The 2015 Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) Survey highlighted the Australian business community's concerns regarding doing business internationally.
The survey received responses from 227 businesses nation-wide. Amidst the plethora of information, the main points raised and repeated were:
Businesses are worried about their competitiveness in the international arena. These sentiments are backed up by The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015 (GCR).
Australia’s overall competitiveness ranking is down to the 22nd spot, with New Zealand ranking at 17.
Government Regulation Strangulation
Businesses operating internationally are also concerned about excessive red tape and compliance issues stemming from the Australian Government. Out of 144 countries, The GCR Report ranked Australia 124th for ‘burden of government’. Pakistan, Albania and Malawi scored better!
Free Trade Agreements???
Businesses feel they have limited to no knowledge of the ins-and-outs of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), what they are exactly and how to apply them. Employers pin-pointed FTAs as the key area they would like to be advised about.
Opportunities are all Online
The business community agrees that the internet is now the number one source of identifying market opportunities for small to medium businesses. Furthermore, businesses are also using online channels for networking and are also making use of online portals to find talent and recruit people for their businesses.
Certificate of Origin Smooth Sailing
Businesses rated the Certificate of Origin trade documentation process as mostly positive, and excellent in some areas.
With the digital age in full swing and advancements being made regularly, firms are looking into intellectual property protection now more than ever before.
Austrade Mixed Opinions
There is confusion and mixed feelings about Austrade, the government trade promotion agency. Some survey respondents feel it has little efficacy and value while others are not sure about what its role even is exactly.
So, what can we take away from this survey? Well, it shows us that employers feel they are at a competitive disadvantage compared to other international firms and this, combined with confusing and changing government policies, FTAs and ever advancing technologies and web applications only add to their concerns and frustrations.