Complementary Healthcare Council


With globalisation and increased commercial and economic pressures across national boundaries, the Australian complementary medicine manufacturing sector is under pressure to remain competitive and relevant. Whilst Australian manufacturers cannot be immune from global pressures, it is in the interests of all stakeholders, including the Australian government, to ensure that local industry is supported.

Considering the amount of competing information now available, this webpage seeks to provide CM manufacturers with readily accessible information related to the CM industry and trade opportunities and in this way help in promoting business opportunities for Australian companies.


“Australia is located in the right place at the right time – in the Asian region in the Asian century.” - the Asian Century White Paper

There is enormous potential for Australian manufactured complementary medicines to contribute to the Australian economy by exploiting export opportunities in this Asian Century.

The most populous region in the world, it is expected that by 2030 Asia will be home to the majority of the world’s middle class; an increasingly wealthy and mobile group of people that will account for about 60 % of global middle class consumption. This large demand for a large range of goods and services will include health and aged care, natural preventative care and high-quality food products.

Conservative estimates suggest that increasing non-resource exports to Asia through improved Asian capabilities could provide the Australian economy with an additional $60 billion to $115 billion over 10 years. As manufactured products currently represent around 76% of Australian merchandise exports (excluding mining), a substantial part of this potential export opportunity should be available to Australian manufacturers.

Tools for increasing exporting opportunity

  • Business Delegations
    Australian business leaders are invited to express an interest in joining these delegations.
  • Export Market Development Grants
    Austrade EMDG Scheme Applications are open for Export Market Development Grants 2014/ 2015 to 1 December 2014. The EMDG scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. The Coalition Government plans to boost the competitiveness of Australian business by building Australia’s manufacturing export base, and is therefore progressively restoring funding to Export Market Development Grants, allocating an initial $50 million boost over four years commencing in 2014–15.

Export Finance & Insurance Corporation
EFIC provides financial solutions to support the growth of Australian companies in their international activities.
  • assist businesses so that they can take advantage of commercial export and overseas investment opportunities
  • supports buyers of Australian goods and services in emerging markets and subcontractors to Australian exporters

Export Council of Australia
Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) results

DHL Export Barometer

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Australia’s Trade Agreements

AIBS 2014 India Report
MAA – India Labelling Requirement
the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is verifying at the time of import that products comply with its legislation for food labelling, and that products that use sticker type labels may not be deemed to be acceptable.


Health and Functional Foods to Japan
One of the largest functional food and beverage markets in the world (Approx. A$22 billion)

AIBS 2014 Japan Report

Natural Health Products to Taiwan
The 4th largest Asian market for nutritional supplements

Exporting Consumer Health Products
AIBS 2014 Indonesia Report

Australia in the Asian Century
Imaging Australia in the Asian Century
Developing and Asia capable workforce a national strategy
Manufacturing workforce issues paper October 2013
Australia in the Asian century Opportunities and challenges

Business Support
NSW government “Payroll relief”
Business Aid Centre
The Business Aid Centre provides you comprehensive information on a variety of Australian business grants and assistance programs
Export Project

Export business is essential for the Australian economy to stay competitive in the world. Complementary medicines currently contribute $3.5 billion to the Australian economy, providing jobs and supporting local manufacturing. This figure is expected to grow to $4.6 billion in 2017-2018.

Recently, free trade agreements have been negotiated with some of our Asian neighbours. There is no doubt that these free trade agreements can advance the growing Australian CMs industry, with significant potential to expand exports. Despite this, many obstacles, such as continued tariffs and regulatory controls, could still exist and constrict access to these markets.

Given this series of free trade negotiations with countries in Asia, CMA has initiated, on behalf of the complementary medicines industry, an ‘export project’, which focuses on target markets of particular interest to CMA members: China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Following intensive research on these markets, CMA launched “Advancing Market Access for Complementary Medicines in Australia” in September 2014. The report includes the following:
  • Examination of the nature of barriers to trade and investment faced by CM product companies in each of the target markets*;
  • Estimation of the size of the potential export market in each of the three countries that could result from more open markets and liberalization of barriers; and
  • Details on the positions the Australian Government should take to remove these barriers and increase exports to the target markets.

Contents of the Report “Advancing Market Access for Complementary Medicines in Australia”:
  • Barriers to trade and investment
  • Potential exports in Asian markets
  • Removing barriers and expanding exports in free trade agreements
  • Regulatory Regimes for CM products in China, Indonesia and Vietnam
  • Tariff Rates for CM products
  • Trade in supplements by Australia & target countries
  • International competitiveness of Australian supplements in China, Indonesia and Vietnam

The report is now available for purchase. If you are interested, please contact Miho Kikuchi at or by phone 02 6260 4022

About the Target Markets:


Australia and China reached a free agreement in November 2014. More than 85% of Australian goods exports will be tariff free upon entry into force, rising to93 % in 4 years. With the full implementation of the ChAFTA, 95% of Australian goods exports to China will be tariff free.


The Free trade agreement with Vietnam through the TPP (The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is under negotiation.


Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) is under negotiation.

R&D, Innovation

The deterioration of health in Australia is a crucial problem. Characterised by such medical problems as the rapid increase of obesity and chronic disease, there is a pressing concern about the excessive burden of associated medical costs on the economy. People are naturally aware that prevention is better than cure and that, therefore, we should focus on preventative health research. This is definitely one field in which the CM industry should be able to play important and innovative roles.

Unfortunately, government focus on preventative healthcare is limited and the CM industry does not receive adequate research funding and support. One factor necessary to promote the increased use of CMs in Australia is scientific research proving their effectiveness.

The CM industry is advocating for more research and innovation funding and support for the development of evidenced-based medicine, which is essential for the competitiveness of the industry

Available research funds

According to 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, “talent-driven innovation” was chosen as the most critical driver of a nation’s competiveness among the 10 major categories of drivers such as quality and availability of scientists, researchers, engineers and skilled production workers. This clearly indicates that companies must innovate to stay ahead of competition within the global market. Yet, research indicates that 90% of executive in the EU and 79% of executives in the US admit that the current intellectual property policies give them an advantage in manufacturing competitiveness. We therefore, need government’s support by playing an active role in protecting intellectual property in order to protect the national interest.

  • The R&D Tax Incentive
    It provides targeted research and development (R&D) tax offsets designed to encourage more companies to engage in R&D.

In the wake of the increasing intensity of competition for global markets, the CM industry may be able to utilise the Innovation patent proactively when applicable.

Seminars and Event Info

China Business Training
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has announced that registrations for the China Business Training programme 2014 are now open. The purpose of this programme is to help NZ companies conduct better business in China by providing information and training resources.

Invitation to Attend Industry Focus Group by Export Council of Australia

The Export Council of Australia has surveyed the international business landscape; now it’s time to build the foundation for positive change. The ECA invites exporters to join the discussion in a series of focus groups intended to provide an opportunity to share experiences that have shaped international business, learn from your peers, network with other exporters and unpack the results of the Australian International Business Survey 2014.

Webinars organized by Austrade

They will provide overviews of the Indonesian and Chinese markets and include information on key events, registration processes and opportunities.
  • 1. Indonesian market
    The proposed date: Thursday, August 28 at 1:30pm ( this is 10:30 am Jakarta time) - finished
  • 2. Chinese market – the detail will be informed shortly
Other Useful Links

The Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 highlights that one of Australia’s disadvantages for remaining competitive within global markets is the “burden of government regulation”. On the other hand, according to The Coalition’s Policy to Boost Productivity and Reduce Regulation July 2013, the Coalition Government is currently working on reducing this regulatory burden.

Useful links:

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