This content is under review and will be transferred to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources as a result of the Administrative Arrangements Order made on 5 December 2019 with effect from 1 February 2020.

Accessing global markets


The export of Australian products and services means more Australian jobs and a stronger economy for all of us. The Australian Government is delivering better access to export markets, so small business can benefit from the global marketplace. There has never been a better time to start and grow an exporting business.

Free Trade Agreements

Australia currently has 11 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 18 countries, including with the major Asian-Pacific economies of China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand plus Mexico, Canada and the United States. FTAs such as these and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, will put Australian business in the driver’s seat to benefit from new and diverse export opportunities through greater access to overseas markets and an expanded customer base.

Further opportunities for Australian businesses will arise when other FTAs enter into force, including the Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement, Indonesia Australia Closer Economic Partnership Agreement, the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus.

Free Trade Agreement Seminars

FTA information seminars provide small businesses across Australia with the practical information they need to start leveraging our landmark free trade deals. The seminars complement the FTA Grant program, which funds eligible organisations to strengthen outcomes for small and medium sized businesses on using the FTAs.

For more information visit the Australian Trade and Investment Commission website.

Free Trade Agreement Portal

The innovative FTA Portal has been expanded to provide tariff and other information for goods and services trade under all of Australia’s FTAs, including information on supplying services to FTA partner markets through cross-border delivery or a local commercial presence. The Portal also helps small businesses address the challenge of overlapping FTAs with a tool that allows them to compare FTAs and choose the one that offers the greatest benefits. New FTAs will be added to the Portal as they enter into force.

For more information visit the Free Trade Agreement Portal

Austrade and the TradeStart Network

To take advantage of international trade opportunities, Austrade and its network of TradeStart offices help exporters achieve long-term success overseas. In 2018–19, more than 5,000 businesses received support from expert advisers in Australia and overseas in areas ranging from market selection and entry to understanding overseas regulatory requirements.

For more information visit the Australian Trade and Investment Commission website.

Small and Medium Export Hubs program

The Government has committed $20 million for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Export Hubs to help small and medium businesses harness opportunities in international markets, particularly where the Government has signed free trade agreements. The SME Export Hubs initiative funds the development of local and regional hubs that will help local firms begin to export, through supporting activities such as to develop collective brands, leveraging local infrastructure to scale business operations, and positioning regional businesses to participate in global supply chains. Nine SME Export Hubs were established in the first round of the program.

For more information visit the website. 

Export Market Development Grants Scheme (EMDG)

The EMDG scheme is a Government financial assistance scheme for Australian small to medium sized export-ready businesses. It helps exporters to create, develop and expand overseas markets for their goods, services, intellectual property and know-how. It does this by reimbursing up to 50 per cent of export promotion expenditure. Subject to available funds, the maximum grant for eligible participants is $150,000.

The Government is supporting Australian businesses to export Australian goods and services to overseas markets. This includes $60 million in increased funding for the EMDG scheme to boost reimbursement levels of eligible export marketing expenditure for small and medium sized exporters.

For more information visit the Australian Trade and Investment Commission website.

Export Finance Australia

Growing in the international market – especially with exports – requires finance. To help businesses penetrate new markets, win business and access finance, Export Finance Australia, the Australian Government’s export credit agency, provides financial expertise and solutions to drive sustainable growth that benefits Australia. Through loans, guarantees, bonds and insurance options, Export Finance Australia enables SMEs, corporates and governments to take on export-related opportunities, and support infrastructure development in the Pacific region and beyond.

With an easy online application, the Small Business Export Loan provides an unsecured loan of $20,000 to $350,000 to help businesses with a turnover of more than $250K to fund their exports.

For more information visit the Export Finance Australia website and the and Small Business Export Loan page.

Tradex Scheme

The Tradex Scheme provides an upfront exemption from customs duty and GST on eligible imported goods that are intended for direct export or incorporated in other goods exported within 12 months of import. This upfront exemption can provide significant cash flow advantages that can also assist the competitiveness of Australian business in developing their export markets. To access these benefits, the business must hold a Tradex order before the goods are imported.

For more information visit the website.

Phone: 02 6261 1888

International Trade Remedies Advisory (ITRA) Service

The ITRA Service provides advice and assistance to help Australian SMEs access Australia’s anti-dumping and countervailing (anti-subsidy) system, which is administered by the Anti-Dumping Commission. ITRA Service advisors explain the anti-dumping system and options available to SMEs and assist with applications and submissions to the Anti-Dumping Commission.

For more information visit the website. 

Australian Trusted Trader

The Australian Trusted Trader program provides Australian importing and exporting businesses with the opportunity to earn free accreditation to reduce the red tape involved at the border. Accredited businesses are able to streamline their processes and expedite the flow of their cargo in and out of Australia, facilitating faster access to markets.

This program enhances supply chain security, meaning fewer inspections and less red tape, reducing the cost of doing business for importers and exporters and making them more competitive.

For more information visit the website.