10 April 2016
Media Release - #2016035, 2016

In the role of: Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer [21 September 2015 - 18 July 2016]

SME’s front and centre of Australia Week in China

Australia’s largest ever business mission to China will provide new opportunities for Australia’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer MP said.

Australia Week in China 2016 (AWIC) will include about 1,000 delegates, drawn mostly from small and medium businesses, and representing more than 750 companies.

Minister O’Dwyer said Australia’s deepening economic relationship with China offers exciting new potential for our small and mid sized businesses to expand.

“The Australian Government is actively encouraging our SMEs to think beyond our own borders and to consider export opportunities into major markets - and there are none bigger than China,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“The historic China Australia Free Trade Agreement with its substantial tariff cuts for Australian exports and other concessions in areas such as services, greatly enhances our competitive position in a market which is transitioning to a more consumer-driven growth model.

“Advances in e-commerce for instance provides the platforms for Australian SMEs to cost-effectively take their wares global.

“China’s massive online trading platforms like JD.com and Alibaba’s Tmall provide virtual shop-fronts for Australian businesses to hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers, who increasingly place a premium on our high quality goods and services.”

China is also Australia’s strongest tourism market and last year the number of Chinese visitors to Australia topped one million for the first time.

“This provides great scope for our SMEs to tap into this tourism spending in areas such as food and beverage sales, the provision of accommodation, transportation and unique tourism experiences,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

AWIC 2016 will feature over 140 events across 12 cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Shenyang, Hangzhou, and Shanghai.

“AWIC provides unrivalled networking opportunities for SMEs to create new linkages with Chinese business people and organisations and to potentially strike up new deals and ventures,” Minister O’Dwyer said.

“The demand for services in China will also grow exponentially and Australia as a services economy has an enviable international reputation in the provision of high quality services across a wide array of areas.

“This includes financial services, health, wellness and aged care, legal and architectural services, urban design, environmental management.

“Services account for around 75 per cent our GDP but less than 20 per cent of our exports so this presents a fertile area for potential growth and new job opportunities in this critical post-mining boom period. SMEs are strongly represented across services capability that is well matched to growing Chinese demand,” Minister O’Dwyer said.