Operational review

The Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Operational Review identifies ways to improve program delivery.

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The Minister for Trade and Tourism Senator the Hon Don Farrell released the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) Operational Review report.


Improving EMDG

The Review considered program design, client experience and communications to help improve delivery of the EMDG program.

During the Operational Review, we held 53 in-person and virtual consultations, and received 452 survey responses.

The Review found that the reformed EMDG program achieved its goals of:

  • simplifying and streamlining assistance for promotional activities
  • developing marketing skills to eligible small and medium enterprises and representative bodies.

The Review also identified short-term and medium-term opportunities for improvement, which Austrade is working to implement.

Opportunities were identified to immediately improve EMDG program design, client experience and communication to ensure:

  • processes are client-friendly, and information is accessible
  • communication to stakeholders is timely, targeted, and accurate
  • Round 3 operates with these changes where possible.

Austrade is committed to continually improving EMDG. We have taken steps to implement many of the opportunities identified in the Review. This will further improve the Program’s operation over the coming year.

On the program design, we:

  • have amended the Guidelines for Round 3 to clarify key definitions. This includes what is a ‘strategic shift’, making it easier for applicants to determine how the program applies to them.
  • have defined and provided examples of ‘currently exporting’ in the EMDG Guidelines. We’ve also added clearer definitions of ‘exporting businesses’ and ‘strategic shift’ on our website.
  • are setting a regular program cadence for rounds to occur at the same time each year.

To improve client experience, we now:

  • provide links to government information (such as from the ATO and Services Australia). This helps applicants apply for a grant (for example, myGovID) and are working more closely with the ATO to support applicants.
  • have streamlined the plan to market and milestone reporting templates.


  • have increased communication activity. This keeps EMDG applicants up-to-date on program timelines and processing times
  • now publish statistics for each EMDG round, increasing transparency, and provide links to government information to assist applicants
  • will make further improvements to our practices over the coming year.

What's next?

At the request of government, Austrade conducted consultation to refocus EMDG to support the government’s trade agenda, maximise the benefits to businesses and government of EMDG grants, and ensure the sustainable management of the program.

Visit the EMDG Strategic refocus consultation page for more information.

More information

Contact us

Email: EMDGpolicy@austrade.gov.au