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Small Businesses to profit in the Asian Century

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28 October 2012

Small Businesses to profit in the Asian Century

Australia’s three million small businesses stand on the edge of the fastest growing economic region in the world, giving them access to great opportunities for business growth.

The Australia in the Asian Century White Paper released today provides a comprehensive overview of how small and medium-sized enterprises will be supported to work across regional borders, meeting regional demand for quality goods and services.

“The Gillard Government is creating the environment in which small businesses not only survive, they thrive,” Minister for Small Business Brendan O’Connor said.

“Many small Australian businesses can see the potential of the Asian markets, but don’t know how to take advantage of the opportunities.

“In the age of the Asian century, we want to work with them to ensure that all Australians have the potential to benefit from the growing economies on our doorstep.

“We appreciate that small businesses face special challenges competing internationally because of their size and limited access to finance, international contacts and knowledge of international regulatory requirements.

“This White Paper outlines the Gillard Government’s commitment to providing well-targeted support, including offering practical in-market support and advice, creating the right operating environment to help businesses secure finances and providing ‘badge-of-government’ support for firms considering carrying out business in Asia, capturing the benefits of the Asian century.

“By working closely with business and industry groups we will ensure that policy settings are right, whilst we share the networks and business insights to help our small and medium-sized enterprises compete in Asia.”

The Gillard Government currently offers a range of programs to assist small businesses to grow and benefit from opportunities in the Asian region, including the Small Business Support line, the Small Business Advisory Services program, the Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative, Enterprise Connect and Commercialisation Australia.

In addition, more targeted support for exporting is provided by Austrade, Tourism Australia and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, whose mandate will be revised to ensure more of its resources are devoted to addressing the market failures that impede Australia’s small and medium-sized exporters, especially in emerging and frontier markets.

These programs work to sustain and grow Australian small and medium-sized businesses that aspire to greater success, within Australia and internationally.

“Australian business has already shown an aptitude for developing innovative products for Asian markets,” Mr O’Connor said.

“Australian businesses are in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the fastest growing region in the world, especially as the National Broadband Network opens up access to online markets. Our small businesses need to be supported to ensure that they benefit from the opportunities on their doorstep,” Mr O’Connor said.

Media Adviser: Maria Hawthorne 0407 015 986