Thursday 6 July 2023
Media Release: Albanese Government must rule out axing EMDG Grants Program
Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism, the Hon Kevin Hogan MP has rung the bell on the Albanese Government’s plans to axe the Export Market Development Grants program for certain markets.
The comments follow yesterday’s release by Austrade of an EMDG Grants program Strategic Refocus Review and consultation paper.
“Under the cover of a ‘strategic review’ and a consultation process, the Government has already planned to make certain markets that it deems strategically unimportant to its agenda ineligible,” Mr Hogan said.
“Word on the street is the Government is targeting the Middle East, Africa and Latin American markets for the eligibility chopping block.
“These are not insignificant markets for Australian exports, nor without growth opportunities. Exports to the Middle East and African markets are valued at over $20.7 billion and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s even promotes Latin America online as a market “abounding in opportunities”.
“The focus of this review is already creating a great deal of uncertainty and despair for exporters operating or seeking to diversity into these markets.
“If this plan goes ahead, the Albanese Government will not only undermine the export plans of thousands of Australian exporters but will also do significant damage to our trade relationships with these markets.
“This proposed approach is discriminatory, unfair, and inconsistent with the Government’s mantra of trade diversification.
“It is also bad government to try and pick market winners in this way.
“I call on the Minister for Trade and Tourism to rule out axing markets from the program.
“If he won’t or can’t then rather than waste time with a phony consultation process, he needs fess up to exporters now about which markets are set to be ruled out from the grants program.”
Media contact: Kevin Hogan – 0428 291 307 or Alison Penfold – 0408 633 026