Monday, February 23, 2009

Perspective on Australian Import/Export Business

Having our firm recently co-invest in a new venture (a Sydney based exclusive importer of European, automotive performance and enhancement products for BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, VW, Audi etc), it was interesting to discover the fact that many firms, especially German – despite of huge distances between the parties and costs of transport, still can to do competitive business with antipodes.

Australia is doomed to trade with distant partners. In the past, this distance greatly influenced just about every aspect of everyday life here (and not favourably). The phrase “tyranny of distance” was probably invented here.

Australia’s larges economic partners include such superpowers as Japan, US, China and Korea, it’s no wonder that European trade is also very lively. However, in discussions with a number of CEO’s managing large, privately held companies, in Germany, Poland and other EU countries, it became very apparent that the EU trade with many suitable Australian businesses is not suppressed by the geographical distance, it is suppressed by a psychological distance.

For many European businesses, Australia is seen as a distant, exotic trade partner, with small population and unknown cultural compatibility. Many of the common objections, when dealing with local companies wishing to expand their products to foreign markets, revolve around that fundamental need for a mind shift.

With recent drops in the value of Australian dollar and the movements against stronger currency like the Euro, Australian exports are well positioned for EU markets, right now, more so than ever.

There are no shortages of good export opportunities for Australian products, there are however few contacts and traditions which can position many other Australian made products on a world trading stage.

by: Andrew Ochudzawa