By: Lisa McAuley, CEO, Export Council of Australia
As the CEO of the Export Council of Australia, I truly believe that Australian jobs are best created and protected over the long term through an open and competitive economic system.
In the wake of Brexit, as well as the recent election results in the United States, there are concerns over whether the anti-trade rhetoric will spread to Australia.
In some way, we should be concerned. It is easy for protectionist rhetoric, driven by the minority, to distort the picture of trade’s importance to the Australian economy.
It can easily give rise to a wrong impression to the general public on the benefits of trade. Australia is home to around 50,000 exporters. Growing this number, and increasing our international trade and investment, is absolutely crucial to unlocking our future economic potential, as well as increasing our country’s role in important regions like Asia.
With our very small population and domestic market, the simple fact is we cannot afford to backslide toward protectionism. Trade is the very backbone of Australia’s economic stability.
I have just returned from the United States, and while we cannot ignore that these are unique and somewhat challenging times, now is the time for Australia to buck the global trend and capitalise on the commercial opportunities sitting right on our doorstep.
Maintaining an open trading economy is the only path toward maintaining our prosperity and creating Australian jobs today and tomorrow.
At the ECA we will continue to support all Australian companies looking to support the Australian economy and create jobs by taking on the risks and challenges of growing an international business.
If you want to grow your international business and capitalise on the world of opportunity waiting beyond our shores, please join our network as a member so we can work together to build a more prosperous future for us all.