Australia offers extra support for small exporters

Trade Minister Simon Crean today announced that the Federal Government will make it easier for Australian exporters and overseas investors to obtain financial assistance.

                                                                                                                                          
16 September 2009
                                                                                                                                                                         Source:Government of Australia

The Federal Government will simplify and expand the powers of the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) to enable it to more effectively provide financial support.

Under the changes, a new broader eligibility test for small-to-medium-sized enterprises will be introduced.
Mr Crean said the changes reflected the increasingly sophisticated role Australian businesses play in the global economy and would help them respond to the global recession.

"Australian exporters face many challenges and find it difficult to access finance for expanding their operations nternationally," he said.

"Expanding EFIC's powers to better support Australian exporters will give a boost to this growing and dynamic sector of Australia's economy."

"The Government is working to help Australian businesses looking to export," Mr Crean said.

Under the changes, the simplification of EFIC's powers will reduce the cost burden on exporters of accessing EFIC's services by streamlining the eligibility criteria.

A new net economic benefit test for exporters will allow EFIC to provide assistance in broader circumstances to exporters which have an annual turnover of their corporate group of up to $100 million.

The broader test has been designed to provide effective assistance to exporters seeking to establish global supply and distribution chains and harness the opportunities from the globalising economy.

A business survey by Dun and Bradstreet released this month showed growing confidence among Australian companies with 46 percent of respondents expecting increased sales in the December quarter. However, 45 per cent of those surveyed also expected a negative impact on their business from difficult credit market conditions.

The expansion of EFIC's mandate will require changes to the EFIC Act.

As the Australian Government's export credit agency, EFIC helps Australian exporters and overseas investors to overcome financial barriers by providing finance, finance guarantees, insurance and bonding facilities.

Topics: exporters, small business, credit

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