There are a range of steps that Australian SMEs looking to export to the Middle East can take to help make their transition as easy as possible. Some of these include:
Do your research
- Any cultural barriers can be overcome by conducting careful and comprehensive research prior to entering the market.
- Read widely, talk to peers who have already entered the market and engage professional advisers that have experience operating in the market.
- The Export Council of Australia can help SMEs develop their international business skills through understanding the culture and business practices of different countries in the Middle East.
- A strong personal relationship is key to doing business successfully in the Middle East.
- This requires committing significant time and resources to investing in building relationships – at a minimum this will involve conducting a number of visits to get to know potential customers, partners and suppliers before entering into a formal relationship.
- For Australian SMEs that choose to service their Middle East market remotely, it is important to have a good relationship with distributors so you understand where your money is going.
Enlist professional help
- Austrade, the Australian Government’s trade and investment agency, can assist SMEs with introductions and navigating the business environment in the Middle East.
- Austrade has strong relationships with Government and business, linking Australian companies with key decision makers across the region.
- Experienced staff are also available to provide strong in-market support to firms operating in the region.
Get your paperwork in order
- The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AACCI) is the peak national association for trade and investment between Australia and the Arab League countries.
- AACCI certifies all export documentation for Australian exporters, which is a prerequisite for exporting to the Middle East.
- AACCI also holds networking events and organises trade missions for Australian SMEs.