Small business encouraged to pursue exporting as figures rise

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said today that China continues to be the leading market for Australian services exports and was worth $7.5 billion in 2013-2014.

I agree with Minister Robb’s assessment that this figure will only increase as businesses capitalise on opportunities created through our recently concluded China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA). 

The ChAFTA is an historic agreement and unlocks significant opportunities for Australian small businesses and family enterprises. China is Australia’s largest export market for both goods and services, accounting for nearly a third of total exports and is a growing source of foreign investment.

With this in mind, I urge Australian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of the new opportunities that have been created by this historic agreement.

We want Australia to be the best place to build and grow a business. That is why we are working to ensure our SMEs have every opportunity to expand their operations into offshore markets.

As part of this work, on Wednesday 8 April 2015 I will host an information seminar in my electorate in Frankston, Victoria with experts from a range of agencies including Austrade, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Treasury. The seminar is open to all businesses and will provide valuable information on how they can take advantage of the opportunities created by the FTAs. The seminar is part of a national roadshow being coordinated by Minister Robb.

Austrade, the Government’s export promotion agency, provides valuable advice on opportunities overseas. Support for SMEs seeking export opportunities is also available via the Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) and the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme.

The EMDG scheme is an Australian Government financial assistance scheme supporting a wide range of industry sectors for current and aspiring exporters, including many small businesses.

The Abbott Government enhanced the EMDG scheme to allow for improved access and included provisions to reduce the minimum expenditures threshold; increase the number of grants available to an applicant; reduce the current $5,000 deduction from the applicant’s provisional grant amount to $2,500; and enable grants to be paid more quickly once a grant has been determined.

Information on the FTA seminar in Frankston, Victoria is available on the Australian Trade Commission website.

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