Australia's International Business position for growth

Mon 10 Aug

Australia’s international businesses continue to employ a range of approaches to develop their operations in overseas markets, according to the second Australia’s International Business Survey 2015 (AIBS 2015).

AIBS 2015 surveyed the views of more than 1,200 Australian companies from 19 industry sectors across 114 markets. About 88 per cent were involved in exporting and 47 per cent were engaged in other activities. These included overseas investment, mergers and acquisitions, participating in multinational supply chains and joint research and development activities.

Austrade Chief Economist, Mark Thirlwell, said this pattern of diversification positioned Australian companies to take advantage of international opportunities and to manage new challenges both within the Asia-Pacific Region and beyond.

“International business is about more than just exporting these days, important as that is. Australian businesses are by and large optimistic and ambitious, so they are using different business strategies to further their objectives in overseas markets,” he said.

AIBS also found that companies identified India, Indonesia and China as harder to do business than Australia.

“However these three markets along with the USA and UK were identified across all respondents as top target markets for generating new revenue.”

Overall the survey confirms that local culture, business practices and language remain the most significant barriers to doing business in the most difficult and important overseas markets for Australian businesses. Payment issues, local regulations, product standards and tariffs were also cited as barriers to trade and investment.

“According to our respondents, information gaps, particularly in some of the more challenging overseas markets, can be an obstacle for Australian businesses looking to expand offshore, and Austrade’s extensive international network can be a resource in helping close some of those gaps,” said Mr Thirlwell.

Supported by Austrade, the Export Council of Australia, Efic and the University of Sydney, the AIBS survey series is one of Australia’s largest and most in-depth investigations into Australia’s international businesses. The results of AIBS 2015 are available at:

Detailed commentary on the survey is available at: