The Minister for Small Business, Kelly O’Dwyer, says the Australian Government is encouraging SMEs to think beyond Australia’s borders and to consider export opportunities into major markets such as China.
More than 750 SMEs are participating in Australia’s largest ever business mission to China, Australia Week in China (AWIC) 2016.
The AWIC event is being held across 12 cities in China, with more than 140 events set to take place.
“AWIC provides unrivalled networking opportunities for SMEs to create new linkages with Chinese business people and organisations and to potentially strike up new deals and ventures,” says O’Dwyer.
She points out the China Australia Free Trade Agreement offers substantial tariff cuts for Australian exports and other concessions in areas such as services.
“Advances in e-commerce for instance provides the platforms for Australian SMEs to cost-effectively take their wares global,” O’Dwyer notes.
“China’s massive online trading platforms like JD.com and Alibaba’s Tmall provide virtual shop-fronts for Australian businesses to hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers, who increasingly place a premium on our high quality goods and services.”
In addition, O’Dwyer highlights China is Australia’s strongest tourism market, which offers plenty of opportunities for many Australian businesses.
“This provides great scope for our SMEs to tap into this tourism spending in areas such as food and beverage sales, the provision of accommodation, transportation and unique tourism experiences,” she says.
O’Dwyer points out the demand for services in China will also grow exponentially
“Australia as a services economy has an enviable international reputation in the provision of high quality services across a wide array of areas.
“This includes financial services, health, wellness and aged care, legal and architectural services, urban design, environmental management.
“Services account for around 75 per cent our GDP but less than 20 per cent of our exports so this presents a fertile area for potential growth and new job opportunities in this critical post-mining boom period. SMEs are strongly represented across services capability that is well matched to growing Chinese demand,” O’Dwyer concludes.