Australian government to offer defence industry exporters $3.8bn finance support

By Addie Thomes

Following the closure of Australia’s native car manufacturing industry, the federal government is turning to defence in a bid to revive the country’s factory economy.

The new Defence Export Strategy features $3.8bn in finance to be offered to manufacturers looking to export arms – this will be facilitated through Efic, Australia’s credit export agency.

Other investment includes $6.35mn to develop and implement strategic multi-year export campaigns, an additional $3.2mn to enhance and expand the Global Supply Chain program, and an additional $4.1mn for grants to help build the capability of SMEs to compete internationally.

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A statement on the Minister for Defence, Maris Payne’s website said: “This strategy is about job creation. It will give Australian defence companies the support they need to grow, invest and deliver defence capability. It will make Australian defence exports among the best in the world.

“Australia has so many defence industry success stories: Thales’ Bushmaster, Hawkei and sonars, Austal’s ships and engineering and CEA’s world beating radar, amongst many others. This strategy sets the conditions for even more success, and more defence industry jobs in the future.”

Australia ranks around 20th in the world in terms of the size of its defence exports, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wants to get into the top 10 within the next 10 years. This year’s defence budget is worth around $34.5bn.  

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