​Ministerial Appointment Trade, Tourism & Investment

Ministerial Appointment Trade, Tourism & Investment

Export Council of Australia welcomes the appointment of the Hon Dan Tehan MP as the new the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.

“It is a great honour to serve the Australian people as a minister in the Morrison Government and I thank the Prime Minister for asking me to serve as the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment.”

“Australia is a trading nation. Our prosperity has been built on trade and our future relies on it. Trade creates jobs, drives innovation and underpins our economic growth. Trade is a mutually beneficial relationship between nations that enhances friendships, understanding, respect and co-operation. I will engage, listen and work tirelessly to advance Australia’s trade interests.

International capital helps us to finance new industries, enhance existing industries, invest in infrastructure and grow our economy. Investment by other nations in Australia also helps boost our exports by driving innovation and technological advancement. Investment by Australian companies overseas provides similar benefits at home and abroad.

Australia’s relationship with the world has been an enduring interest and passion of mine. I walked in the front doors of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1995 as a graduate and it is a great honour to be returning as the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment 25 years later. As a diplomat, as a senior adviser to the Trade Minister and as director of trade policy and international affairs at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, I have always strived to engage constructively with all nations, and this will be the approach I will continue to take.

I will work just as hard to grow, promote and strengthen Australia’s tourism industry. My electorate of Wannon is a popular tourist destination, so I have seen first hand the jobs and businesses that it supports and its importance to the life of our nation and, in particular, regional communities. Australia is a world-leading tourist destination that offers incredible attractions, activities and services. I will be proud to represent Australian tourism to the world.

It has been challenging and rewarding to serve as Education Minister. I am proud of what has been achieved in education. In my time as minister, we have delivered significant, long-lasting reforms.

We delivered record, needs-based funding for all schools, as recommended by David Gonski. Importantly, we focused on student outcomes, not just money, and improved teacher training and our focus on literacy and numeracy.

Our Child Care Subsidy continues to support families with the cost of child care so they can work, study and volunteer. Our Government’s decisive action in 2020 helped families, workers and child care providers and educators to navigate the COVID-19 lockdowns like no other country in the world.

In higher education, the Job-ready Graduates reforms will create more university places for Australian students, make degrees cheaper in areas of expected job growth and provide $900 million to fund STEM collaborations between universities and industry. Our additional $1 billion for university research will ensure important research that benefits our nation continues.

I would like to thank all the stakeholders in the education sector who have worked constructively with me to deliver improved educational outcomes for Australians, particularly in this year of challenges.

I congratulate the Hon Alan Tudge MP on his appointment as Minister for Education and Youth. I am confident he will continue to ensure that every Australian, no matter where they live, has access to a world-class education.

Most importantly, I would like to thank the people of Wannon for placing their faith in me. I will continue to strongly represent their interests and passionately advocate on their behalf. They understand the importance of service and acting in the nations long-term interest. It is because of their support that I am where I am today.”

Getting the Export Documentation Right – March 2021 Online Workshops

Getting the Export Documentation Right - March 2021 Online Workshops

The Export Council of Australia (ECA) has developed a series of workshops for companies wanting to understand export documentation requirements and/or gain assistance in training their team in processing documentation correctly and efficiently. Please note there are three workshops available covering different topics – learners can attend one or all three!

The preparation of export documentation can be confusing, time consuming, costly, and prone to human error, but correct export documentation is vital for any exporter to transact business in an efficient and cost effective way.

Topics and dates:

  • International Contracts of Sale & Incoterms 2020 | Monday 15 March 2021 | Register here
  • Export Documentation & Procedures Plus Costing for Export | Wednesday 17 March 2021 | Register here
  • International Payment Documentation & Risk Management | Thursday 18 March 2021 | Register here


$275 incl GST per workshop (2.5 hour duration each)

Register for all three workshops via this link and save $150!

WTO action to defend interests of Australia’s barley producers

WTO action to defend interests of Australia’s barley producers

The Liberal-National Government will continue to defend the interests of our barley producers and exporters by taking action in the World Trade Organization (WTO) over China’s imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the Government had made this decision after extensive consultation with the grains industry and stands ready to continue to defend the interests of our barley producers and all exporters.

“Whilst Australia respects China’s right, as with any nation, to undertake domestic investigations into anti-dumping matters, we do not agree with China’s decision to impose anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Australian barley,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Australia’s decision to take this step is consistent with our previous use of WTO processes. We have continued to raise our concerns with China on numerous occasions both bilaterally and through the relevant WTO Committees.
“We remain disappointed that China has not engaged with Australia to address these concerns and now believe that calling in the independent umpire is the most appropriate course of action to resolve this dispute.
“The WTO dispute settlement system is designed to allow members to settle their differences over trade matters in a respectful manner. Australia sees this action as an appropriate use of an established system to resolve our differences.
“We will now engage in formal WTO consultations with China with a view to resolving the disagreement before the matter proceeds to adjudication before a panel. We stand ready to work with China at any stage to resolve this issue in a cooperative manner, as we have previously done with other nations.
“WTO dispute resolution processes are not perfect and take longer than would be ideal. However, they give independent and transparent scrutiny to issues, with valuable opportunities for the participation of other nations or third parties.”
Agriculture Minister and Deputy Leader of the Nationals David Littleproud said Australian barley growers deserved to have their case adjudicated by the independent umpire.
“Australia has always supported a rules based trading system, we will always treat our trading partners fairly but we will also stand up for the rights and interests of Australian exporters.
“We have previously taken action against Canada with respect to the treatment of our wine and achieved a positive outcome and we are currently involved in action against India on sugar. I am confident that we will be able to deliver a good outcome for our grains industry.
“Australia has consistently stood firmly by our values and principles and our farmers at all times, and it is important that we continue to protect our sovereignty into the future,” Minister Littleproud said.

Trade agreement with the Pacific enters into force

Trade agreement with the Pacific enters into force

Farmers, businesses and investors across Australia and the Pacific will have their trade opportunities boosted from today with the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) coming into force.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said PACER Plus was a major step in strengthening Australia’s relationship with our Pacific partners and would play a valuable role in supporting recovery in the region from COVID-19.

“This trade deal ensures greater market access and lower tariffs across a range of products that will benefit communities, farmers, fishers, businesses and investors in our region,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We’re committed to working together to ensure businesses in the Pacific and across Australia take advantage of the new trade and investment opportunities PACER Plus will bring.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the entry into force of the Agreement offered important opportunities at a time when the region was focussed on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ll continue to work closely with our Pacific family to bring the Agreement to life. The next phase of PACER Plus represents another opportunity to deliver our shared vision for our Blue Pacific,” said Minister Payne.
Australia will support our Pacific partners to implement the trade agreement, maximising opportunities for their local businesses to access export markets.
Funding under PACER Plus will allow more countries access to an existing program focussed on improving market access to Australia for specific horticultural and agricultural products. By assisting Pacific countries to meet the biosecurity and quality requirements, countries will be able to maintain and develop their agricultural export markets – an important opportunity to support livelihoods through trade.
Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and New Zealand are Parties to the Agreement. The remaining signatories that are yet to ratify are Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Signatories will become Parties to the Agreement 60 days after they have ratified the Agreement.
For more information on PACER Plus, refer to: https://www.dfat.gov.au/PACER-Plus

Reforms to the Export Market Development Grants scheme pass Parliament

Reforms to the Export Market Development Grants scheme pass Parliament

On the 11th of December, The Parliament passed legislation that backs Australian businesses to grow their exports and create jobs through reforms to the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme.

The EMDG scheme is a key Government financial assistance program to help aspiring and current exporters increase their marketing and promotional activities in international markets. Last year alone over 4000 Small and Medium Enterprises accessed the EMDG scheme, employing almost 69,000 Australians and generating exports worth $3.7 billion.
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham welcomed the passing of the legislation that will better assist Australian exporters to enter new markets or expand their presence in existing markets, which will be critical to boosting export activity and support Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
“The reforms that passed Parliament following an independent review into the administration of the EMDG scheme centre on cutting red tape, increasing awareness of the scheme and giving exporters more funding certainty,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The legislation shifts the scheme from a reimbursement model to a grants scheme, meaning eligible exporters will now receive funding closer to when they incur costs, giving more confidence that EMDG funding will genuinely boost their international marketing and promotional activities.
“At the same time, simplifying application processes and reducing the administrative burden on exporters whilst still maintaining integrity in the scheme will allow recipients to focus on boosting export activities and ensure maximum return on taxpayer’s investment.
“Schemes like EMDG that support Australian businesses as they look to go global or expand their overseas footprint will be vital to continue growing the number of Australian exporters and the total value of Australian exports into the future which will help create more jobs.”
The new EMDG scheme will commence on 1 July 2021.
For more information on the scheme, please go to: Export Market Development Grants (EMDG)

Recognising Australia’s remarkable exporters

Recognising Australia’s remarkable exporters

Australia’s innovative exporters and investors have today been recognised for the contribution they make to our economy at the online Remarkable Australian Exporters’ Showcase.

The recognition program highlights hundreds of stories submitted by Australian exporters showcasing their ability to adapt to the challenges of 2020 in creative and inspiring ways.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said the recognition program was a unique opportunity to acknowledge the enormous contribution our exporters make to the economy and to creating more jobs.
“This year has been like no other for Australia’s 53 000 exporters. This is about recognising and celebrating our exporters the incredible resilience they have shown in the face of major disruptions brought on by COVID-19,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Exporters from across Australia have had to find new ways to engage in the trading environment by embracing technology, developing new products or rethinking their operating models.
“The stories of these exporters cover a breadth of talent and ingenuity from premium goods, manufacturing and health services to creative arts and software development.
“After an incredibly tough year for, I’m delighted to recognise our remarkable exporters and the enormous contribution they make to our economy and the millions of jobs they support.”
Eight exporting businesses from across Australia were chosen to feature in the online exporters’ showcase, from a field of 340 businesses:

Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Gee said Australia’s exporters were tackling the challenges of the COIVD-19 pandemic head on.

“Our exporters have demonstrated incredible strength and resilience this year, with many taking risks, pivoting their business models and investing in new technology to remain competitive.

“The Remarkable Australian Exporters’ Showcase is a great opportunity to recognise the hard-work of our Aussie exporters and learn from their stories and experiences.

“The success of our exporters is critical to rebuilding and restoring confidence in Australia’s economy – they spearhead our prosperity.

“We are committed to helping our exporters access new international markets and expand their presence in existing markets, and Australians can do their bit too this festive season by buying local and supporting great Aussie businesses.”

“I also acknowledge Accenture, Korea Zinc and Sledgehammer who received the Minister’s Investment Awards in recognition of the positive contribution foreign direct investment makes to the economy in creating jobs and driving innovation,” Minister Birmingham said.

The Australian Trade and Investment Commission and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry have run this year’s program that replaces the Australian Export Awards.

For more information, visit: www.exportawards.gov.au.

Australia-Singapore digital trade agreement kicks-off

Australia-Singapore digital trade agreement kicks-off

The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement (DEA) has kicked-off, setting a new global benchmark for digital trade rules and providing more digital trade opportunities for businesses and consumers in both countries.

The Agreement is expected to deliver practical improvements to lower costs and make it easier for Australian exporters to do business in Singapore, including in areas of personal data protection, e-invoicing, paperless customs procedures, and electronic certification for agricultural exports.

Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the Agreement would benefit Australia’s digital exports to Singapore, our largest two-way trading partner in South-East Asia.
“This Agreement sets a high standard of rules for digital trade and will transform the way Australian businesses operate and interact with Singaporean businesses and consumers,” Minister Birmingham said.
“As Singapore’s economy continues to become more digitised and sophisticated, this Agreement will make it easier for Australian businesses to connect with the rising number of Singaporean businesses and consumers involved in cross-border digital trade.
“Reducing trade barriers and providing more export opportunities for Australian businesses to reach more customers is absolutely critical as we continue the economic recovery from COVID-19.
“This ambitious digital trade deal sets new benchmarks including simplified arrangements for the exchange of electronic trade documents, and new rules that will prevent unnecessary data localisation requirements, including for the financial services sector, and forced technology transfers which can stifle trade and investment flows.
“Importantly, the Agreement also balances digital trade outcomes with strong protection of privacy and consumer rights, providing certainty for businesses operating online and consumers accessing products and services.”
The DEA upgrades the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) through a new Digital Economy chapter. The full text of the DEA and a summary of its key features are available at: Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement.

ECA featured member: Troy Animal Healthcare

ECA featured member: Troy Animal Healthcare

Troy Animal Healthcare have been a member of the Export Council of Australia for just 2 years, they joined the ECA after they required help to update their export processes. The business wanted to ensure they were up to date with paperwork requirements and were maximising advances in FTAs and Government support.

“The training and support we have received from ECA has helped us reduce time preparing documents and ensured that we have accessed available support from Australia’s State and National governments,” said Craig Shepherd, Export Manager at Troy Animal Healthcare.

Who Is Troy Animal Healthcare?

Troy Animal Healthcare is a 100% privately owned Australian manufacturer of animal health products supplying local and international markets.
Servicing the Companion animal, Food animal and Equine markets from our state-of-the-art facility in Sydney NSW, Australia.
Founded in 1958 by a group of Veterinarians with the objective to provide product of the highest quality at affordable prices, Troy Laboratories have flourished over the past 60 years and is considered one of the leading manufacturers & suppliers of Veterinary products across the region.
Troy Animal Health employs over 60 personnel and manufactures and markets over 140 animal health products for both OTC and Veterinarian only markets.
Troy has been exporting for over 10 years and is internationally recognised. Currently we export to over 17 country’s including Asia, Middle East and South American regions providing marketing & support including education to both Veterinarians and animal owners that use our products.

The biggest challenges in 2020:

“Being a pharmaceutical company it is important that we get our products to our customers quickly and efficiently. Using both Air freight and Sea freight our challenges start with how hard it has been to find flights and then the increased cost of flights available has been unavoidable,” said Craig.

“Whilst sea freight has been better regarding schedules it means our products take much longer to get to where they need to get to and our customers run the risk of being out of stock.

Over the last year the problems we all face is the inability to visit new and existing countries to grow our business further and this has meant that we have had to rely on meetings via Zoom to connect with our partners which sometimes can be quite difficult with time zones and dealing with technology.”

Making the most out of difficult times:

“Despite these difficult times our export business has grown and we have seen growth of over 30% last year and this year has also shown double digit growth, largely due to being more efficient in finding ways around problems and providing our customers with better service and the ECA has certainly been a big part in helping us through this minefield.”

Diversifying trade might require playing more video games

Diversifying trade might require playing more video games

In November, Sony and Microsoft released their next generation videogame consoles: the PlayStation 5, and the Xbox Series S/X. In each case, two versions of the console were made available to consumers, with the most visible difference between the two being that the cheaper version have a disc drive. Being able to go to the shop and buy a physical version of your next videogame will now cost you extra.

Chances are, this isn’t a big deal for you. Already, nearly three-quarters of the $4 billion Australians spend on videogames every year is spent through digital sales. For someone like me, who still enjoys collecting physical cases of my games, this is terrible news. But the shift away from physical and towards digital distribution has been a boon for Australian videogame developers who are now able to easily export their videogames across the whole world.

Once upon a time, getting a videogame to market meant surviving a gauntlet of obstacles. Throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s, much like with book publishing, if the world’s few videogame publishers weren’t interested in supporting or distributing your videogame, you simply couldn’t get it to a broad market. But since the early 2000s, the rise of digital platforms like Apple’s App Store, Valve’s Steam, and Google Play have allowed developers around the world to circumvent these publishers and bring their games directly to consumers around the world. Digital distribution has radically changed the nature of the global videogame industry, and who is able to join it.
Australian game developers have been taking full advantage of this situation for a decade now. Many of the earliest successes of the App Store were developed here, including Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride, Firemint’s Flight Control, and Defiant Development’s Ski Safari. More recently, Australian games released digitally on consoles and PC are taking the world by storm, such as House House’s Untitled Goose Game, and Mountain’s Florence.
Importantly, the success of these independent games sees most of the profits flow back to the creators themselves, rather than taken by overseas publishers, allowing the creators to reinvest that money locally. Australia’s videogame industry can therefore become a leading export industry, with minimal costs in regards to goods distribution throughout the world.
This isn’t to say everything is easy for Australian developers. As independents, often without the up-front support of publishers, Australian game developers often lack the resources needed to get their games off the ground. Travelling to international conferences and exhibitions—crucial for meeting investors and partners—is a massive resource sink for Australian developers, never mind the time needed to create a prototype. Discoverability is another issue. Developers all over the world are similarly taking advantage of digital distribution, and literally hundreds of games are released on some of these platforms every single day.
All of these challenges are preventing the Australian game industry from meeting its full potential as a large and vibrant export industry of Australian cultural products. Many Australian developers simply can’t afford to take the creative risks or build the commercial networks necessary to get their exciting new videogames out there.
Governments around Australia have started trying to rectify this with various forms of support. In different states around Australia, developers can now access funds to get their projects off the ground, business mentorship, or travel bursaries to get to the major conferences overseas. But most of this support is still state specific, and many of Australia’s developers need so much more support if the industry is going to meet its full potential.
In 2020, as many of us have faced economic uncertainty and social isolation, many of us have turned to videogames to entertain us and our families, and to connect to our distant friends and relatives. Indeed, the videogame industry has proven itself to be a particularly resilient industry in the face of the pandemic, in large part due to its digital nature. It’s an industry that, with the right support, could be one of Australia’s major export sectors in the post-Covid economy.

Exporters must pivot to new markets

Exporters must pivot to new markets

Recent official Chinese messaging suggests that our bilateral relationship has now entered a new low. Without doubt, China’s recent actions, including restrictions imposed on particular Australian exports, are deliberate. We suspect that the relationship has now changed in character for the foreseeable future. We advise Australian exporters to brace for a longer period of contention.