New market opportunities driving Australian business optimism

Australian exporters are expecting to employmore workers, are predicting better financial positons and anticipating accessto more markets, according to the results of the latest AustralianInternational Business Survey (AIBS).

The AIBS provides a unique insight into the perceptions ofinternationally-engaged Australian businesses, with a particular focus on smalland medium-sized businesses.

Minister forTrade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the report indicatedAustralian exporters had strong confidence in their ability to grow and expandinto new markets.

"Looking into the future, 45 per cent ofbusinesses expect to move into at least four new international markets over thenext two years," Minister Birmingham said, "which is an incredible level ofambition and potential growth.

"66 per cent indicated they expected tohave a better financial outlook for their operations than the previous twoyears and 75 per cent plan to increase employee numbersin Australia in that same timeframe.

"These are good indicators of the strongeconomic climate Australian businesses are experiencing under ourLiberal-National Government, thanks in part to our new trade deals that areopening up additional markets and lower taxes that encourage more businessinvestment."

MinisterBirmingham also said Australian businesses were experiencing greater certaintyand reacting positively to the opportunities from a more open tradeenvironment.

"TheLiberal-National Government continues to search for new market opportunitiesfor Australian businesses and farmers so they can keep growing their exports,"Minister Birmingham said.

"Out of the top 20 countries where businesseswere looking to expand into, Australia currently has in place or is negotiatinga bilateral or multilateral free trade agreement with up to 18 of them,including six within the TPP-11.

"Almost 70% of businesses operating in Latin Americadid so in one or more of the four countries of the Pacific Alliance whichencompasses Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – and with which Australia iscurrently negotiating an FTA.

"We are making significant inroads having justfinalised negotiations on our trade deal with Indonesia, TPP-11 legislation dueto be debated in the Senate shortly and discussions underway on otheragreements such as the EU and Hong Kong.

"Even in the light of global headwinds, we willcontinue to forge ahead with opening up new markets for our businesses as this ultimately helps build a strongereconomy and creates more Australian jobs."

The AIBS isone of Australia's largest surveys of internationally engaged businesses withthis year's survey capturing 713 Australian businesses,60 per cent of which had revenue of less than $5 million and 19 or lessemployees.

Thesurvey was conducted by AMR Research with support from Austrade, Export Financeand Insurance Corporation and the Export Council of Australia. The Final Report can befound at:

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