Perspectives on prosperity
Future [inc] is a series of thought leadership pieces written in conjunction with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. This analysis contributes to the debate for developing the prosperity of Australia and New Zealand.
The future of trade
Are we ready to embrace the opportunities?
Trade has recently come under greater scrutiny, with the US election and Brexit highlighting voter opposition to integration into the global economy. Yet international trade is essential to our modern economy. It gives us access to a wider range of goods and services, stimulates competition and allows us to focus on areas of comparative advantage. Exports currently account for close to 30% of world GDP.
In Australia and New Zealand, exports alone account for 20% and 28% of GDP respectively. With 98% of the global economy beyond the shores of Australia and New Zealand, international trade presents exciting opportunities for businesses seeking to expand.
In December 2016, Australia recorded AUD32.6 billion in exports - the highest level ever in Australian history. This represents an AUD7.9 billion increase on the previous December.
Looking forward, globalisation, technology and policy will be key factors in determining the future rate of growth in international trade. We may not return to the heyday of trade growing at on average double the rate of GDP growth, but there are many signs that there is still a strong future ahead in international trade for Australian and New Zealand businesses.