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International demand for Aussie products driving business growth

High demand for Australian products from international consumers presents a significant opportunity for Australian small and medium businesses (SMBs) to grow, according to new research.

In a survey of 250 Aussie SMBs conducted by FedEx Express, 90 per cent of respondents said they expect their imports or exports to stay the same or increase over the next 12 months.

Many SMBs are already reaping the benefits of cross-border trade, with cross-border purchases accounting for 50 per cent of annual turnover for 49 per cent of respondents.

According to the survey, perceptions of quality, good value for money and the reputation Australian-made products are the key factors driving international demand.

The current top three markets for Aussie businesses are New Zealand, China and the US, but moving forward SMBs are looking to increase export new markets, such as India, Germany and Laos.

“Following the success found in exporting to China, SMBs are looking to diversify their exports to Asian countries like Laos and India,” said Kim Garner, managing director of international operations for FedEx Express.

“This demand is likely underpinned by a growing middle class in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asian consumers have a perception that Australian goods are inherently better quality, a perception that undoubtedly provides a significant market opportunity for Australian businesses.”

The survey respondents also noted significant cost and knowledge barriers to entering new markets.

Trade tariffs, market entry costs and cash flow were cited as the key cost barriers, while complex regulations, compliance and processes, understanding customs requirements and knowledge and expertise were the key knowledge barriers.

Respondents also cited supply chain barriers and said reliable delivery services, transparent tracking solutions and affordable delivery solutions are critical success factors.

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