ATEC has today welcomed recommendations outlined in the review of Australia’s Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program which calls for funding to the successful program to be lifted to $175 million over the next three years.
“The Review rightly identifies the EMDG as a highly successful and enabling program that has supported thousands of Australian businesses to move into new international export markets over the past 40 years,” ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley said today.
“There are very few programs which have shown such a long record of success and, as the tourism industry moves into a stronger export position, these grants are vital to the future of Australian export tourism.
“Tourism is already recognised as being our bright export star with the ability to grow at record levels. Programs which support businesses to invest in the development of new export markets are, ultimately, highly valuable Australia’s economic future.”
Mr Shelley said ATEC had made a submission to the review, outlining the value of the program to export tourism businesses across Australia and calling for even greater investment, restoring previous levels of funding equivalent to $228 million in current terms.
“While we recognise the Abbott Government has taken steps towards restoring the levels of EMDG funding, the report shows we are now seeing a growing number of applicants – a number which will only increase as demand for Australian goods from overseas markets increases.
“There is much at stake, with international spending on Australian export tourism products growing at 10% a year, so we must have significant Government focus on providing our industry with the tools it needs to capitalise further on this success.”
The Review reveals each dollar of an EMDG scheme grant generated an economic benefit of $7.03 when industry spillovers and productivity gains were taken into account.
“The positive signs for Australia’s export tourism industry are evident, so ATEC is wholly supportive of further expanding and enhancing a program with such a proven track record of success.
“Australia’s export tourism industry welcomes this report and strongly urges the Government to implement its recommendations.”