Horses for courses

The export field of contenders needs a close study before you take a punt. Here is Austrade’s form guide for export success…


When you are punting on tomorrow’s Melbourne Cup, have a bit of sympathy for Australia’s 42,000 exporters who have to make their big bets on international markets. Like a good punter Australian exporters have to look at the horse, the jockey, the state of the track, and of course, the odds.


And it is not just a flutter for them but a major business decision that will affect their livelihood as well as the well-being of those that are dependent on their business as well.


To help the average race goer understand the nuances of exporting, the following export “form guide” has been produced.


Horse number one is Great Samurai, representing the Japanese market. It’s a long standing champion, has been written off by some, but still very capable and strong. Recent macroeconomic data suggests a return to past form after a recent slump. Excellent new female jockey in the form of Elizabeth Masamune.


Secondly, there’s New Dynasty, representing China. This dynamic new colt has surprised seasoned punters with his ability to maintain a fast pace, year after year.


Thirdly, Passionate Tradition, representing Korea. This little known but powerful galloper with an industrious approach has revealed new appeal to punters in recent years.


Fourthly, there’s Fragrant Harbour, representing Hong Kong. Known for slipstreaming the colt from China but also an attractive performer in her own right.


Fifthly, there’s Little Dragon, representing Taiwan. She is occasionally overshadowed by her new high profile cousin, New Dynasty, but she’s a tidy performer who has rewarded loyal supporters well over many seasons.


Next is The ASEAN Emissary, representing Vietnam. This is the dark horse of the East Asian field that has put together a string of good seasons in recent years and seems set for even better days ahead.


Then there’s Stars and Stripes, representing the USA. A big race performer who cannot be ignored. Has had lots of lead taken out of the saddlebags since the passing of the free trade agreement (FTA).


Next is Taj Mahal, representing India. An up and comer who is twinned sometime unfairly with New Dynasty, but is coming into his own thanks to ongoing reform of stable practices.


Finally, there’s Old Blighty, representing the UK. This old stayer is always a sentimental favourite amongst the punters but recent form puts her well ahead of the pack in the European stables.


Racegoers should also consider a few roughies among the emerging markets including Arabian Nights from the United Arab Emirates, Samba Fever from Brazil and from Tsar Nicholas from Russia.

So there you have it, your own export form guide. Fortunately, back in the real world, exporting is clearly not all about luck as much as skill and strategy. It requires good research, innovation, flexibility and good knowledge of your prospective market.


And most importantly, the evidence shows that it does pay off. According to Austrade/Sensis research, exporters are, on average, faster growing, more profitable and more productive than non-exporters. Exporters also pay better wages; provide better employment conditions and higher quality jobs than non-exporters. In short, exporting is a good bet for both big and small players in the international trade game.




*Tim Harcourt is chief economist at Austrade and author of Beyond Our Shores.


For more Gone Global blogs, click here.



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