Right Research, Right Strategy

An Expert's View about Foreign Direct Investment in Australia

Posted on: 19 Apr 2010

There’s data and then there’s research; Ian Murray wants more of the latter to help businesses develop an informed export strategy.

EXPORt opinion RIGHT RESEARCH, RIGHT STRATEGY There?s data and then there?s research; ian Murray wants more of the latter to help businesses develop an informed export strategy. part from being invited to shared and what strategies and plans have expand them, 52 percent within the next participate at the Melbourne flowed from its findings. year. This optimism flowed through to Alaunch of the Global Readiness Like multinational marketers, Australia respondents without offshore operations, index (GRi) with the Minister for Trade, is managing a big business; we need to with 44 percent indicating they planned to there were two aspects of the GRi I found know the dynamics to address the hurdles expand offshore, 32 percent within the next particularly pleasing. to export growth and to get the strategies two years. First, the fact that we are seeing this right. The Mortimer study was a step in Interestingly, studies conducted by the sort of research being done and shared the right direction, but we need more. In Institute, while identifying a shortfall in with other providers is a real breakthrough; particular, we need studies that qualify and forward orders in many sectors, supports and second, how pleasing it is to see trade quantify the attitudes and behaviour of the feeling of optimism among the export finance as a major issue in doing or not companies in different sectors, of differing community at large. doing international trade. sizes and so on, and we need studies One outcome of the study, while not To address the research issue first, it?s that embrace all the key service provision altogether surprising given the global something I feel very strongly about and, players while remaining completely free of finance environment, was the large number without great success, pushed quite firmly government influence. of companies using retained earnings to for during the Mortimer Review. We have There are a number of things that make finance their offshore expansion with only a sector that contributes 22 percent to our the EFIC GRi study valuable. First, it was 30 percent saying they use a debt facility. GDP. It?s driven by a small number of big based originally on some good qualitative It begs the question: if funds were easier to players, but contributed to by thousands input; second, key export service providers get, would expansion be faster and larger? were embraced in its design I suggest it would, particularly for the SMEs; and delivery; and third, it perhaps that?s the area Government needs Good qualitative and addressed issues that until to look at first. quantitative research is now have been far from top of The GRi study and the way EFIC the trade facilitation agenda. approached it is a good example of what critical to understanding It would be wrong for can be done in terms of research. Input me to say we were surprised came from a range of qualified people and the drivers behind this with many of the outcomes, organisations, data collection was a joint particularly the high level of effort, and the results have been shared. quite complex market respondents saying that access The more we do of this, the better. of small to medium sized companies, many to finance is an obstacle. Being part of an Economic data has value that we of which we know little about. What we organisation that?s focused on the export cannot argue against, but good qualitative do know is that there are not enough of process gives you a good insight into the and quantitative research is critical to them: many flirt with export and give it day-to-day hurdles faced by SME exporters understanding the drivers behind this quite away, some stay for the long haul, and lots in financing business growth. What is complex market. We urge the Government never get started. particularly good is that this is now truly to encourage more work like this, There is a substantial amount of quantified and can, with great credibility, independent of their influence and to share economic data around and econometric be put in front of Government as a key it with the organisations that can use it to models created for assessing the value of issue. And, one would hope, Government address barriers to international business. the Export Market Development Grants will respond. scheme, but what about the real ?down and What was particularly satisfying in ? IAN MURRAY dirty? qualitative and quantitative research the study was the optimism expressed by Executive Director that major international marketers use to companies despite the current setbacks. Australian Institute of Export feed their business strategies? Little is done Eighty-four percent of companies with www.aiex.com.au and if it is, we are unaware with whom it is offshore operations said they planned to 10 dynamicbusiness.com june.09
Posted: 19 April 2010

See more from Foreign Direct Investment in Australia

Expert Views    
Right Research, Right Strategy   By Australian Institute of Export
When The Going Gets Tough   By Australian Institute of Export