ECA

Australia's International Business Survey (AIBS)

Five years ago, the Export Council of Australia (ECA), the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) recognised that Australian businesses, industry and government would benefit from in-depth longitudinal research into the behaviours and patterns of Australian exporters, and launched Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS).

Now in its fifth year, AIBS has become the largest survey of its kind into the international behaviour of Australian companies. It will continue to provide a better understanding of the characteristics of Australian exporters and help us explore ways to better assist them in their international activities.



 

 

AIBS 2018

AIBS 2018 is the fifth and latest edition of the Survey. In addition to AIBS’ core questions, in 2018 we featured two special areas of focus: Latin America and the use of new technology and ecommerce to drive export sales.

Highlights of the 2018 edition include:

  • Future outlook for respondent’s business fundamentals was very strong, leading to positive knock-on effect on employment, with 72% planning to increase headcount in Australia as a result;
  • Four-in five respondents earned international revenue from more than one market, typically four-to-five markets;
  • United States (25%), China (19%), New Zealand (14%), and the United Kingdom (14%) were the most important markets for respondents, by international revenue;
  • Increasing use of digital/mobile technology and online channels was a focus for one-third of respondents, but still some way to go as another third were not planning to do so. 
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AIBS 2017

AIBS 2017 was the fourth edition of the Survey. In addition to AIBS’ core questions, the 2017 edition of the Survey featured a special focus on the use of Australia’s free trade agreements and related issues.

Highlights of the 2017 edition include:

  • Around 1,000 Australian businesses were surveyed, 93% of which were involved in exporting, 48% in importing, 23% in other international activities, and 19% in two-way investment;
  • China (23%), the United States (22%) and New Zealand (12%) were the most important markets for respondents, by international revenue;
  • Businesses were ambitious in their expansion plans, with three-quarters of survey respondents planning to expand to new markets in the next two years, of which 37% are aiming for 1-3 new markets, 30% for 4-10 new markets, and 6% for 11 or more new markets. 
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AIBS 2016

AIBS 2016 was the third edition of the Survey. In addition to AIBS’ core questions, the 2016 edition of the Survey featured a special focus on logistics and connectivity infrastructure.

Highlights of the 2016 edition include:

  • Around 1,000 Australian businesses were surveyed, drawn from 19 industry sectors, 93 sub-sectors, and operating across more than 100 international markets; 
  • China (17%), the United States (16%) and New Zealand (8%) were the most important markets for respondents, by international revenue; 
  • The biggest risks to respondent’s international operations were increased international competitor and the threat of economic or financial crisis in key markets; 
  • Four in five respondents planned to do business in new markets over the next two years, led by China, the United States, India, the United Kingdom and Indonesia.  
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AIBS 2015

AIBS 2015 was the second edition of the Survey. In addition to AIBS’ core questions, the 2015 edition of the Survey put an emphasis on international market development activities.

Highlights of the 2015 edition include:

  • Over 1,200 Australian businesses were surveyed, drawn from 19 industry sectors, 93 sub-sectors, and operating in 114 international markets;
  • China (17%), the United States (16%) and New Zealand (8%) were the most important markets for respondents, by international revenue;
  • The biggest barriers to doing businesses internationally were culture and/or local business practices (29%), payment issues (10%) and regulations that favour local firms (9%);
  • Over three-quarters of respondents placed significant emphasis on personally visiting overseas customers in order to develop and grow their international markets. 
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AIBS 2014

AIBS 2014 was the inaugural edition of the Survey. It was one of the most comprehensive investigations into Australia’s international business activity undertaken in over 15 years.

Highlights of the 2014 edition include:

  • Over 1,600 Australian businesses were surveyed, operating across more than 120 international markets, and mostly representing the services (58%) and manufacturing (31%) sectors;
  • The biggest barriers to doing business internationally related to local culture and business practices, local regulations and customer payment issues;
  • The most important domestic factors impending international competitiveness were the value of the Australian dollar, transport and freight costs and labour productivity. 
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Dee-Ann Prather, Down Under Enterprises International
NSW Women in Global Business Award winner
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