Confidence among Australia’s exporters is on the rise with 60 percent of SME exporters expecting higher profits in the next 12 months, a new survey shows.
The 2018 Efic Exporter Sentiment Index released this week also found many exporters surveyed are exploring opportunities to expand internationally.
The survey of Australia’s small to medium exporters reveals confidence is 10 percentage points higher compared to this time last year, with five of the six measures higher than the previous survey.
Trade Minister Steven Ciobo says the rise in confidence will see new jobs created as almost half businesses surveyed expect to employ new staff during the next 12 months.
Mr Ciobo says the confidence has been fuelled by the government’s ambitious trade agenda to create new opportunities for Australia’s SME exporters and cut company tax for SMEs.
Unlocking new opportunities
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) trade agreement signed last week with ten key nations will eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a trade zone with a GDP of $13.7 trillion that pans the Americas and Asia.
“The Turnbull Coalition Government is working to help Australian SMEs unlock the opportunities trade agreements offer so they can sell more of their products and services to the world,” Mr Ciobo said.
“Doing so will grow trade, the economy and create new Australian jobs.”
Last year the government launched the FTA roadshow, which travels across the country teaching small businesses how to use trade agreements. Later this year it will reach a milestone with its 100th seminar.
Exporters can also access information about FTAs from the award-winning FTA Portal which explains the specific benefits of Australia’s trade agreements and offers the latest trade data.
Mr Ciobo says Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, will continue to assist SME exporters by providing export finance solutions.
Efic’s Exporter Sentiment Index is a bi-annual study, tracking key sentiment indicators among Australian SME Exporters.
This study provides insights into expectations around financial markets, current and future business conditions, overseas sales growth forecasts, and expectations around access to credit.
The Efic Australian Exporter Sentiment Study is conducted among Australian SME exporters to provide a snapshot of business opinions regarding the current and expected future outlook (next 12 months) for their business and the broader economic conditions that impact their business