Export grants extension

THE federal government’s Export Market Development Grants scheme has been extended until July 2011. During the 2004-05 financial year, Austrade provided 310 Western Australian businesses with $11.5 million in Export Market Development Grants, which helped generate nearly $355 million in export sales for the recipient companies. “Extending the scheme will give greater certainty for Australian exporters, because they can plan their long-term export promotion activities in the knowledge that the EMDG scheme will be there to help,” Trade Minister Mark Vaile said. The scheme encourages small and medium sized Australian businesses to develop sustainable export markets and EMDG reimburses up to 50 per cent of expenses incurred on eligible export promotion activities, above a threshold amount. The review will highlight a number of key changes to be made to the scheme, including increasing overseas visit allowance from $200 to $300 per day, amending the scheme’s rules to provide flexibility in handling emerging export sector applications that do not technically meet the current principal status requirements. These changes will apply to EMDG applications lodged from July 1 2007.

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