Greater market access is critical to successful international trade and investment, but personal connections and experience in overseas markets is also essential for success.

Travelling in markets overseas is one of the best steps an exporter or investor can take to grow their business.

It enables exporters, and future exporters, to better understand those markets and develop a network of useful contacts in the private sector and government.

In recent years, the Australian Government has created new export and investment opportunities by opening North Asia’s biggest markets to our goods and services.

Our trade agreements with Korea, Japan and China have created unprecedented opportunities for Australian business.

We are already seeing the benefits in terms of increased exports to these markets which is, in turn, boosting employment and living standards here in Australia.

In addition to creating new export opportunities through trade agreements, the Government has run practical business missions that put our business people in touch with new markets, people and ideas in China, India, Europe, the US and other important markets.

Earlier this month I lead a business mission to Indonesia to participate in the second Indonesia-Australia Business Week (IABW). Indonesia is South East Asia’s largest economy with a population of more than 250 million people and growth forecast at around 5.5 per cent per annum to 2020.

With Australia’s overall trade in goods and services with Indonesia worth more than $14 billion in 2015-16, there is significant potential to expand our trade and investment relationship.

To that end, Australia and Indonesia are now engaged in negotiations to conclude a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IACEPA) that would ease trade and investment barriers and provide Indonesia’s growing consumer class with better access to Australian goods and services. IA-CEPA represents a major opportunity for Australian firms to supply what Indonesia needs to develop its economy. It also presents real opportunities for Australian business to partner with Indonesian business, building on our respective comparative advantages, to sell into the broader North Asian market and beyond.

In 2017, IABW is focused on sectors which marry Australia’s strengths with demand in Indonesia – vocational education and training, tourism, financial services and technology, agribusiness and water security and urban design.

Members of the IABW 2017 mission will have the opportunity to network with potential partners and customers, hear from senior business and government representatives about new opportunities and challenges and participate in site visits across Indonesia.

Author: The Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Tourism in “From the Minister” on page 2 of Autumn 2017 International Business Today. 

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