AIBS indicators look good for ‘air cargo growth plus’

AIBS indicators look good for ‘air cargo growth plus’

AWARENESS of Austral­ia’s trading future – short and medium term, espe­cially, but also  long-term projections – is vital for the country, the compa­nies and other entities directly  involved, and the support services depend­ent on future patterns, growth probabilities and  opportunities.

The recent release of Australia’s International Business Survey 2018 (AIBS 2018) marks the fifth consecutive year in which inter­nationally trading businesses have used the AIBS  platform to share their experiences of key mar­kets, international activities and barriers to  earning international revenue.

The survey is available on line at www.austrade.gov.au/aibs2018

AIBS remains the largest study of its kind. The longitudinal survey is commissioned by the Export Council of Australia www.export. org.au with the support of Aus­trade and the Export Finance & Insurance Corporation www.efic.gov.au

This year the survey was con­ducted by amr Australia between April 2018 and May 2018.

Over 1,600 unique company respondents have been surveyed over the past five years.

AIBS 2018 reflects the opinions of 629 firms from 19 sectors undertaking international activities in over 90 overseas markets.

AIBS 2018 provides detailed in­formation on: The demographics of respondent businesses includ­ing size by revenue and employee, international experience and man­agement profile; the nature of businesses’ engagement with the global economy, including trade, inward and outward investment, R&D and other activities as well as their first market; current top markets; the profiles of compa­nies earning international revenue from Latin American markets, in­cluding the nature of the barriers faced; the reasons why companies are not engaged in internation­al activity and the most-valued forms of support for companies to start exploring international activity; and the outlook for firms’ international operations and the impact on business employment plans.

In addition to the data gathered, Austrade is offering analysis on its extremely useful  economics blog. Commentary is complemented by interactive graphics illustrating some of  the main results from the 2018 survey.

It is generated by a team head­ed by doctor Matthew Durban, Austrade’s manager  research and analysis. Apart from a stellar academic founda­tion (he has degrees from four universi­ties), Durban also has hands-on expe­rience with interna­tional trade devel­opment, notably on behalf of Australia in Indonesia (he speaks Indonesian as well as English and French).

Durban describes AIBS as “an im­portant source of insight into the ac­tivities and opinions of Australia’s internationally active businesses. While much analysis of Australia’s international economic perfor­mance takes place at the macro level and focuses on aggregates such as total exports and the trade balance, AIBS provides in­sights into how individual Austral­ian businesses are adapting to the changing economy.”

The survey does “a particularly good job” of representing the views of internationally-experi­enced small and medium-sized enterprises, he points out. About 60 per cent of survey respondents had 19 or fewer employees.

“This year’s survey covers famil­iar ground in providing details on the broad range of cross-border activities undertaken by Austral­ian firms, their views on doing business in key markets, their ex­perience with accessing finance for their international operations and the outlook for future ac­tivities including the top target markets for new business over the next two years.

“In addition, new questions in this year’s survey also look at business engagement with Latin America, and use of technology and e-commerce.”

Simon Birmingham, the federal min­ister for Trade, Tourism and Investment said the report indicated Australian exporters had strong confidence in their ability to grow and expand into new markets.

“Looking into the future, 45 per cent of businesses expect to move into at least four new international markets over the next two years, which is an incredible level of ambition and potential growth.

“Sixty six per cent indicated they ex­pected to have a better financial outlook for their operations than the previous two years and 75 per cent plan to in­crease employee numbers in Australia in that same timeframe.”

Birmingham observed that “out of the top 20 countries that businesses are looking to expand into, Australia current­ly has in place or is negotiating a bilateral or multilateral free trade agreement with up to 18 of them, including six with­in the TPP-11”.