SMEs in Australia should look to China for increased sales

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SMEs in Australia and, especially Australian merchants on marketplaces, should look to China for growth according to a new report from Australia Post.

In a report called Small Business Exporting, they look at the overseas opportunity for SMEs in Australia. Surprisingly only 27% of Australian small businesses are currently selling to overseas customers and just 11% are sending parcels. And that’s despite the fact that exporters enjoy 20% greater turnover than the others who stay domestic.

It is estimated that there are more than 3.5bn people across the globe who fit the middle class profile, and this number is expected to grow by 160m every year until 2021. In China especially, these consumers are highly receptive to Australian goods – so it is worthwhile for Australia’s small businesses to seek a slice of this international pie.

China continues to open up to trade and is rapidly increasing its level of imports. Indonesia, one of the 10 fast-growing ASEAN countries, is right on our doorstep and will soon be the fourth biggest economy in the world. By 2030, four of the five biggest economies in the world will be in our region in Asia.

It is encouraging to see that small businesses who aspire to sell overseas are starting to recognise the value to be found in non-English-speaking markets. In fact, this group is five times more likely to consider selling into China than anyone else.
– Rebecca Burrows, Australia Post’s General Manager Segment Development & Marketing for Business and Government

Of goods sold overseas by Australian small businesses roughly one third heads to China, but slightly less (just shy of 40%) wings its way to the UK, further reinforcing the close ties the UK and Australia retain. With Brexit coming, perhaps a trade deal with Australia will be one of the deals that the British government seek for UK SMEs? But, needless to say, for merchants down under the vast Asian market, especially China, is certainly very attractive.

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