Press Release – Export Council of Australia
24 October 2012
Another blow to exporters...this time from our Government
"If life was not already tough for Aussie exporters, today’s announcement by the Government to slash $25million from the Export Market Development Scheme (EMDG) has just made it even tougher," said Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Export Council of Australia.
With revenue declining from a slowdown in resource exports one would expect that the Government would be moving heaven and earth to support our non resource based exporters.
"But no," Ian Murray said "to this Government all that seems important is returning to surplus, even at the expense of jobs and our balance of trade."
Recent international research has shown that Australia’s international competitiveness has slipped ten places in two years and today’s budget announcement will make us even less competitive.
"Today, we are competing in a world that is intent on doing whatever is needed to build export earnings. The USA, UK, France, Germany and Spain to name just a few are driving their export led recoveries with low currencies and innovative business programs," Ian Murray stated "while Australia seems to be going backwards in terms of assisting and supporting Australian export."
As Mr Murray remarked "the great irony of course is the fact that every piece of research ever undertaken shows that the EMDG scheme is extremely cost effective and that unexpended funds go back to Government."
So why dampen exporter’s confidence for what essentially amounts to very little for the Government in the scheme of things?
In Australia, one job in five is said to be export dependent, most of that from Small to Medium enterprises across a wide range of industry sectors and often promoting regional development. What the Export Council of Australia does not understand is why the Government is attacking a highly productive sector of our workforce who are already struggling with a high dollar, continuing GFC and increased competition from countries with undervalued currencies and interest rates at zero.
"Obviously this change is with us now and there is little we can do to modify that." Ian Murray said "However, we need to urge the Australian Government to look more closely at the challenges facing exporters, particularly the cost of trade facilitation and over regulation as we fear our balance of trade and ultimately jobs will continue to slide."
Mr Ian Murray, AM
Executive Director- Export Council of Australia
Tel: 02 8243 7400 or Mobile: 0438 230 245