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Business School assisting Export Council of Australia with groundbreaking international business survey

13 Nov 2013

The University of Sydney Business School is assisting the Export Council of Australia with a groundbreaking survey aimed at identifying the successes and challenges facing Australian companies engaged in international business.

The International Business Survey is expected to deliver data that will inform policies that will encourage 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," explained Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.

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 comprises 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", explained Dr Welch. "Such activities include exporting, licensing, franchising, technological collaborations and foreign direct investment. We are also seeking to capture newer forms 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 that are 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 explained. "The data from the survey will hopefully provide the basis for policy making that better targets the current needs and priorities of Australian companies".

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 concluded. "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".

The survey can be accessed here