Media release by The Hon Steven Ciobo MP - Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
The Export Finance Australia (Export Finance Australia) Amendment (Support for Commonwealth Entities) Bill 2016 has passed the Parliament with bipartisan support.
These amendments will help grow Australia’s exports by improving Export Finance Australia’s support for Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Importantly the changes enshrine in legislation a requirement there is a net increase in Australian jobs within a business applying for Export Finance Australia financing for overseas direct investment.
While it was already Export Finance Australia policy that applicants for its overseas direct investment financing product must not use it to fund the outsourcing of jobs, the legislation provides further safeguards and puts these requirements into law.
The amendments help Export Finance Australia keep pace with Australia’s changing exports by enabling Export Finance Australia to lend directly to a broader range of SMEs, including tourism operators, online businesses, exporters of intellectual property and other related rights, and businesses engaged in overseas direct investment.
Previously, Export Finance Australia could only provide a guarantee for a loan from another bank for these types of companies. Now Export Finance Australia can lend directly, saving businesses time and money.
In the last four years, Export Finance Australia provided almost 300 SME exporters with more than $500 million in support.
The Bill also unlocks Export Finance Australia’s potential to provide its specialist financial services to Commonwealth entities and companies on a fee-for-service basis, subject to ministerial approval.
Export Finance Australia is Australia’s official export credit agency. These reforms will ensure Export Finance Australia continues to drive Australian jobs growth by promoting increased trade, tourism and investment.
- Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555