Media release

29 October 2019

Australian exporters remain optimistic, expect to improve their financial position and are looking to expand into new markets, according to encouraging results in the latest Australian International Business Survey (AIBS).

The AIBS provides a unique insight into the perceptions of internationally-engaged Australian businesses, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized businesses.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the report confirmed optimism was high amongst Australian exporters as they continued to look for opportunities to expand into new markets.

“Overall this report paints a positive outlook for Australian exporters, with almost 80 per cent of those surveyed indicating they were planning to enter at least one new market in the next two years, “Minister Birmingham said.

“The report also shows more than half of the Australian exporters surveyed viewed their financial outlook for the next two years as better than the previous two years, whilst 60 per cent of exporters also plan to use their retained earnings to grow their operations.

“Additionally, businesses engaging in international trade have a favourable flow-on effect for job creation with 64 per cent expecting to increase their employment.”

Minister Birmingham said this was a clear indication that the Liberal-National Government’s focus on securing more market access was creating more certainty and boosting the confidence of our exporters.

“Expanding opportunities for Australian exporters is a key pillar of our economic plan and builds upon successes that have already fuelled Australia to record levels of exports and a record trade surplus,” Minister Birmingham said.

“That is why our government continues to pursue further free trade agreements with our key trading partners, to enhance export opportunities for Australian farmers and businesses.

“We continue to make significant inroads having just seen the necessary legislation for our trade deals with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru pass the House, whilst discussions also continue on the other deals including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership as well as our agreement with the European Union.”

This year’s AIBS captured the responses of 593 Australian companies drawn from 75 industry subsectors operating across more than 90 international markets.

The survey was conducted by AMR Research with support from Austrade, Export Finance Australia and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The Final Report can be found at