Internationalisation of Australian small and medium-sized enterprises: The case of the Australia and EU Free Trade Agreement
Australia is a member of many multilateral trade bodies and engages in trade agreements of a multilateral and bilateral kind across most regions. In June 2018, it launched negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU) which are still ongoing and since then Australia and the EU have conducted fifteen rounds of negotiations (last one on 28 May 2023 in Brussels). This paper aims to explore the business awareness of the EU amongst Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and to analyse the factors that influence their internationalisation. To ascertain this, we reviewed the results of two surveys that were conducted pre- and post-COVID-19 pandemic (also coinciding with the Brexit transition period). This paper argues that SMEs in Australia are essentially unaware of the EU as a market and that no significant change in the business perception of the EU and potential international trade opportunities occurred between the pre- and post-COVID-19 political contexts.
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