USFIA’s Premier Partner PwC has presented its bimonthly trade intelligence on the Asia Pacific region. This issue includes PwC’s CEO survey on the global economic and business environment, the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (sans United States), and more. 

CEO views on the global economic and business environment

In January 2018, PwC published a survey with CEO’s views on the global economic or business environment for the coming year. The United States holds onto the top slot for global investment, with China, Germany, the UK, and India following in the top five. Terrorism and cyber threats are pressing concerns while the uncertainty of economic growth and exchange rate volatility have calmed down.

Trade compliance is falling flat as businesses engage in competitive environments around the world. This puts them at risk for legal proceedings, seizure of goods, customs clearance delays, revenue losses, and more.

Companies need to strive for more than just adherence as a strategy to compliance. Proactivity is key here in managing the risks in trade before the supply chain is disrupted. A strong management approach is in order, including strong internal policies and procedures, training and development, an investment in technology to automate trade, a review of operations, and management support.

ASEAN update

As the new chair of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Singapore is focusing on the digital economy, trade facilitation, services integration and ease of investment, energy security, and strengthening the ties with ASEAN dialogue partners. The electronic certification of origin under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (“e-Form D”) signifies that the ASEAN Single Window may be coming to life for implementation in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. An important tariff reduction for ASEAN is the zero import duties on apparel fabrics and clothes.

The future of the TPP

TPP is back! The 11-member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have now finalized and concluded negotiations. The agreement is set to be signed in March of 2018. Outstanding issues have been resolved and suspension provisions have been finalized. The CPTPP has been legally verified and the agreement is expected to begin enhancing trade in the Asia-Pacific region with a greater flow of goods, services, and investments. Tariff and non-tariff barriers will be substantially eliminated, market access for services will improve, and increased access to government procurement contracts will lead to a better facilitation of investments.

China Customs news

China Customs began Advanced Rulings for certain customs affairs related activities on February 1st, 2018. This marks a milestone for China Customs in implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Advance Rulings should reduce or avoid potential disputes with Customs. This may also be of interest for “Self-declaration and self-payment” companies. In order for Advanced Rulings to be successful, companies should identify any difficulties with their import and export activities and stay in close contact with Regional Customs to better understand the requirements of an Advanced Ruling. Interested applicants for an advanced ruling can find more information in the PwC report.

Click here to download the PwC Trade Intelligence Asia Pacific for December 2017/January 2018.

This report was compiled by USFIA Communications Coordinator Mallory Metzner.