Australian companies are positioned well to succeed in international markets due to the low Australian dollar and the multiple liberalising agreements reached with key trade partners although more can be done to ensure businesses are equipped to take advantage of new market opportunities says the Export Council of Australia (ECA).
The ECA is today releasing its third annual Trade Policy Recommendations, which build on its 2013 and 2014 recommendations, as well as address issues critical to the G20 - particularly the B20 Trade Taskforce - and the Government’s recent inquiries into services exports and businesses’ utilisation of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).
Chief Executive Officer of the ECA Lisa McAuley says “our recommendations are intended to benefit Australian importers and exporters of all sizes and across all industry sectors, with a particular focus on the SME sector.”
“Australian companies have a world of opportunities on offer and we applaud the Government’s continued efforts to break down barriers to trade although more can be done with our recommendations identifying areas where improvement can be made. What is important now is that businesses have the information and support they need to leverage these global opportunities,” Ms McAuley said.
The ECA is urgently calling on Government at all levels to focus on six core issues, which, if implemented will develop the capability and capacity of companies to take advantage of the abundant international opportunities, and improve Australia’s hard and soft infrastructure to better facilitate trade:
- Addressing Infrastructure Challenges & Improving Supply Chain Efficiencies: Australia’s infrastructure must improve to meet expectations and demand.
- Leverage Free Trade Agreements: Increasing businesses’ awareness and understanding of FTAs is key to delivering outcomes.
- Advancing Trade Development: Investing in trade is investing to grow.
- Improving Trade Facilitation: Improving the processes and regulations that govern the delivery of goods and services will facilitate more seamless trade.
- Growing Service Exports: Services are one of our strengths; we need to deliver to the world.
- Enhancing Two-way Investment: Investment is critical to Australia’s future prosperity.
Director of the ECA Andrew Hudson says these recommendations are focused on enhancing trade and investment outcomes, which are crucial for a strong, competitive economy that enables growth.
“Trade is vital to the Australian economy and we are keen to see more Australian businesses become outward looking, proactive in seeking opportunities abroad, and equipping themselves with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed”, Mr Hudson said.
“The ECA will continue to work closely with our members, industry and government to build the capacity and capability of Australian companies and celebrate their international business success,” Ms McAuley said.
We would like to thank our Trade Policy Committee and Trade Policy Advisory Committee for their contribution:
- Dianne Tipping – Chair of the ECA
- Andrew Hudson – Director of the ECA and Chair of the Trade Policy Committee
- Philip Marley – Director of the ECA
- William Hutchinson – Director of the ECA
- Lisa McAuley – CEO, ECA
- Peter O’Byrne – Independent Director
- Ian Smith – Founder and CEO of CargoHound
- Michael Rogers – Manager, Agribusiness Forum, AFGC
- James Hogan, Head of Commercial Banking, Australia, HSBC
- Najib Lawand - General Manager Market Development, FIAL
- Kirsten Sayers – CEO, RedR
- Rob Fitzpatrick - Director of Infrastructure Transport & Logistics, NICTA
- Matthew McKenzie – Director, The Export Group
- Stacey Mills-Smith – Trade Policy and Research Manager, ECA
Export Council of Australia
T: 02 8243 7400
M: 0430 172 458
Director and Trade Policy Committee Chair
Export Council of Australia
T: 03 9252 7765
M: 0418 359 534