Access to finance remains one of the biggest hurdles for exporters trying to grow their business internationally, a new survey has found.
The latest Australian International Business Survey (AIBS 2015) again highlights the financing constraints faced by Australian exporters.
AIBS 2015 reports the views of over 1,200 Australian internationally-active businesses, drawn from 19 industry sectors and operating across 114 international markets, making it one of the largest and most in-depth surveys of Australian exporters.
“We found the participants are generally more optimistic about the current year than they were about 2014,” said Efic’s Senior Economist, Cassandra Winzenried.
The weaker Australian dollar is the main reason for the optimism.
However, Ms Winzenried noted that 86 per cent of respondents felt retained earnings were an important source of finance for domestic operations that service export sales.
This was more than double the percentage that said domestic banks are important.
“Around a third of companies that had approached a financial institution in the last three years to expand their international business said they didn’t receive the funding they needed,” says Winzenried, “a figure that rises to almost half for small exporters.”
“The most common reason for failed funding attempts, at 45 per cent, were security issues, followed by the application being declined to due to inadequate cash flow.”
“We found it interesting that business inexperience and poor credit history were cited as relatively minor factors.”
One of the survey’s key conclusions is that a large minority of smaller exporters could do more international business if sufficient finance was available.
“These results again highlight how important Efic’s role is in helping SME exporters receive the finance they need,” says Winzenried.
Efics range of products could assist in helping many SMEs to bridge the finance gap when their bank is unable to assist.
AIBS 2015 was commissioned by the Export Council of Australia, with the support of Austrade and Efic, and was conducted by the University of Sydney.
The full report is available at: http://www.efic.gov.au/aibs-2015/