Export Council, Sydney Uni Business School survey to help international Aussie businesses


THE University of Sydney Business School is assisting the Export Council of Australia with a first-of-a-kind International Business Survey aiming to identify the successes and unique challenges facing Australian companies engaged in international business. Image

The International Business Survey is expected to deliver data and pathways which will inform government and organisational policies that will act to boost trade and outward investment.

"In an increasingly complex international trade environment, it is vital that we understand the challenges faced by our exporting and business communities as we seek to expand their markets overseas," Federal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb said.

The survey is being conducted by the Export Council of Australia, in cooperation with the Business School's Discipline of International Business, Austrade and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation.

The Business School's survey team includes Dr Sandra Seno-Alday, Professor Sid Gray, Dr Maria Rumyantseva and Dr Catherine Welch.

The survey will involve companies nationwide, including small to medium sized enterprises. All industries will be covered, from manufacturing and agribusiness, to services and ICT.

"We are interested in companies involved in any type of international business activities," Dr Welch said.

"Such activities include exporting, licensing, franchising, technological collaborations and foreign direct investment. We are also seeking to capture newer ways of accessing international markets, such as selling via the web."

The survey will not only target companies with current activities offshore, but will also include those intending to do international business in the future or have done so in the past.

"The last comprehensive survey of this kind was conducted in the 1990s. This means that we lack an up-to-date understanding of what Australian companies are actually doing offshore," Dr Welch said.

"The data from the survey will hopefully provide the basis for policymaking that better targets the current needs and priorities of Australian companies."

Dr Welch said in recent years the high Australian dollar and the Global Financial Crisis have left Australia's non-resource sectors struggling.

"Australian companies have gone through a tough period, something which was perhaps masked by the growth in the resource sector," Dr Welch said.

"In light of this, it is important that the right policy settings are in place to address their needs. We are hoping that the survey will contribute to this process."

Business leaders wanting to contribute to the survey can access it at:



Australian Made, Australian Grown makes branding breakthrough for exports to South Korea

THE Australian Made, Australian Grown (AMAG) logo has been formally trade marked in South Korea in what is widely seen as a major breakthrough for Australian exporters. Image

For the first time, Australian exporters can use the symbol on their locally made or grown exports into South Korea to establish their products as genuinely Australian and legally protect that status under South Korean law.

The AMAG logo is Australia's registered country-of-origin trade mark for genuine Australia products and produce.

The logo and campaign was launched by former Prime Minister Bob Hawke in 1986 and for the first 10 years of its life was managed by the Advance Australia Foundation. Today it is administered by Australian Made Campaign Limited (AMCL), a not-for-profit company, under contract from the Federal Government.

Australian Made and its variations are a certification trade mark, registered with the Federal Government, and with a strict code of practice governing how it can be used commercially. Products must be registered with AMCL and must meet the criteria in the code of practice to use the logo. Image

Australian Made chief executive, Ian Harrison, said a registration process had started in 2011 in response to the growing importance of South Korea as a market for Australian products.

"The Australian Made, Australian Grown logo's formal registration in South Korea now provides an essential legal framework which exporters can rely upon in the event that the logo - or product carrying it - is copied or used without proper authority," Mr Harrison said.

"It will also provide a legal framework for the Australian Made branded shops established in South Korea by Campaign Partner, SINI Australia."

The registration work was carried out by Australian Made Campaign partner, EKM Patent and Trade Marks. Image

The registration covers 11 classes of goods and services (classes 3, 5, 20, 25, 29-33, 35 and 41). These are across a wide range of products, including cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, furniture, food and beverages, as well as use in activities such as education and sport.

The formal registration of the AMAG logo in Korea follows its registration in the USA and China. Registration is also pending in Singapore.

Further information regarding classes of goods can be found at


Fed Govt sets up $36m centre to 'help SMEs in the Asian Century'

THE Federal Government has announced a $36 million investment in a centre to assist Australian small and medium businesses take up new opportunities in Asian markets as part of its ‘Asian Century' approach.

Senator Kim Carr, recently returned to the Innovation portfolio, has announced a centre to help SMEs develop Asia markets.

Trade Minister Richard Marles and Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said Australia's small to medium-sized businesses will now get the support they need to forge into Asian growth markets.

The Ministers have announced the new National Centre for Asia Capability will be based in both Melbourne and Sydney with funding provided for national program delivery through the University of Melbourne's Asialink.

"The centre will act as a hub, drawing existing resources together to better use their potential," Mr Marles said.

"It will tap into the expertise of business and community organisations, peak bodies, training providers and business councils to help business leaders develop a deeper knowledge and expertise of Asian countries and cultures.

"The centre will also forge new partnerships to help businesses develop the Asia-relevant capabilities they need to better access growing markets in our region."

Senator Kim Carr said the Australian Government was investing in the abilities and relationships that will drive Australia's economic and jobs growth in the years ahead.

"This is a significant and timely Australian Government investment in building Australian workforce capability," Senator Carr said.

"The business community wants to build skills, supply chains and other key networks but small and medium-sized firms are not always able to make these international connections on their own.

"The government is stepping in to help them do this - to help Australian businesses compete and thrive in the century ahead. We want them to get a head start on the opportunities of the future as we grow and transform our economy and our core industries."

Mr Marles said making sure that Australian businesses understand and can effectively negotiate in Asia was a key part of the Federal Government's response to the White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century.



Food, resources, high-end manufactures lead growth in Australia's export volumes but income down 4%

AUSTRALIA'S export volumes grew strongly overall last year, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's latest publications, although total export income was down 4 percent for the year, compared with 2011.

Australia's high-end manufactures, like Holden's new VF series - going to the US as a Chevrolet - aerospace and pharmaceutical products are trending up in volume.

Australia's total export volumes grew by over 6 percent in 2012 according to Composition of Trade, Australia 2012 and Trade in Primary and Manufactured Products 2012 released last month by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

This growth in export volumes was double the average rate over the last 10 years and the highest annual rate of growth in export volumes since 2000.

Mineral and fuel exports increased by 10.9 percent in 2012, leading the growth in export volumes.

According to DFAT, this is well above the average rate of 5.1 percent for these exports over the last 10 years.

Rural export volumes also grew strongly, up 11.6 percent in 2012.

Overall, export values fell 4.2 percent to $300.1 billion in 2012, as the increase in export volumes was outweighed by the fall in export prices (down 10.2 percent).

The publications show that China remained Australia's top trading partner in 2012, with two-way trade of $125.2 billion, equal to 20 percent of total trade.

Japan ($71.1 billion) and the United States ($56.2 billion) followed, accounting for 11.5 percent and 9.1 percent of total trade respectively.

Other highlights from the publications are:

  • Exports of natural gas rose strongly, up 21.1 percent to $13.4 billion. Natural gas is now Australia's fifth largest export after iron ore, coal, gold and education services;
  • 2012 was the third straight year of rising elaborately transformed manufactures (ETM) exports, up 2.1 percent to $28.1 billion. Within this category exports of pharmaceutical products rose 15.4 percent to $4.2 billion; road motor vehicles and parts were up 20.3 percent to $2.8 billion and machinery for specialised industries were up 5.2 percent to $4.2 billion;
  • Food exports also performed well, with wheat exports up 7.5 percent to $6.5 billion and vegetables, fruit and nuts, up 28.9 percent to $1.9 billion;
  • Australia's imports of goods and services rose 7.4 percent in 2012, with strong growth in ETM imports, up 10 percent to $160.2 billion; and
  • Australia's terms of trade fell 10.7 percent.

The leading feature piece in this year's Composition of Trade, is an article outlining new OECD research on 'Trade in value added' which recognises that many goods and services are assembled using inputs from more than one country - using global value chains.

Composition of Trade and Trade in Primary and Manufactured Products are part of a series published each year by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Australia's international trade in goods and services.

The analyses and tables from the publications, along with Excel pivot tables, are available on the DFAT website.



Riviera buys GC home base, accelerates exports

FAMED international luxury boat builder Riviera is now at the head of a turning tide in Australian specialised manufacturing. The re-invigorated and, now family-owned, Gold Coast company is accelerating its recovery from administration into financially restructured private company ownership by securing its home base at Coomera, near Sanctuary Cove. (mosimage) Riviera chairman and owner Rodney Longhurst said his family would purchase Riviera's 14-hectare state-of-the-art Coomera facility. He made the announcement on the back of another accolade for Riviera, the large exporter of the year award at the 2013 Australian Marine Industry Export Awards, staged at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show..

Mr Longhurst said Riviera's base was the largest luxury boat building facility of its type in the Southern Hemisphere and the purchase of the property and all of its capital improvements will be completed before June 30.

When Mr Longhurst purchased Riviera on March 8, 2012, he agreed to a long term lease with the option to buy the property.

Over the past 14 months, Mr Longhurst said he has been focused on Riviera's future and has placed a great deal of time into restructuring the business, reviewing all internal processes and procedures, investing in new model development, recruiting the right people for the right job, and growing Riviera's team and talent.

Mr Longhurst said the purchase of the property truly cemented Riviera's future in building boats in Australia, employing Australians and continuing to drive the company's long established export markets.

"Last financial year Riviera exported 56 percent of its total production, which is a staggering result given the dollar was above parity during this period with the US and the overall impact of the GFC on the market globally," Mr Longhurst said.

"Luxury brands that have true integrity and are driven by excellence, such as Riviera, have stood the test of time through the GFC. Riviera is proud of its 33 year heritage and commitment towards design, our built-to-last philosophy, and our relentless focus on delivering the ultimate boating experience. 

"Riviera continually sources expertise and components from around the world. Many high quality master crafts people are drawn to live in Australia. I believe in South East Queensland's and Australia's manufacturing future, which is why we have undertaken this considerable investment.

"Riviera's Australian headquarters is unique to this part of the world and adds real strength to our brand as Australia is very much a part of the Riviera DNA, and by that I mean that Riviera boats are built for Australia's harsh boating conditions, and they are built with great strength for whatever the elements try to throw at them. Our designs also incorporate the great Australian outdoors lifestyle, which means our boats tend to be bigger in internal volume, brighter and more airy and open."

After visiting some of the world's highly regarded boat building facilities, Mr Longhurst is confident the Riviera site compares favourably in terms of location, size and technology.

"What we have here gives us enormous potential to further grow and diversify the Riviera brand," Mr Longhurst said. "We have the capability to future-proof the company in terms of being able to create and build different types and sizes of boats and that really excites me.

"It is a very positive time for Riviera and we are fortunate to have a great number of people who have been here for a long period of time and whose passion, drive and belief in Riviera has allowed our brand to withstand challenging times.

"I am also pleased to announce that Riviera has won the large exporter of the year award at the esteemed 2013 Australian Marine Industry Export Awards held on Tuesday night at the InterContinental Hotel at Sanctuary Cove," he said.

"This is a fantastic achievement and I commend our 300 strong team who share my desire to create and build award-winning luxury boats. Our team is inspired by the future of Riviera as they see our new models coming down the line and this award is testament to the hard work and loyalty of our staff as we work together to create the ultimate boating experience for our owners.

"The purchase of this highly developed facility means we can focus on our international efforts as the global market recovers and continue doing what we do best - creating the ultimate boating experience.

"Riviera has built and delivered more than 5000 luxury boats over its rich 33 year heritage and I look forward to being a part of building the next 5000 boats."

Riviera currently offers 15 different models from 36ft to 75ft across three model series Flybridge, Sport Yacht and the new SUV collection. 

In 2012 Riviera celebrated the launch of its 5000th boat, the 445 SUV, and Mr Longhurst counted it as a highly significant achievement in the company's rich 32-year history.

Riviera also offers the bespoke Motor Yacht line, Belize Motoryachts.  Inspired by classic luxury details and timeless style, Belize Motoryachts has recently released the new 52ft Sedan and Daybridge models.  




Australia exported a record $30.5 billion in food last year

AUSTRALIA’s food exports totalled more than $30.5 billion last financial year – the  highest value in a decade – according to the just released Australian Food Statistics Report 2011-12.

No beef about beef: Australian food exports to Asia lead the way.

That dollar value is an increase of more than 12 percent over the previous year, said Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig.

Mr Ludwig said the report showed the rise in Australia’s expanded production capacity and its strong reputation for producing safe, nutritious high-quality food combined to deliver the encouraging result.

“Australian farmers grow over 90 percent of the fresh food we eat, but they also produce enough food to feed 40 million people living beyond our borders,” Mr Ludwig said.

More than half of Australia’s food exports go to Asia.

The total value of Australia’s farm and fisheries food production increased by 3.4 percent to $42.6 billion in 2011–12,” Mr Ludwig said. “There have been ups and downs, but overall that’s an increase of 31 percent since 2006–07 when we were experiencing severe drought.”

Mr Ludwig said an increased production capacity and strong reputation as a high–quality, safe and nutritious food exporter meant Australia continued to be a net food exporter.

 “Last financial year we had a substantial food trade surplus – that is exports compared to imports – of $19.2 billion. That’s an increase of 14.6 percent from 2010–11,” Mr Ludwig said.

“The value of Australian food exports also increased by over 12 percent to $30.5 billion in 2011–12, $3.3 billion higher than 2010–11 and the highest level since 2001–02.

“Overall the value of food exported from Australia has risen by 30.3 percent between 2006–07 and 2011–12.”

 “The Gillard Government is working to make the most of the opportunities before us, like those presented by the Asian Century, and secure our food sector a strong and sustainable future into the long term,” Mr Ludwig said.

“I will soon release the National Food Plan which will outline the long-term vision for our food system and how we are going to get there.”.

Australian Food Statistics 2011–12 can be found on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) website. For further information on the National Food Plan, visit



Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Gulf Council merge to help boost regional business

TWO ARABIAN business organisations have joined forces in Australia to maximise business development and growth between Australian companies, the Middle East and North Africa.

Arabian business groups join forces: just as Qantas-Emirates alliance gets the go-ahead.

The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI) and the Australia Gulf Council (AGC) have, over the past six months, been engaged in negotiations to coordinate their approaches to promote bilateral trade and investment relations between Australia, the Middle East and North Africa.

The merger of the AGC with AACCI became effective last week. The merged organisation will be branded AACCI.

The AACCI branding is important as the name ‘Chamber of Commerce' holds significant importance in the Arab World. In the Middle East, the local chambers license all businesses operating in their countries, unlike in Australia where a separate government body, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) performas this role.

Additionally, the Arab Chambers only recognise export documents stamped by a Chamber of Commerce, and this is a significant piece of AACCI's current operations.

AGC's CEO Jonathan Herps has been appointed the AACCI CEO. Georgie Skipper, an AGC director, will be appointed to the National Board of AACCI.

A spokesman said the rationale for a merger of AACCI and AGC is a strong one. Both organisations are targeting essentially the same market.

However due to the fact that there are two organisations operating in the same region there has developed a fragmented approach to presenting ‘Australia' in the Middle East, and a fragmented approach to presenting opportunities from the Middle East back into Australia.

A merger of AGC into AACCI is a strong fit with the mission and the strategic vision of both organisations. The merged entity fills critical gaps in both organisations' strategy and capabilities.

"We believe that the complementary offering of both AACCI and the AGC will deliver high-level outcomes for our partners, members and indeed Australia. We believe that we can achieve far more as one organisation than as two," the spokesman said.



The AGC operations will continue under the AACCI brand as the 'Australia Arab Business Circle'.

AACCI is working to develop an organisation that can deliver high-level commercial outcomes for its partners and members.

"By limiting the overlap between the two organisations, we believe such a merger will derive significant outcomes for Australia's trade and investment relationship with the Arab League," the AACCI spokesman said.


Contact: Jonathan Herps at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel:  +61 (0) 2 9238 2048.




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