The federal government recently released simpler rules to access export grants. 

The government’s simplified rules for the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program will ensure Australian small and medium enterprises are supported to start exporting and grow new markets, leading to jobs and opportunities.  

The simplified process includes: 

  • simpler applications requiring less documentation; 
  • the ability to apply once for grants of two to three years, not annually as under the current scheme; 
  • funding to be specified in the grant agreement; and 
  • a new, simpler online application portal. 

Minister for trade Dan Tehan said the reforms would give upfront funding certainty to exporters before they committed to international marketing activities.  

“Australia is a trading nation, and the export of our high-quality goods and services supports jobs and businesses in our country,” Mr Tehan said. 

“Our government is supporting Australian businesses to compete and succeed internationally. We provided more than $192 million to more than 4000 Australian businesses to support their exporting activities through the EMDG program in 2019-20; these businesses employed more than 70,000 people and generated around $4.3 billion in export income.  

“Cutting red tape around the EMDG program will help more businesses take advantage of our government’s support.” 


As an example, a statement from the government pointed to Marr Contracting. The company entered its first overseas market, Qatar, in 2008 with the backing of an EMDG grant. It now boasts ongoing projects in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and the Dominican Republic and has just completed work on the world’s longest suspension bridge. The Çanakkale 1915 Bridge crosses the Dardanelles strait in Turkey. 

“Working with Austrade to enter new international markets has allowed us to grow our business and future-proof it against the ups and downs of local markets and sectors,” Marr Contracting managing director Simon Marr said. 

 “We’re now a global business with the ability to work across multiple regions and sectors, ensuring we can grow our business sustainably.”  

Austrade continues to work with exporters and stakeholders to design a streamlined EMDG experience from application through to payment, employing digital innovation.