Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why Australia is the hotspot for Internet enabled trade

Despite the tyranny of distance, the high Australian dollar, and our reliance on natural resources – Australia is in the box seat for Internet enabled trade.

--> Coinciding with the G20 Trade Ministers meeting taking place in Sydney later this week on July 19, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) today released a new report revealing Australia is ranked first among G20 countries for e-Trade readiness.

The EIU analysed five factors that contributed to a country’s e-trade readiness - investment climate, Internet environment, international trading environment, regulatory and legal framework, and epayments environment.

Australia has emerged on top of the rankings, followed closely by the US, South Korea, UK, and Japan. Affordable Internet access, a well-developed regulatory framework for commerce, high usage of epayments and high smartphone penetration has created an environment conducive to global e-trade.

Australians have been quick to adopt new technologies that help simplify their everyday lives, with mobile driving deep behaviour change and transforming the way consumers connect with businesses.

Transactions on mobile devices for now accounts for more than 40 percent. Three years ago, only 1 in 100 transactions via PayPal was on a mobile device; today, this has skyrocketed to 1 in 3.

No longer isolated by distance, Australians have also been quick to tap into the ease and convenience of online shopping. According to Euromonitor International, Internet retailing is expected to grow 17% in Australia between 2013 and 2018.

There is a huge opportunity for Australian businesses to embrace the benefits of global e-trade. The Internet is leveling the playing field for retailers and enterprises of all sizes, and enabling them to reach global markets.

According to PayPal’s Modern Spice Routes report, cross-border online shopping in Australia is expected to increase 300% in five years - from $5billion in 2013 to $16 billion by 2018.

eBay sellers are already prolific exporters, with around 80% of commercial eBay sellers (sales of AUD $10,000 or more) exporting to global markets, compared to only 3% for companies operating offline. That figure increases to 97% when eBay Australian retailers generate more than AUD $100,000 sales per year.
eBay Australian exporters who sell more than AUD$10,000 a year, export to an average to 28 destinations.

While careful attention must be paid balancing prudent regulation and openness to innovation and trade, we need to continue to lower the barriers for trade and create an atmosphere that allows all Australian businesses to benefit from the cross-border trade opportunity.
Director of Public Policy, Asia-Pacific at eBay Inc

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