Reforms implemented since the 1980s have transformed Australia from an inward-looking, highly protected and regulated marketplace to an open, internationally competitive, export-oriented economy. Key economic reforms included unilaterally reducing high tariffs and other protective barriers to free trade, floating the Australian dollar, deregulating the financial services sector, including liberalizing access for foreign banks, increasing flexibility in the labor market, reducing duplication and increasing efficiency between the federal and state branches of government, privatizing many government-owned monopolies and reforming the taxation system.
Whether you are interested in exporting your goods to Australia or forming a joint venture with an Australian company, the following resources can help guide you to the key resources you'll need to make your endeavor a success.
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Along with Australia's highly developed economy is a sophisticated system of monitoring and governing its imports and exports. Companies wishing to do business in Australia need to abide by a series of requirements that, while not difficult, are important to ensure smooth business practices within the country. DHL has compiled an introductory collection of these resources to help you get started in the best possible way.
This general overview of Australia's import guidelines and regulations is a helpful introduction to selling your goods in-country. The agency also has many booklets. Some have been distilled and included on this site. Others can be obtained by calling the Customs Information and Support Centre at 1-300-363-263. Copies of the brochures will be mailed to you.
The Australian Trade Commission has set up this comprehensive portal for Australian exporters. It includes general information about exporting, as well as trade data, information on seminars and events and resources for financial assistance.
In 2009, Australia ranks ninth out of 181 economies on the World Bank's well-respected "Doing Business In" report. This page gives detailed information on how the country rates compared to others on business issues such as regulations, employee management and costs of doing business, among others.
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) created this detailed information center for importers. It includes everything from quarantine specifics and requirements to important guides to selecting and submitting forms and applications.
Be sure to review this list of prohibited and restricted import items to find out whether your product falls into more regulatory territory.
Get a little credit for your exporting activities. These awards are produced by Austrade, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and representatives from each state and territory to celebrate Australia's top exporters. Even if you don't qualify as one of the top, check out the web site for best practices and other useful information, like podcasts about trade.
Austrade's Business Club Australia offers business opportunities linked to sporting events.
The Northern Territory is a federal territory located in the central portion of the continent. Businesses in this region can access information about a variety of resources through this portal.
Australia has robust opportunities for marketing goods and services both to the private sector and to the government. This collection of resources will help you plan your market entry, target government procurement opportunities, locate franchise opportunities and even find partnering opportunities.
This section of the Australian Bureau of Statistics web site gives the most current information on everything from demographics and environment to investment and trade. It is an excellent first-stop to get an overview of the country and offers important insight for businesses already in or wishing to reach the Australian marketplace.
Ready to do business with the Australian government? This portal provides an excellent introduction to doing so, including a general overview of procurement practices, as well as frequently asked questions and a procurement discussion forum.
Australia is very supportive of free trade and has a number of trade agreements around the world. The customs service offers an introduction to them here.
Access a variety of articles and podcasts about business, importing and exporting from Austrade's chief economist, Tim Harcourt. Topics are wide-ranging and provide a healthy overview of key Australian economic issues.
Read the most up-to-date version of the Australian Trade Commission Act to learn about the trade commission, its mission and any modifications to the state of trade in Australia.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics offers a wide range of statistics and data on various areas of Australia's import market.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics also offers similarly comprehensive data and statistics on exports.
This page on the Department of Foreign Trade site includes fact sheets on more than 170 countries, as well as statistical analysis of Australian trade and snapshots of trade data, such as statistics and information for merchandise exporters. It also includes a contact telephone and email so you can follow up and get more information.
Created for U.S. companies interested in doing business in Australia, this overview of the Australian marketplace is useful for any company interested in doing business there.
This searchable database from Austrade lets you find any of more than 10,000 suppliers in Australia.
Another well-developed section of the Austrade web site includes industry sector overviews including manufacturing, entertainment, defense, construction, food and beverage and many others. This is a good place to get a feel for the sectors offering the strongest opportunities, as well as the players in those sectors.
Need help? Need money? Check out this portal to government services for Australian businesses.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission promotes fair trade in the marketplace. Its primary responsibility is to ensure that individuals and businesses comply with competition, fair trading and consumer protection laws.
Cultural missteps can derail even the most promising business relationships. While Australians typically have a relaxed attitude toward protocol, it is still important to be polite and aware of cultural expectations.
This online warehouse of multicultural profiles gives visitors a good overview of dealing with the Australian marketplace including interpersonal and business etiquette and customs as well as overall cultural preferences. This is helpful for both those doing business on a personal level, as well as marketers who are researching the Australian marketplace for more broad-based outreach.