Objective 4.2

Export assistance is known to services businesses, accessible and fit for purpose

The Government and industry agreed to work together to ensure services firms are able to access appropriate international business information in simple and intuitive ways.

Industry representatives encouraged the Government to make sure information about the kinds of support available is easily accessible and is not expressed purely in terms of support for exporters, as many service providers do not necessarily identify themselves as exporters.

Australian services firms do not always know how to access government support programs designed to help them grow their businesses internationally. Navigating the support on offer from State, Territory and Federal governments can be complex.

Industry highlighted that ‘Born Global’ firms have become increasingly common – these are firms that from the beginning pursue global opportunities. In Australia, there are approximately 3,000 new ‘Born Global’ firms each year, representing 5 per cent of all exporters. The bulk of these are in services sectors, such as creative services, IT and professional and business services.

The export environment for creative services has seen significant shifts over the past two decades with the emergence of digital streaming platforms, facilitating new pathways to international markets. Government information portals, such as the Global Business Support Finder, need to recognise the unique nature of creative services exports and offer better support for creative industries like music.

Industry underscored that eligibility requirements for export grants, like the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program, need to reflect all modes of services export. In particular, many services firms are increasingly delivering services digitally and online. These firms are at the forefront of new technology development and are important drivers of innovation in Australia.

Mining services representatives noted there is an opportunity to strengthen and optimise the link between Export Finance Australia’s support for domestic and offshore mining projects and participation by Australian services firms.

Health industry representatives noted the sector is well placed, like other professional and technical services providers, to support health capacity building projects in Australia’s overseas development assistance program. This provides opportunities for firms to demonstrate capacities in potential export markets.

The Government is committed to supporting ‘Born Global’ firms and supporting creative and other services industries, like film, music, video games, product design, software, engineering and architecture.

We continue to improve access to information on how to export through www.business.gov.au, which includes information on Australian Government, state and territory assistance.

The Government’s Global Landing Pads play an import role in assisting market-ready start-ups to access expertise, advice and business networks in major innovation hubs around the world. The landing pads program has supported over 300 start-ups and we continue to build awareness of the program.

A review of the most effective and efficient way for Government to support SME exporters in promoting their products and services overseas and enter new export markets, finalised in July 2020, has led to a change in how the Government provides marketing assistance to SMEs. The EMDG program will provide SMEs with more funding certainty before they embark on marketing, through a simpler process. It will continue to support all Australian exporters, not prioritising any product or market.

Export Finance Australia will ensure that the domestic and overseas resources projects it supports contain significant Australian content, including through SME supply chain participation. It will continue to work closely with Austrade to facilitate this.

Australia has world-class health services. Exporting this expertise to deliver the Australian aid program is possible and supported under DFAT’s procurement and grants policies. Suppliers are welcome to join the DFAT Supplier Network LinkedIn Group that provides information on the Australian Aid Program. More information is available at www.dfat.gov.au.

In delivering development assistance, it is important that Australian expertise does not replace local expertise where it is available. This is so Australian aid can have greater impact in building local skills and industries. This is in line with strict development principles the Government subscribes to, including the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

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