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For businesses at all stages of the export process, there’s a host of federal and state government assistance to help you start, develop, and promote in overseas markets. We’ve put together a list of what’s on offer for exporters.

Federal Government

Active ImageAusIndustry

AusIndustry is the Australian government agency for delivering products, services, and information to support industry, research and innovation. While the agency provides a host of grants and assistance programs for SMEs, its Tradex Scheme is most significant to exporters. This initiative provides relief to individuals or organisations via an up-front exemption from Customs duty and GST on imported goods intended for re-export or to be used as inputs to exports. It also removes the need to ‘drawback’ these charges after export.

Contact: phone the AusIndustry Hotline on 132 846, email hotline@ausindustry.gov.au or visit www.ausindustry.gov.au


Austrade is Australia’s trade facilitation and export agency. The Austrade website provides information on their services to new and existing exporters, industry and country profiles, key export opportunities, a comprehensive trade events calendar, and details to contact the agency. Austrade facilitate a number of federal government grants, programs and initiatives, to businesses in order to boost Australia’s exports including:

•    Australian Suppliers Database: Austrade’s key marketing tool for Australian registered companies who are existing or potential exporters. Register your details on the Austrade website to join.

•    www.fta.gov.au : the online guide to Australia’s Free Trade Agreements.

•    Trade missions, market visits and international trade fairs: Austrade conduct several trade missions to key Australian export markets each year. Austrade can also assist in sending delegations to international trade fairs and will often have their own stand at such overseas and Australian events. Check out upcoming missions and events at the ‘trade events’ section of the Austrade website.

•    Free online e-business training: three courses are available to assist exporters conducting business online. Visit http://austradeebusiness.southrock.com for more information and to register for any of the courses

•    Export Capability Tool: allows business to learn the key capabilities necessary, in relation to aptitude and attitude that contribute to their company’s successful entry into export.

•    TradeStart: a national network of export assistance offices, formed from partnerships between Austrade and a range of local private and public sector (such as state government departments) organisations throughout Australia.

•    New Exporter Development Program: a free package of export services designed to assist Australian SMEs develop their businesses overseas and make their first export sale.

•    Export Market Development Grants scheme: provides assistance to businesses by reimbursing part of their export promotional expenses. Applicants can qualify for up to 50 percent reimbursement of eligible export marketing expenses above $15,000 per annum to a maximum of seven grants. Up to $150,000 per year may be reimbursed.

•    Australian Export Awards: These annual awards acknowledge Australia’s top exporters. Each state and territory runs its own awards program and the state winners of each designated national category go through to be a finalist in the national awards. For more information on the awards visit www.exportawards.gov.au

•    Newsletters: Austrade regularly produce a number of publications to keep exporters up to date on all the latest export hotspots, news, and events. To get on the mailing list for these, register on the Austrade website.

Contact: phone 132 878 or visit www.austrade.gov.au

Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS)

AQIS provides inspection and certification for a range of animal and plant products exported from Australia. AQIS export facilitation officers can provide exporters with a range of free advice and information.

Contact: phone AQIS Export Facilitation on (02) 6272 5027, email exportfac@aqis.gov.au or visit www.aqis.gov.au

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

Overall, DFAT aims to advance the interests of Australia and Australians internationally. Of particular benefit to exporters are its overseas business missions and its Market Information Service, which holds detailed trade intelligence data on the trading patterns of more than 90 countries. Companies planning overseas marketing activities can contact the department and have their request for information answered within 48 hours by disk or hard copy. DFAT also provides passport information and contact details of Australian Government offices overseas.

Contact: www.dfat.gov.au

Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC)

As an export credit agency, EFIC provides a number of products and services specifically for SMEs including their latest, EFIC Headway (see page 5 of Dynamic Export for more on this).

Contact: phone 1800 887 588 or visit www.efic.gov.au

Invest Australia

Trying to woo some overseas investors? Find all you need about why Australia is the place to invest through this initiative.

Contact: www.investaustralia.gov.au


New South Wales

Department of State and Regional Development (DSRD)

•    Counselling services: DSRD provides free counselling to NSW businesses entering export markets and can help guide you to things like market research, distribution options, and shipping information.

•    Export Advisers Network: provides hands-on advice and assistance to regional NSW companies to take full advantage of international market opportunities.

•    NSW Trade Promotion Program: by conducting trade missions, independent market visits and attending international trade exhibitions, this program offers export-ready NSW companies an effective and efficient way to identify new international business opportunities. DSRD’s program of missions is available on the department’s website or check out our events calendar (page 2 of Dynamic Export) for what’s coming up.

•    Service Exports Toolkit: an online resource to help service firms successfully take up international opportunities and expand sales through exporting.

•    Export Development: the NSW government’s new export opportunities program.

Contact: phone DSRD on 1300 134 359 or visit www.export.nsw.gov.au



Department of State Development, Innovation and Trade (DSDIT)

•    International Trade Show Assistance Program: assists eligible Queensland businesses with up to $5,000 in funding to help them participate in an international trade show or trade mission outside of Australia.

•    Queensland Industry Development Scheme: provides direct assistance to firms, networks, supply chains and clusters, for growth-generating projects.

•    International Business Cadetship Program: thanks to a successful partnership between the Queensland government and private sect
or industry sponsors, this program provides Queensland businesses with access to in-market knowledge, international networks and government resources to increase export sales or investment attraction for Queensland.

•    Services and programs: the Trade and International Opportunities division of DSDIT provides a number of services and programs to Queensland exporters at all levels including Export Passport seminars, Export Skills Workshops, the Export Manager program, and the Mentoring for Growth program.

Contact: phone (07) 3224 4035 or visit www.export.qld.gov.au



Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development (DIIRD)

•    Access programs: Victorian companies planning to establish new export markets in North America, China or the Middle East may be eligible to use the Victorian government’s office facilities, including desk space and staff support in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai. Free for the first two weeks and offered at a reduced rate thereafter.

•    Overseas Trade Fairs and Missions program: offers financial support to groups of companies who wish to participate in a trade fair or mission. For a copy of the program visit the website below.

•    Agribusiness Initiative: the Department of Natural Resources and Environment developed this to assist trade and regional marketing development within the food processing sector. Contact the department for more info on 136 186.

•    Collaborative Export Marketing: assists groups of companies and industry bodies in bids for international projects or in the implementation of collaborative export development initiatives. Grants of up to $100,000 can be used to recover 50 percent of eligible expenses.

•    First Step Exporter program: offers financial assistance to first-time Victorian exporters. A grant of up to $10,000 can be used to recover 50 percent of eligible expenses, provided for up to 12 months, and can include two trips offshore.

•    Next Step Exporter program: provides groups of existing exporters with access to an experienced export adviser for one year to enable them to significantly grow their export business.

     Export Entry Grants scheme: assists Melbourne-based, export-ready SMEs to enter and expand into new overseas markets. Grants are on a dollar-for-dollar basis for up to $10,000.

Contact: phone the Victoria Business Line on 132 215, contact the Export Coordination Unit at vicexport@iird.vic.gov.au or visit www.export.vic.gov.au


South Australia

Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED)

•    Market Access program: grants program to assist small and new exporters develop export capabilities, understand market dynamics, build relationships and establish sales in target markets. Includes grants for participation in outgoing and incoming trade missions.

•    Overseas offices: the SA government has commercial representation in seven target markets: London, China (Shanghai and Jinan), Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and India. Overseas representatives provide in-market assistance to SA businesses and help to attract business investment and migration to the state.

Contact: phone the Office of Trade on (08) 8303 2400 or visit www.exportsa.sa.gov.au


Western Australia

Department of Industry and Resources (DOIR)

•    DOIR’s Export Market and Development Division has industry and country specialists available to assist WA exporters.

•    Market Access and Development Scheme: provides financial support to companies and organisations for export capacity building, strategic market planning, and approved market access or export development activities.

•    International trade missions: the DIOR conducts missions to key events and markets around the world. For more information on upcoming missions, visit the ‘promotions/export leads’ section of the DOIR website.

•    Western Australian International Trade and Investment Offices: provide assistance and links to unlimited opportunities in existing and untapped markets in China, Europe, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia/Singapore, the Middle East, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the US.

Contact: www.doir.wa.gov.au/exportandtrade


Northern Territory

Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development

•    The department’s International Trade Division operates a number of initiatives for exporters, including an advisory service for new and existing exporters on areas such as logistics, market intelligence, and market visit information.

•    Trade Support Scheme: provides SMEs with financial support to market their products or services overseas. The grant can cover up to 50 percent of the cost towards a range of international marketing activities.

•    International offices: there are three representative offices managed by the Territory government in Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor. These offices help foster the state’s relationships with national and regional governments and business, and facilitate trade and investment opportunities.

Contact: phone the International Trade Division on (08) 8946 9550 or for more information visit www.tbc.nt.gov.au



Department of Economic Development

•    Seminars and workshops: these are coordinated in association with Tasmanian industry to help exporters develop their skills in areas such as export documentation, market specific exports, and banking and international law and insurance.

•    Export Market Acceleration program: designed to assist Tasmanian SMEs in planning, implementing and further developing their international marketing activities.

•    Tasmania Delivers promotional series: a series of promotional flyers and a DVD highlighting Tasmania’s capabilities, available to Tasmanian exporters for marketing purposes.

•    The department distributes a bi-monthly online newsletter, ExportActive. (To subscribe, visit the website below and follow the links.)

Contact: email export@development.tas.gov.au , phone 1800 440 026 or visit www.development.tas.gov.au/export

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