40 years of the EMDG scheme

2015 marks 40 years since the first payment was made under the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme. While the legislation establishing the scheme was passed in 1974 under the Whitlam Government, the first grants were not paid until 1975, under the Fraser Government.  This is perhaps symbolic of the ongoing bipartisan support that the scheme has enjoyed over the last 40 years.

The Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP recently hosted an event in Melbourne to celebrate this milestone.  Minister Robb spoke about the achievements of the EMDG scheme, noting that it had helped over 45,000 exporters expand their businesses offshore.  He commented that the EMDG scheme was now more important than ever following the signing of Free Trade Agreements with three of Australia’s biggest export markets – China, Japan and Korea.  

Joining the Minister and Austrade at the event were a number of peak industry associations, representatives of the export consultant community, and a number of EMDG grant recipients. The event provided an opportunity to showcase the impressive range of EMDG recipients, and to celebrate the achievements of Australian exporters more broadly.

The guest speaker on the night was Mr Adrian Fahey, CEO of SAGE Automation.  SAGE is a system integration company that specialises in industrial automation and control systems. Mr Fahey shared his EMDG-story, noting the important role that EMDG has played in enabling SAGE to break into computerised global supply chains.

Gosper Fahey Robb

Image (left to right): Mr Bruce Gosper, CEO Austrade; Mr Adrian Fahey, CEO SAGE Automation; and the Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, Minister for Trade and Investment.

Video stories of EMDG recipients

To commemorate this event, Austrade has produced a series of videos that tell the stories of EMDG recipients.