The Federal Government has released the anticipated Defence Export Strategy which aims to make Australia one of the top ten global defence exporters within the next decade.
According to the release issued by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne, the Strategy includes several new initiatives and investments, such as:
- A new Australian Defence Export Office (ADEO). The Office will work hand-in-hand with Austrade and the Centre for Defence Industry Capability (CDIC) to coordinate whole-of-government efforts, providing a focal point for defence exports the existing Defence Export Controls Branch will remain separate and independent - the ADEO will be established as the lead for implementing the Strategy. Decisions about Australian Defence export permits will continue to be made on a case-by-case basis consistent with the existing regime.
- A new Australian Defence Export Advocate to provide high-level advocacy for defence exports and work across industry and government to ensure efforts are coordinated.
- A $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility administered by Efic, Australia’s export credit agency. This will help Australian companies get the finance they need to underpin the sales of their equipment overseas. It will provide confidence to Australian Defence industry to identify and pursue new export opportunities knowing Efic’s support is available when there is a market gap for defence finance.
- $20 million per year to implement the Defence Export Strategy and support defence industry exports, including $6.35 million to develop and implement strategic multi-year export campaigns, an additional $3.2 million to enhance and expand the Global Supply Chain program, and an additional $4.1 million for grants to help build the capability of small and medium enterprises to compete internationally.
The release of the strategy has been welcomed by defence industry advocates and companies.
“This new policy will provide additional encouragement to Australian industry to develop and expand defence exports," Raytheon Australia's MD Michael Ward said. "In this regard I am pleased that the Government recognises that exports of defence services are as critical as the export of manufactured goods.”
A spokesperson for Sea 5000 Future Frigate bidder and international shipbuilder Fincantieri Australia said Australian industry had already found success with the company.
"We are exporting mechanical equipment and cruise ship blocks made with Australian steel from Perth and Adelaide and we’re confident Australia offers significant defence export opportunities.”
NSW Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair said defence manufacturers need their ambitions to be global.
"“While defence exports will continue to be strictly regulated under Commonwealth oversight and regulation,this support will help our industry and niche suppliers sell more products, services and technologies to approved customers worldwide."
The Defence Export Strategy can be downloaded at:www.defence.gov.au/exportstrategy