Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today welcomed the release of Australia’s International Business Survey 2014 as the most significant snapshot of Australian exporters in over a decade.

Mr Robb said the emerging opportunities across the Asia Pacific on account of an exploding middle class are significant for Australian exporters across a wide range of areas, including services.

“The government is pursuing a very aggressive trade and investment agenda, including trade agreements with our biggest trading partners in Korea, which has been concluded, Japan and China.

“We are also focussed on reducing the cost of doing business at a domestic level by slashing regulation, streamlining approval processes and removing the anti-competitive carbon and mining taxes,” Mr Robb said.

Key insights from the survey include:

  • 74 per cent of the 1600 exporters surveyed reported they would expand into two or more markets over the next two years.
  • Australian exporters named the US, China, New Zealand, the UK and Japan as their top current export markets.
  • China is the key target market for Australian businesses over the next two years.
  • China and India were identified by exporters as their toughest markets, but were also priority markets for export expansion.
  • Businesses identified a lack of information about foreign cultures, languages and regulations as the biggest challenges to doing business in foreign markets.
  • Domestic challenges identified were the strong dollar, transport costs, access to finance, the regulatory compliance burden and productivity issues.

“Our exporters are also getting involved in importing, global and regional supply chains, R&D with international partners and, very importantly, they are investing in overseas markets to secure their presence there,” Mr Robb said.

“In April, I will lead a business mission of 600 delegates to China as part of Australia Week in China, that will aim to create opportunities for Australian exporters, and address some of the information gaps that have been identified in the survey.”

The survey was a joint initiative of Austrade, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, the Export Council of Australia and the University of Sydney. It is available at: www.austrade.gov.au/AIBS2014

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