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”.