TPP Set To Wreak Major Changes To Oz Digital World
The nations involved are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, USA and Vietnam. South Korea has indicated that it might like to join at a later date; there has been no mention of spreading the TPP to Indonesia or China.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said the TPP would contain “state of the art e-commerce provisions” to support the digital economy and promote consumer protection, as well as a more liberal cross-border environment for online business.
And the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said one of the specific outcomes for telecommunications services should see Australian companies benefit from the lifting of foreign equity limits in Vietnam.
Down Under companies will be able to bid for government procurement deals for computers and related services in all TPP countries, DFAT said.
However one controversial provision means the end of what’s been termed “forced localisation” of data, under which many Australian Government departments, some banks and companies have been required to keep much of their data in Australian datacentres.
This could have a negative impact on independent Australian datacentre providers like NextDC and Macquarie Telecom, according to an Australian Financial Review report.
(NextDC shares did drop on the ASX yesterday – but not by much. They finished the day down just one cent at $2.34. Some 149,500 shares changed hands.).
On the other hand, Australian professional service operators could benefit from a proposed crackdown on international red tape, and proposed standardisation of rules for competing in all countries across the region.
One highlight for travelling Australians could be a move to use the TPP to tackle the issue of high global roaming telecommunication charges among the 12 Pacific Rim nations.
At Australia’s urging, the 12 countries have agreed to push for lower roaming charges through regulation.