EFIC announces third annual Global Readiness index

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation has announced its third annual Global Readiness index (GRi) will be conducted in March this year.

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), the Australian Government’s export credit agency, has announced its third annual Global Readiness index (GRi) will be conducted in March this year.

Launched in 2008, the survey is a wide-ranging study of the current destinations for Australian exporters and offshore investors, their motivations and the barriers they face in taking on the world.

The GRi results let Australian businesses exporting and investing offshore compare their offshore investment models against others on a state and national level, and within their industry groups.

“The 2010 GRi will provide Australian business with a comprehensive picture of the opportunities and challenges on the path to participating in today’s global supply chains,” said EFIC Managing Director Angus Armour.

“We also expect it to give some interesting insights into the impact of the global economic downturn on the appetite of Australian businesses to invest in offshore expansion.”

In 2009, over 700 Australian businesses across the country participated in the GRi. Most of these were small and medium-sized enterprises.

“Although the survey took place during a worldwide credit crunch and a severe downturn in world trade and production, the results showed that Australian businesses with export and offshore operations were optimistic about globalisation and had ambitious plans for growth,” said Armour.

“A year is a long time in today’s volatile business environment. This year’s GRi results will help us understand both continuity and change in exporting and offshore investment by Australian business,” he said.

The 2010 GRi will be open for participation from 1 March to 31 March 2010 and the results will be launched in this financial year.

The survey is endorsed by Trade Minister Simon Crean and produced in partnership with state government, trade and industry organisations across Australia.

Key findings from the 2009 GRi:

· Eight-four per cent of companies with offshore operations planned to expand them, 52% within 12 months. Of respondents without offshore operations, 44% planned to go offshore, 32% within the next two years.

· Access to finance was rated by far the most significant obstacle to going global, with 58% of respondents regarding it as a barrier (a substantial increase on 2008).

· 82% of respondents relied on retained earnings to finance offshore expansion, while only 30% used a debt facility from an Australian financial institution.