New exporters chasing new business in Middle East

New exporters exploring new opportunities fairing better in rocky economy, DHL survey shows

New exporters are fairing better in a rocky economy than their more seasoned counterparts because they are less susceptible to price fluctuations and more likely to explore new opportunities.

That's the findings of a new survey of some 864 exporters from global express and logistics group DHL, which also found the Middle East is the new favoured export destination.

The region topped the list of favourable export countries, ahead of China which slipped from first to fourth compared to the same period last year.

New exporters are likely to post a 64 percent increase in profitability next year compared with 34 percent from long-term rivals.

DHL Express Oceania Vice President Gary Edstein says it holds Australia in good stead.

"The strength of any country is dependent on new investment, business innovation and job opportunities, all of which are enhanced through trade," he says.

"Exports play a vital role in the growth of the Australian economy and it is great to see such enthusiasm and success from new exporters."

Austrade Chief Economist Tim Harcourts believes the shift from Asia to the Middle East could be the result of the belief countries with oil hold up stronger than those without. Changes to export laws have also helped, he says.

The survey shows new exporters are reluctant to enter Asian markets, according to Edstein.

"China and India offer tremendous opportunities but also provide significant barriers and export support programs, especially those directed at new exporters, are critical," he says.

"The recent changes to the Government's Export Marketing Development Scheme should make international trade more accessible to Australian companies."

Despite the optimism, 71 percent of all exporters say the global financial crisis has negatively impacted sales, with only 33 percent planning staff additions and 43 percent budgeting for pay rises.

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