Review of financial assistance to SME exporters


A review of the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme and Australian Government financial assistance to SME exporters has been announced by the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham. The review will consider how Government can make it easier and simpler for businesses to access support, consistent with the Government’s commitment to streamline service delivery.

The EMDG scheme is a key Government financial assistance programme to help aspiring and current exporters grow their business overseas. While the Government boosted the EMDG scheme by $60 million in the 2019-20 budget, the scheme has not seen significant reform in over 40 years. The Review will also take into account research to explore the impact financial assistance can have on exporters and to understand the characteristics of successful exporters.

More than 3,700 SMEs accessed the EMDG scheme in 2018 and the Government hopes to increase the number of exporters by 10,000 over the next three years, and to create an additional 250,000 trade-related jobs over the next five years.

The life sciences industry is global in nature and relies on international trade and investment for success. It is also characterised by a large number of micro and small business in growth phases. While these small and emerging innovative businesses are beneficial for Australia’s economic growth, it also provides challenges for the companies themselves in accessing global markets.

The Review will seek the views of exporters and any interested parties through a series of face‑to‑face consultations around Australia, webinars and calls for online written submissions, commencing in October 2019. AusBiotech has expressed its interest in being involved in this process. For members wishing to add comment to AusBiotech’s submission, please contact Andrew Mosley, Director, Policy and Programmes.

A report will be provided to the Government by March 2020.

Read more here.