AIBS upbeat report re international growth

AIBS 2017 results show 87pc of businesses optimistic about prospects for 2018-2019

A NEW report based on data from Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS)* series – shows participants are generally upbeat about the prospects for international growth.

AIBS upbeat report re international growth

Some 87 per cent of respondents said they expect the overall financial outlook for their international operations over the next two years to be either the same as or better than their outcomes during the past two years.

In addition, 74 per cent of respondents plan to expand their businesses into additional overseas markets over the same time period. Their optimism is consistent with the overall upturn in world trade from last year that has been sustained in 2017. Interestingly, their optimism has weathered both the UK vote for Brexit in June 2016 and the US presidential elections in November 2016.

In terms of the Brexit vote, some 70 per cent of AIBS 2017 respondents (including those not currently doing business in the UK) felt it either made no difference to their view of the UK market or made them feel more optimistic (with 51 per cent saying ‘no change’ and 19 per cent opting for ‘more positive’). Only 20 per cent were more pessimistic.

If the sample were confined to those firms doing business in the UK, 69 per cent were generally positive, with 47 per cent saying ‘no change’ and 22 per cent ‘more positive’ though the pessimists increased from one in five in the full sample to more than one in four.

In the case of the US presidential elections, a majority of AIBS respondents’ views remained either unchanged or more positive. In the case of the full sample, about 61 per cent were favourable, with 49 per cent ‘unchanged’ and 12 per cent ‘more positive’ than before. 31 per cent reported feeling less positive.

Restricting the sample to those survey participants currently doing business in the US increased the reported degree of optimism. Roughly two-thirds of respondents either reported no change (52 per cent) or more positive views (14 per cent), while the share of those saying they felt less positive dropped a little to 29 per cent.

* Australia’s International Business Survey 2017 (AIBS 2017) is the fourth in a series of studies of Australia’s international business activity. Commissioned by the Export Council of Australia (ECA) with the support of Austrade EFIC (Export Finance and Insurance Corporation) and UTS Business School, AIBS 2017 was conducted by AMR Australia between April 2017 and May 2017.

AIBS 2017 reflects the opinions of 941 firms from 19 sectors undertaking international activities in more than 90 overseas markets.