Exporting & Market Access

Entering new markets is an opportunity for you to get the right product into the right market at the right time. The best export strategy is concise and simple.

By exporting, you can become more efficient and increase your productivity. In Australia, exporting companies have better growth prospects, highly skilled, highly productive staff and tend to adapt technology and best practice techniques faster. Global brands can be built from small local companies – especially in rural and regional Australia.

How to access a new overseas market?

The first step in selecting your first – or next – country for export is to screen every country to produce a short-list of the most suitable (i.e. three to five).

Countries have differing levels of product demand, growth, economic activity, legal fairness, risk levels, etc. You need to assess every country so you don’t miss the best. Small countries need to be included because often they are buying centres for other markets (e.g. Hong Kong and Macau for China, and Singapore for South-East Asia generally).

The next step is to reduce the short-list to the single most suitable country.

Tastings, trade and consumer shows

Trade shows can be a great way of testing the market and determining if your business is ready – or capable – of entering the export market. Before taking part in a tasting, trade or consumer show, it is important to think about why you are taking part in the show and what you hope to get out of it.

Think about the following questions:

  • Am I ready for volume production and distribution? If I get the orders, can I fill them?
  • Is the show the most appropriate place to reach your objectives?
  • Will the people I am trying to sell to actually be there? Will they be able to focus on my product, or will I be lost in the huge array of products on display?
  • Is there something else that could get the same or better results with the same or less investment?
  • Will trade shows enable my business to test my customer base, and help me build my business, ready to export?

Austrade has an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) scheme which provides financial assistance for aspiring and current exporters. The scheme supports a wide range of industry sectors and products, including inbound tourism and the export of intellectual property and know-how outside Australia.

Market access issues

It is advisable to visit your country of choice, to get a full grasp of any market access issues or trade barriers you may face. This will give you the opportunity to:

  • Study its special characteristics
  • Examine the opportunities and competition first hand
  • Decide which methods of selling and distribution to use – whether to sell through a distributor, your own foreign office or a joint venture.
  • Select a suitable agent or distributor. This will require a visit to the market.
  • Draw up an appropriate marketing plan with your new representative to introduce and expand the sale of your product.

Need advice?

Use the expertise of trade promotion agencies, export marketing consultants and planners to gain valuable information on your target country. No two businesses are the same, so you need to do your own research and due diligence.

Austrade and The Department of State Development are two agencies ideally placed to assist firms with gathering this data, which could include:

  • what import duties the product would attract
  • other barriers to imports, such as import licensing
  • local taxes on the product, such as sales tax
  • frequency and cost of shipping or airfreight between Australia and the foreign market
  • regulations, such as quarantine and labelling standards, consumer protection rules, and product standards
  • current selling prices
  • profiles of the main competitors
  • who the potential agents, distributors or partners are
  • an in-country assessment by industry contacts whose business survival depends on their in-market skills and knowledge

Austrade has a comprehensive checklist for businesses seeking more information about accessing overseas markets.

Food SA can help you answer key questions such as:

  • Are you export capable?
  • How do you become export-ready?
  • How do you assess the export potential of your product?
  • How do you prepare for export?
  • Who can help you?

Want to know more?

Austrade’s Steps for Exporting
This guide provides advice on the first steps in preparing your company for export. It deals with learning the basics of exports, how to proceed, and who to contact for help

Importing and exporting
Resources and downloads from the South Australian Government to help grow your exports.

Importing and exporting
The South Australian Government has commercial representation in key target markets. Overseas staff members provide export assistance to South Australian businesses and help attract business investment and migration to the State.

Common questions for exporters
A list of many common queries from businesses looking to expand overseas.

Key links

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