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Financial boost for major export activities

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Date: 19 July 1992 (EMBARGO 1PM) 91

FINANCIAL BOOST FOR MAJOR EXPORT ACTIVITIES The Minister for Trade and Overseas Development, Mr John Kerin, says Australian companies now have easier access to larger amounts of funding from the Government's International Trade Enhancement Scheme (ITES).

Mr Kerin said under changes to ITES, companies will find it easier to qualify for amounts between $2.25 million and $5 million.

Under the new arrangements exporters seeking funding between $2.25 million and $5 million will need to demonstrate that their proposal is likely to generate foreign exchange earnings 20 times that of the ITES funds received.

Previously companies had difficulty demonstrating that their projected export earnings would be sufficient to qualify them for more than $2.25 million.

"This change will attract more medium to large applicants with quality proposals and will substantially help companies with their export marketing efforts," Mr Kerin said.

"The $5 million will be available to exporters who demonstrate that the proposed export activity

has a good chance of success and that loan funds will be returned to the scheme to support other exporters."

Mr Kerin noted that Austrade had already made substantial changes to the process used to assess ITES proposals including the introduction of a quick pre-screening system to give an early

indication of the likelihood of ITES support and more flexible requirements for business plans supporting the application.

The Federal Government introduced ITES in 1990 to assist medium to large exporters involved in low risk projects with their overseas marketing efforts.

ITES is designed to enhance and accelerate company activities or projects which have the potential to contribute substantially to Net Foreign Exchange (NFE) earnings. Administered by

Austrade, the $80 million program offers low cost, repayable finance to support export marketing activities with funding for off-shore set-up costs, travel promotion, advertising and salaries.



ITES funding is repayable as either a low interest six year loan, interest free for the first three years - or as a royalty.

Mr Kerin said 18 companies had so far received funding approval under ITES and total funding of $25 million had been committed.


Ian Chesterfied (02) 390 2707 (W) (018) 961195 (mobile)