Telstra, Austrade join forces to help boost SMEs

02 May, 2008

Australia’s small to medium-sized exporters will be offered the chance to tap into China’s booming economy during the Beijing Olympics through a joint initiative between Telstra and Austrade.

The Win Business Gold in China program will offer practical help to Australian companies which have recently established a presence in China.
Small business will be selected to travel to China to build their export potential through networking events and educational seminars with Austrade’s China market experts.
Coinciding with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, small business owners will gain insights into the prospects and pitfalls of doing business in China while at the same time enjoying the sporting event of a lifetime.
A panel consisting of senior Telstra Business and Austrade representatives will choose 12 businesses to participate in the program with entries to close on May 25.
Telstra Business Group Managing Director, Deena Shiff, said facilitating business opportunities for Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs), including international trade, ranked high on the priorities of Telstra.
“China is an emerging market with massive potential for Australian SME exporters and Telstra would like to help them reach this exciting new market,” Shiff said.
“Telstra understands that while many small and medium businesses see great opportunities in China they cannot successfully operate in this market without the help of expert information and business contacts.”
The initiative echoes similar ventures by Telstra, such as the Telstra Business Awards - now in their 16th year – which have encouraged thousands of Australian businesses to greater success.
Austrade’s Business Club Australia is the Australian Government's official international business program for the Games and has been endorsed by the Australian Olympic Committee.
“Business Club Australia will provide opportunities for Australian companies to leverage business outcomes while enjoying the Olympics,” Austrade CEO Peter O’Byrne said.
“More than 4,200 Australian businesses now export goods to China and there are over 3,000 Australian businesses with a presence there. China is now in the top four – after New Zealand, USA and the UK - as a destination for exporting SMEs.”
“The China market expertise provided to them through Business Club Australia will provide a platform for them to build their presence in this key market,” O’Byrne said.
In 2007, China became Australia’s largest merchandise trading partner, with two way trade in goods reaching $52.7 billion.
China’s colossal economic expansion, with GDP growth averaging 9.5 per cent over the past 20 years and rising Chinese incomes, has created a huge potential market for Australian SMEs.
The Win Business Gold in China program will offer SMEs a unique business experience, and connect them to emerging opportunities through Austrade’s China network of 15 offices and 90 staff across China and Hong Kong.
As part of the program, a new website - - was launched today where Australian SMEs can apply to be selected to travel to Beijing.