The Morrison Government will review the export market development grants (EMDG) scheme as part of its commitment to continue growing the number of Australian exporters and the total value of Australian exports.
The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme is a key Government financial assistance program to help aspiring and current exporters grow their business overseas. Last year alone over 3,700 Small and Medium Enterprises accessed the EMDG scheme, employing almost 69,000 Australians and generating exports worth $3.7 billion.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the review would examine how the Government can best support Australian exporters or prospective exporters to successfully enter new markets, diversify into existing markets or pursue new export growth strategies.
“Our Government has overseen substantial growth in the number of Australian exporters and the total value of Australian exports, delivering record trade surpluses that are making a major contribution to the economy and to creating more Australian jobs,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The benefits of encouraging more export activity are widespread, with Australian businesses that export, on average, hiring 23 per cent more staff, paying 11 per cent higher wages and having labour productivity 13 per cent higher than non-exporters.
“The EMDG scheme has shown itself to be a helpful program for exporters to expand into international markets, develop brand recognition overseas and form relationships with potential customers. However, like every program we must ensure we are getting maximum return on taxpayers investment.
“This review will help to ensure that EMDG grants play the biggest possible role possible in boosting export activity and creating more jobs.
“We want hear from exporters, peak bodies and industry groups from around Australia about how the EMDG scheme can better help Australian businesses to go global and become long-term sustainable exporters.”
Ms Anna Fisher, co-owner of Zontes Footstep (a wine industry exporter and multiple EMDG recipient) will lead the review and will draw on the business and export experience of Ms Christine Holgate (CEO of Australia Post and former CEO of Blackmores) and Mr Bruce Armstrong (CEO of services exporter Aspen Medical) as her advisors for the Review.
The review will include face-to-face consultations around Australia, as well a series of webinars and calls for online submissions in response to the Terms of Reference. A report will be provided to the Government by March 2020.
As part of the review, Austrade will also commission research to explore the impact financial assistance can have on exporters and what it takes to be a successful exporter.