Exporters ‘down under’ on top again

EXPORTERS are advised to take advantage of the international exposure and recognition afforded by Australia's number - one ranking for the second consecutive year in the annual Country Brand Index released earlier this week, according to Austrade, the Australian Government’s export development agency.

EXPORTERS are advised to take advantage of the international exposure and recognition afforded by Australia’s number – one ranking for the second consecutive year in the annual Country Brand Index released earlier this week, according to Austrade, the Australian Government’s export development agency.

The Country Brand Index (CBI) is a survey of international consumer attitudes to a range of countries by London-based brand strategy firm, FutureBrand.

The CBI tracks emerging global trends in travel and tourism and a range of issues specific to a country’s attractiveness as a commercial hub.

According to the CBI survey, Australia took the lead as a travel destination of choice and ranked in the top ten in 14 of the 23 categories, including Best Country Brand, Easiest To Do Business In and To Extend A Business Trip In.

Austrade’s Chief Economist, Tim Harcourt said the results of the third annual CBI, in which Australia took the top spot, is great news for exporters.

“Australia’s ranking means our country is on ‘top of mind’ with consumers around the world,” Harcourt said.

“Now is the time for Australian businesses to consider exporting — or if already exporting, to think about market expansion.”

He said Australia is considered the easiest country to do business with across the Asia Pacific, and coupled with a globally admired economy, Australia is regarded as a place that ‘works’.

“Our friendliness, work ethic and service culture are also highly regarded. However, our business strengths and export successes are relatively unknown. We need to leverage ‘Brand Australia’ to boost trade and investment.”

Hardcourt explained that there are many global brands that have an iconic status associated with their home country — Ikea (Sweden), Nokia (Finland), Coca Cola (USA) — but Australian brands like Billabong, RipCurl and RM Williams have only recently developed an international following.

“In fact, Australia’s principal exports are not consumer icons; they’re what drive our economy and add value behind the scenes. Our services and knowledge-based manufactures are also hidden from view.

“Australian mining software producers are supporting exploration projects in China, India and Russia and agricultural service providers are supporting development across Asia and South America,” he said.

According to Harcourt, Australian celebrities have done a lot to promote ‘Brand Australia’ and there is potential for Australian businesses to leverage this recognition to their commercial advantage.

“With the global economy in the best shape in 30 years, according to the IMF, there are vast opportunities out there for Aussie exporters, but we have to build our own capability and Australia’s ‘business brand’ to be successful.

“We have to work on both the demand and the supply sides of international business to boost Australia’s profile and make those opportunities happen.

“Brand building programs like G’Day USA and Austrade’s Utsav Australia (Celebrate Australia) in India are doing just that — they are building on ‘Brand Australia’ to generate international business outcomes.”

For more information contact:

Tim Harcourt – tim.harcourt@austrade.gov.au