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AIBS Survey Results: Good research - the pathway to sound trade policy

By Export Council of Australia · March 25, 2014

It goes without saying the sound business decisions are based on good reliable research. When running a business that produces twenty two percent of GDP and  accounts for one job in five, good reliable research on export behaviour is imperative to making the right decisions when crafting trade policy.

The Export Council of Australia is proud to announce the launch of Australia's most comprehensive research in more than fifteen years. Australia's International Business Survey conducted late last year captures data from more than 1600 exporting businesses nationwide. Aimed at  gaining an understanding the key challenges facing Australian exporters, the survey provides a strong case for Government action on trade support and domestic deregulation, supporting the ECA's Trade Policy recommendations, "International Competitiveness begins at home", launched in August 2013.

Of significant importance the research shows that more than half of Australian exporters (59%) state a lack of information on local culture, business practice, and language are all major barriers. This too supports previous ECA research which highlighted  "understanding business culture" as the key hurdle to establishing a business off shore.

Also of importance is the issue of export destination regulatory barriers with almost 50% of respondents claiming they need to know more about local regulation. In keeping with work carried out at the 2020 Trade Finance Forum in 2010, 45% of respondents say they struggle to obtain payments from international counterparts.

The other key fact the market is telling us is that advanced economies including the USA remain important and present their own challenges in terms of ease of export access.

The ECA is currently engaged in a number of research studies all of which are aimed at providing a better understanding of the dynamics of Australian export activity. This research will provide the ECA with sound data upon which to develop its trade policy recommendations for 2014/15.

The ECA would like to thank those of members and associates who participated in this and the other studies in which we are engaged. This valuable information will assist ECA in formulating good, sound input to Government and highlight the imperative that "trade considerations be central in determining Australia’s domestic economic policy settings"

 Ian C Murray AM

Executive Chairman

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