Undertaking some market research is the first step in helping you assess the opportunities that are available to you – and, just as importantly, the costs involved in taking advantage of them.

There are a range of free online sources where you can find out more about the country you are looking to export to, around:

  • licensing and regulations
  • market size and growth rates
  • fees and import duties
  • distribution channels
  • current competitors

A good place to start is at the country level, after which you can refine your research to the specific product or services that you’re offering. Good market research is not about quantity or lots of facts and figures – it’s about understanding what the real drivers of your potential market are, and how well suited your product or service is to this market.

Austrade has put together a list of useful websites that contain country information and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also provides trade and economic statistics, country and region fact sheets, and regular newsletters on overseas trade.

You could also contact private market research companies that produce reports on exporting.