Australian Capital Territory

Canberra is a services city, driven by a knowledge-based economy that values people and ideas. This basis as a service economy is also reflected in the ACT’s overall export mix – in the 2019/20 financial year global services exports from the ACT were valued at $2.1 billion, accounting for over 95% of total ACT export value.

The ACT Government seeks to maintain sustainable year-on-year growth for our services sector, particularly in our ‘areas of strength’, which include:

  • Education and Research;
  • Tourism;
  • Defence;
  • Cyber Security;
  • Renewable Energy; 
  • Innovation, ICT and e-Government;
  • Space Industry;
  • Health and Sports Science;
  • Arts, Culture and Creativity; and
  • Agri-technology and Food Sciences.

The ACT Government is focused on strengthening our economic, social and community resilience through the decline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a trade lens, this will involve re-establishing overseas relationships, connectivity and supply chains within key markets. The ACT Government’s priorities for our service industries are outlined in more detail within Canberra’s International Engagement Strategy.

The ACT Government leads and supports a range of initiatives that align with the Services Export Action Plan, and it supports Canberra businesses across their export journeys. These range from our flagship capacity-building programs, the International Business Engagement Program and the Chief Minister’s Export Awards, to co-funded initiatives like the CBR Innovation Network (CBRIN).

  • CBRIN, alongside other ACT Government co-funded business incubators and accelerators, like the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT) and the Canberra Cyber-Hub, look to build on Canberra’s unrivalled collaboration between Government, universities and the business community across different sectors (see Action 4.1A).
  • The Innovation Connect Grants Program, delivered by CBRIN with matched funding from the ACT Government, is designed to help Canberra-based businesses develop innovative products and services and supports the thriving start-up culture in Canberra and it empowers entrepreneurs to develop and grow their innovative ideas (in line with Action 4.1B).
  • The ACT Government, through the Office of International Engagement, has a dedicated trade team that includes export officers and an entrenched TradeStart adviser that assist export businesses of all sizes and from all sectors. A case management approach supports ACT businesses – from those who are just starting out with exporting, to established exporters looking to grow to new markets – access assistance, make connections and develop action plans to realise their goals (see Action 4.2B).
  • Through the International Business Engagement Program, in collaboration with the Canberra Business Chamber working as our delivery partner, the ACT Government delivers market intelligence briefings to Canberra exporters covering contemporary trade issues, country briefings, Free Trade Agreement updates and emerging export opportunities (see Action 5.2C and Action 5.3A).

Further information:

International Business Engagement Program

Chief Minister’s Export Awards

CBR Innovation Network

Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology

Canberra Cyber-Hub

Innovation Connect Grants Program

Office of International Engagement