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Diversify into new markets – benefits of exporting 

By CCIWA Editor 

Exporting is no longer just the domain of large corporations, which required major resources to navigate the maze of logistics and international red-tape. 

Today, thanks to a raft of free trade agreements and easier access to booming Asian e-commerce sites, the export doors have been thrown open to Australian SMEs, and even micro-businesses. 

In 2019, the State Government announced its Asian Engagement strategy.

Gelflex Managing Director David Masel gives some tips on how to establish ties in Asian markets.

In February 2017, Chinese online shopping behemoth Alibaba Group opened its first Australian office in Melbourne after signing a “strategic collaboration” agreement with Austrade.  

The deal aims to expand the range of Australian products available through the group’s popular e-commerce sites.  

While Australian-made health and beauty products have proved wildly popular, an Austrade spokesman said the new agreement would focus on expanding that to the e-health, financial services and event management arena.  

Exporting can be an effective way for small businesses to find new markets, flatten out seasonal fluctuations, fully-realise production capacity, spread risk and build their brand. 

Flametree drinks to exporting 

Cultural traditions in overseas markets, along with new trade deals can work to your advantage.  

Margaret River winery Flametree Wines produces about 20,000 cases of wine each year and has been exporting for the past six years.  

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (CHAFTA), signed in December 2015, reduced import duties, making Australian wines more competitive.

Dickinson Estate Wines owner Trevor Dickinson explains how he managed to get his wine into China

China is now Flametree’s number one destination, with the company also leveraging the Chinese gifting culture. 

“Some of our largest clients are gift buyers in China,” says Liz Mencel, Flametree’s export sales and marketing manager.  

“Gifting is a very legitimate market for wines in China, especially for high-end red wine, with three main holiday periods throughout the year.”  

Flametree exports about 10 per cent of production with an aim to lift that to 30 per cent in coming years. 

The idea of exporting can seem daunting, but there is a wealth of advice and guidance out there.

Gelflex Managing Director David Masel on FTAs and the mutual benefits of developing cultural understanding via its manufacturing site in Indonesia.

CCIWA’s International Trade and Investment Centre has direct experience developing exports to more than 30 countries, including power players China, Japan and Korea. 

It is also an Austrade TradeStart partner for the Perth metro area. Experts can guide you on the early planning and researching stages, including cultural tips, prioritising target markets, navigating export compliance, international marketing advice, translation services, FTA advice and cross-border tax planning.  

Another useful tool is Austrade’s International Readiness Indicator. Based around your answers to 12 questions, the online tool will produce a “report card” on your export readiness and recommend further sources of help and information.


Exporting is no longer just the domain of large corporations, which required major resources to navigate the maze of logistics and international red-tape. 

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