Our export industry is growing – 5 per cent year-on-year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Positive financial outlooks and an ever-growing innovative sphere mean that Australians are embracing export as a clear-cut opportunity for growth. And with that comes the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG).


New #export opportunities for #AusBiz lie ahead with the signing of #FreeTradeAgreement with #Peru https://t.co/jL5j9dNwpb pic.twitter.com/CJ88AvJCcS

— DFAT (@dfat) February 12, 2018


Beyond providing a strong incentive for conducting export activity, the EMDG can actually help to protect your business. By reimbursing 50 per cent of your promotional expenses (when total costs exceed $15,000), this grant can act as a crucial mitigator of export risks – like these three.


1) Increased exporter competition


The export market growth we mentioned before is both blessing and curse. While more activity is excellent at a sector-wide level, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) may view this simply as increased competition – and they’d be right to.


Take these figures as an illustration. In the 2015-16 financial year, 113 “mega” Australian exporters (3.6 per cent of all organisations) generated 72.6 per cent of our country’s total export value. That leaves just over a quarter of export revenue split up between an incredible 96.4 per cent of the industry in terms of business count – all micro-businesses or SMEs.


As the industry grows and globalisation spreads, this split will become even starker. The EMDG won’t be a silver bullet to export competition, but it will provide sweet financial relief in the crowded promotional sphere.

EMDG can provide financial relief in the crowded promotional sphere.

 How to Claim an Export Market Development Grant

2) Political and legal risk

We have begun the year with some concerning news. President Trump’s proposed steel and aluminium tariffs are just one part of a steady rise in protectionist policy coming out of the US, which can pose a significant threat for Australian exporters.


Steeper tariffs reduce the financial sustainability of doing business – considering the US is one of our top export markets, mitigation strategies will be essential for a massive number of local companies. One of AusTrade’s top strategies for overseas legal risk is getting on-the-ground advice. This is not a cost that the EMDG covers, but it can provide reimbursement for marketing trips, facilitating opportunities to seek out that valuable advice.

Top strategies for overseas legal risk involves getting on-the-ground advice.


3) Intellectual property risk


Securing intellectual property (IP) protection at a domestic level does not, unfortunately, extend the same authority to your business globally. Many Australian exporters have taken their product to the world, only to find their target country is home to a business with a stable claim to a brand or name – there’s a reason Burger King is called Hungry Jack’s here.


Failing to secure IP protection in your target markets can result in lengthy court action, wasted money on branded material, and even necessitate a wholesale refresh of your offering. However, this kind of risk is definitively in the realm of the EMDG.


For IP registrations in foreign markets that cost $50,000 or less, the EMDG can cover the costs as a reimbursement. Additionally, insurance costs incurred in securing the rights will come under the EMDG umbrella. Note that you can’t claim for free samples of your IP and the work done on the offering must have been largely conducted within Australia.


Know the risks – and the way to mitigate them


The export sphere can be daunting for SMEs and startups – everyone has an idea, a product, a service that they believe is the best. Factor in the global risks, and challenges can seem insurmountable.


But they aren’t. With the help of the team at Techwitty, your business can gain the know-how and practical advice it needs to make a successful EMDG claim and take on the world. Are you ready?



Extract: Developing your product for export markets introduces a whole new set of risks that can destabilise your business. By identifying those risks early, you can work out strategies to mitigate them – and the export market development grant is perfectly set up to help you do this. Are you ready?

Assess Your Eligibility Now