08 Apr 2015

China – the new gateway to global networks for Victorian SMEs

Qenos is one of many local Victorian companies that are successfully working in China, according to a new report launched locally today in Melbourne.

Commissioned by the Australia China Business Council (ACBC) and sponsored by NAB, the 2014 Australia-China Trade Report is the only report of its kind to provide such a deep analysis of the benefits to Australian households from trade with China.

The research has identified that the Australia-China economic relationship is broader than previously assumed, with considerable new growth opportunities for Australian businesses in agribusiness, manufacturing, real estate, tourism, education and finance and professional services.

Qenos – a Victorian based advanced manufacturer – has successfully carved a space for itself in the value chain of a large Chinese SME. As Australia’s sole manufacturer of polyethylene and leading supplier of world class polymers, Qenos has a long history in managing hazardous processes safely and effectively.

Companies such as Qenos are increasingly participating in global value chains – where different stages of the production process are located across different countries. Global value chains were a prominent topic in the report, as they have traditionally been difficult for Australian businesses to penetrate.

“The success for Qenos – and many others – is good news for Australia, as for Aussie firms it has been notoriously difficult to access global value chains” said Mr Paul Collins, State General Manager, NAB Business.

“Building and maintaining business relationships with China is opening doors for Victorian businesses by connecting them with new, global networks.

“As Australian SMEs look to engage with China following the finalisation of a free trade agreement, this reports provides a solid foundation from those who have been there before and succeeded”.

Key findings from the report include:

  • two-way trade with China per Australian household increased five-fold from A$3,400 in 2009 to A$16,985 in 2013
  • direct trade from Australia to China contributes 5.5 per cent to Australian GDP, amounting to $79,150 million
  • nearly 200,000 Australian jobs (or one in 58 Australian jobs) is sustained by direct export activities to China
  • nearly 90 per cent of Australian firms surveyed describe their two year business outlook with China as optimistic
  • 88 per cent of Australian firms surveyed say China is important to their global expansion plans.

About the report:

This year, in preparing the report, the ACBC conducted an exclusive business survey of over 200 Australian firms engaged in Chinese business, predominantly from its membership. The report is supported by case studies from different industries and a new data source, the World Input-Output Database. The 2014 report goes further this year by analysing the impact of Australia-China Trade across industry sectors, including Australia’s integration with global value chains, and the flow-on effects for the Australian economy down to the household level.

The report was prepared thanks to major sponsorship from the National Australia Bank and seed funding from the Australia China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

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