Australia looks for more access to Canadian wine amid TPP negotiations
As part of ongoing talks of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Australia has been negotiating with Canada to lower trade barriers on its wine industry for greater market access to it.
The European Union reached a similar agreement with Canada known as CETA back in 2013, but Canadians don’t want a repeat this time around in the TPP talks. The TPP includes Australia, United States, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and others.
But not only have TPP talks faced criticism in the past for being unaccountable to the public, this also shows CETA decisions are having an effect on other major trade deals, including Europe’s continuous free-trade discussions with the U.S.
The CETA previously removed multiple non-tariff taxes and additionl service fees put on European wine and spirits exports. In addition, it dismissed a federal requirement that all imported foreign spirits be blended with Canadian spirits.
Trade officials in the Canadian city of Ottawa have asked the other provinces if they would be willing to negotiate, which would include giving some TPP countries a “most-favoured-nation” status on the CETA wine and spirits outcome. Although they haven’t mentioned any TPP countries specifically, New Zealand has a booming wine industry.
In a 2013 leaked memo, European negotiators believed they were able to get more of a compromise out of Canada than they expected. However, president of Spirits Canada, Jan Westcott, said the EU trade pact was a victory for Canada’s liquor exporters and consumers. He also predicts TPP countries will want similar tariff reductions for their wines and spirits that European countries gained under CETA.
RELATED TOPIC: Green Parties Express Concern over TPP Agreement
Australian politicians have been told they can see the current confidential negotiating text for the TPP, but only if they agree not to release anything information for at least four years.
Meanwhile, the value of Australian wine exports has increased for the first time since 2007 due to a growing demand for premium brands from key trading partners, as well as a weaker Australian dollar. Last year the wine distribution company Vinters exported $1.82 billion of the alcohol, which was up 1.9 per cent from 2013.
The industry in Australia is transforming by selling more premium wines, and there could be room for even more growth if the Canadians give in.
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.