Tapping into Asia’s top three export markets

09.04.2019 Export Finance Australia

Worth nearly 45% of Australia’s total exports in 2018, Australia’s top three Asian markets for our goods and services are China, Japan and South Korea.

Total exports in 2018:

The trade agreements put in place between Australia and all three countries mean there has never been a better time for Australian businesses to enter these markets.


China is the world’s second largest economy and Australia’s largest export market. Since the signing of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) in 2015, China offers local exporters even more opportunities.

The country is fast-tracking plans to introduce a new foreign investment law that promises to better protect foreign intellectual property, ensure equal legal treatment of foreign and domestic firms, and ban forced technology transfers.

China is the largest importer of Australian agricultural products including dairy, beef, high-value dairy products like baby formulas, and wool. Wine exports continue to grow, increasing 18% last year to $1.14 billion.


Japan is Australia’s second largest export partner. With an affluent, well-educated population, it has one of the world’s largest markets for high-end goods, produce and services – making it an idea destination for Australian exporters.

While Japan’s agricultural sector is highly protected, the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) is improving opportunities for Australian agricultural exporters. Japan is Australia’s second-largest agricultural, forestry and fisheries export market, and our largest market for beef.

Products with natural ingredients and minimal additives and preservatives are in demand. Australian products are well regarded for their quality, but competitive pricing remains a challenge.

South Korea

Home to some of the world’s largest and most diversified companies and a strong economy, South Korea is Australia’s fourth-largest two-way trading partner. With its high-income economy that relies on exports, there is a strong market for quality Australian goods and services.

Korea ranked 5th out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings in 2018, which is based on how conducive the regulatory environment is to business operations.

The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) has made it easier for the two countries to do business with each other, providing duty free access to over 80% of Australia’s exports.

Korea’s pharmaceutical market is one of the most significant in Asia with sales forecast to grow to US$21 billion in 2025. All tariffs on Australia’s pharmaceutical exports to South Korea have now been eliminated.

To find out more about how your export business can take advantage of these markets, download Efic’s free Exporting to China, Japan and South Korea eBook.

If you need finance to support your export order, contact Efic today.


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