Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Australian exporters are increasing in number - and spending more on marketing their goods and services overseas - which is a positive sign that Australian exporters are competing effectively on the international stage.

The EMDG scheme is an entitlement to Australian Exporters enabling them to recover up to 50pc of their marketing spend through an export market development grant up to a limit of $150,000 per annum, and is regarded as one of Australia's most successful programmes helping small business help Australia - getting bipartisan support over the past 30 years.

For every dollar of government support given - Australian exporters generate 11 times that in export revenue back to Australia - encouraging employment, growth, increased taxes and wealth for Australians. 

The government has placed a cap of $137m per annum to support 3,195 claimants who have claimed a total of $165m (previous years $150m have been allocated). The EMDG is used as a political football with parties promising more support to this amazing group of entrepreneurs playing on the international stage.

Of the $150k maximum entitlement (which the exporter has to spend $305k to claim this grant), the government pays out between $40k and $60k in full (2014 applicants received $60k), with the balance apportioned based on the balance that is left in the pot. This year, the government will be paying 65pc of the entitlement to those exporters who were entitled to more than $60k.

Exporting is a great thing - and Australians face a number of challenges to get to overseas markets (tyranny of distance, etc ). The EMDG enables exporters to better compete on a level playing field. 

A review on the programme was conducted and a report should be given by the Minister of Trade this month. It has not been uncommon for goverments to increase the allocation provided to support the exporters to reward them with their entitlements - encouraging them to spend more money on marketing that should result in more sales!

My view ...... Support programmes that work! If there is an 11 times return on average dollar spend on marketing support - why place a limit on success? 

Surely this is an area where goverment should increase support ...      

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Ivan Kaye
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emdg, grants, smes, broken promises, exporters



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