From resource boom to digital boom: Capturing Australia’s digital trade opportunity at home and abroad

As international trade increasingly spills into the digital sphere with potentially huge economic benefits for Australia’s economy, developing a knowledge base around the topic of digital trade becomes ever critical. New research shows that while digital trade already contributes significantly to Australia’s economy, there is a $192 billion opportunity for the country’s domestic sectors – with the right settings. However, the digital trade dividend may yet prove elusive, if digital trade is not fully facilitated abroad.

Besides creating value from abroad through digital exports, digital trade also supports large productivity improvements in Australia’s domestic sectors. Yet, traditional economic measures fail to adequately measure the value of digital trade to exports and Australia’s economy.

A robust fact base is thus crucial to ensure that the value of digital trade is fully appreciated and taken into account when formulating trade and economic policy. This includes assessing (a) the current and future value of the digital trade opportunity for Australia’s exports and the domestic economy; (b) perceived concerns relating to digital trade abroad and how these could be addressed without unduly impeding digital trade flows; (c) priority areas Australia should advocate for abroad in order to fully harness the benefits while managing the potential risks of digital trade.

This research by AlphaBeta was commissioned by the Hinrich Foundation in collaboration with the Export Council of Australia (ECA). The Hinrich Foundation seeks to promote sustainable and mutually beneficial global trade, which it believes creates positive engagement between people and nations, and supports sustainable development. The ECA has a long, proud history of supporting Australian international business, having encouraged, educated and assisted Australian companies to take on the world for over 60 years.

Click here for the full report.

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