The Export Consultants Association Inc. (ECAI ) today commented that the Report to Trade Minister Andrew Robb following the independent review of the Export Market Development Grant ( EMDG ) scheme reinforces that Government funding to encourage and sustain small and emerging exporters is working well and contributing beneficially to the economy.

The report conducted by Michael Lee (Ex Director of Zip Industries) is undoubtedly the most comprehensive ever undertaken on the EMDG program and it draws out insightful issues not only on the way the EMDG program operates, but also how this incentive program has underpinned export development success for many emerging exporters over many years.

While the report has focused on the impact of the EMDG over more recent years since the recovery from the GFC, the evidence from the 188 public submissions confirms the EMDG scheme which has now operated for the past 40 years, has been the most successful economic stimulus initiative ever introduced into the Federal Parliament.
Rod Campbell (Chair of ECAI) indicated Export Consultants now lodge some 70% of applications on behalf of applicants and the recommendation for the report to strengthen the involvement between EMDG consultants and Austrade (who administer the program) is greatly welcomed by ECAI to further improve the process and effectiveness of this program.

The budget for Government funding is an ongoing issue for economic management and the report by Mr Lee suggesting incremental increases to the annual EMDG budget is undoubtedly the most compelling of the 10 recommendations.

This recommendation to expand funding is strongly supported by the KPMG report evaluating the economic contribution on the EMDG program which ranks this incentive far better than the R&D Tax Incentive program (which has unlimited funding ).
The EMDG review report and its recommendations are commended by ECAI as an excellent setting for the Government to make a real commitment to a program that offers sustained support to emerging exporters.

Jobs growth and investment in business efficiencies arise from growing export markets and these fundamentals can be facilitated by the EMDG program provided exporters can have some certainty the Government will fully fund the rebate on their export marketing investments.

Doubts on whether the annual budget allocation will fully fund exporters EMDG payments has been the single major uncertainly with the current EMDG program
Michael Lee’s comprehensive report does deliver and gives the Government some direction on how to overcome this problem. Well Done.
(For further comments by ECAI on EMDG review report available here or via ECAI Secretariat)