Is your business ready for Asia?

Australian businesses have been successfully exporting for many years and the growth of offshore opportunities has been enormous – bolstered in recent years by the rise of the Chinese middle class. But an ongoing challenge is actually taking advantage of opportunity.

Without a doubt, the size and scale of China is massive: if the Chinese were to consume one more kilo of beef and one more kilo of lamb per capita - not out of the question - the market would need to supply an additional 6.5 million head of cattle and 65 million lambs. Extraordinary!

" Australia is well positioned to continue to capitalise on continuing strong Asian economic growth and an expanding middle class."
Steven Ciobo, Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister

And that’s just China alone. Add in emerging markets like Indonesia and India and it is certainly exciting times for exporters. In just 2016, the value of Australia’s exports grew to $A312 billion.

Attitude doesn’t seem to be a hurdle. When I’m talking to customers and industry it appears optimism and the outlook is strengthening for many small and medium-sized businesses.

The latest Roy Morgan Business confidence rating shows the January result to be the highest in the past year – which is a fantastic sign for SMEs.


But the opportunity is nothing without someone taking advantage of it. As Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steve Ciobo says, with the government’s support in the form of trade deals, it’s up to the business sector to take up the challenge of Asia.

“Australia is well positioned to continue to capitalise on continuing strong Asian economic growth and an expanding middle class,” he told ANZ.

For the past two years, ANZ has produced an Opportunity Asia report, which is based on a survey of more than 1000 Australian businesses.

 The report is designed to capture sentiments around international growth to identify the best practices, share insights, highlight opportunities and also provide assistance around some of the challenges that may be restricting some businesses from expanding.

The latest report shows, on average, businesses with existing operations in Asia had a turnover 16 per cent higher than those that were domestically focused.

Seventy three per cent of respondents acknowledged that their profit margins from the region are higher or comparable to their domestic profit margins.

Sixty five per cent of businesses with established Asian operations are planning to further expand their business operations.

There are a growing number of Australian companies planning to do business in Asia and if all of these plans come to fruition, Australian businesses could gain $A138 billion in additional annual revenue.  Interestingly, our research shows that entering Asia is not as difficult as it can often seem. Businesses just need to be ready.

Be Trade Ready

This data has powered ANZ’s latest innovation, the Be Trade Ready tool.

ANZ has seen an increasing number of customers seeking advice on how to expand into new offshore markets. Until now, there were a variety of resources customers would need to access to fully understand the requirements to expand offshore.

ANZ Be Trade Ready is a first for Australian businesses. Developed in close partnership with those who know and understand exporting - the Export Council of Australia, DFAT, Austrade and EFIC – the tool provide businesses with the information they need to succeed.

Be Trade Ready offers businesses the ability to benchmark themselves against other Australian exporters, forecast revenue and time for ROI and calculate capital requirements to fund expansion - along with a personalised international business plan.


ANZ has been doing business in the region for 40 years and is now across 34 markets. We’re in Asia because our customers are.

Asia is an integral part of our strategy – that’s where our customers trade and invest which means we’re also there to support our customers.

Mark Hand is Managing Director, Corporate & Commercial Banking at ANZ

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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