By Sally Chandler

The results of Australia’s International Business Survey 2016 (AIBS) have been released with some very interesting findings.

More than 90 per cent of the respondents were SME’s.

Seventeen per cent earned revenue from one international market, 12 per cent from two international markets, 11 per cent from three international markets, and 10 per cent from four international markets.

Twenty eight per cent earned revenue from ten or more international markets.

The top markets for revenue earned were China, USA, New Zealand, UK, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and India.

The most popular initial overseas markets for AIBS 2016 participants were the USA, China, New Zealand and the UK.

Participants reported that building a reputation for dependability, reliability, honesty and trustworthiness are the most important factors for ensuring success in international business.

Respondents, when asked to identify the factors that helped them target their current most important market, cited:

  •  the need to understand market compliance and risk;
  • the role played by export market development grants (EMDG) and similar grant programs;
  • and access to general information on local customs, border procedures, business taxes and regulations.

Twenty two per cent of respondents undertake export activities only, 24 per cent export and import, and six per cent undertake export, import and investment activities.

The top markets for inward investment into Australia were China, USA, Singapore and the UK and the top markets for outward investment from Australia to other countries were China, USA, UK and Singapore.

About 18 per cent of respondents have bid for a foreign government tender in the past two years.

In the next two years the most popular target market is China, followed by USA, India, UK, Indonesia, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Brazil and the UAE.

Respondents cited adverse exchange rate movements, high domestic costs in Australia, increased international competition and financial or economic crisis in their top international markets as the key risks facing their organisations over the next three-to-five years.

Individual survey results for Tasmania, plus market and industry specific information, is on the Austrade website.

For international trade and investment assistance contact the TCCI’s TradeStart adviser, Sally Chandler, at or phone 1300 559 122.