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Asian Century grants scheme to fund business development

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Trade and Competitiveness Minister

Craig Emerson

Asian Century grants scheme to fund business development

28 October 2012

Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson today announced a $6 million grants scheme to boost business organisations' links into Asia.

The Asian Century Business Engagement Plan is one of numerous initiatives in the Government's White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century, released today.

Under the Engagement Plan, grants will be allocated over four years to business organisations for projects that assist Australian companies to sell into Asia's growing middle class markets and to participate in regional value chains.

The organisation of business missions and trade fairs, for example, would qualify for assistance.

Austrade will administer the program and provide support through its Asian network of offices.

"Many small and medium-sized businesses in Australia find it difficult to take advantage of the immense opportunities opening up in the region," Dr Emerson said.

"Business organisations such as chambers of commerce are adept at helping companies identify new customers in Asia, and in building long-term relationships.

"The Australian chambers of commerce located in Asian business hubs and other business associations here in Australia already have strong profiles and extensive networks in Asia," he said.

By providing extra support for the work of these business organisations, the Government will help to build the personal relationships so vital to doing business in Asia.

"Governments can help create the conditions for business relationships, but ultimately success depends on the businesses themselves," Dr Emerson said.

Media enquiries

 Minister Emerson's Office: (02) 6277 7420

 DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555