If you’ve always dreamt of expanding your business overseas, now’s the time to do so. The Australian Government has in place a series of initiatives known as Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) that encourage Australian SMEs to increase their promotional activity and grow their presence in overseas markets. In response to COVID-19, the Australian Government has increased the total funding for EMDG and reduced eligibility criteria, so that businesses can plan their offshore promotional activities with confidence.
Under the EMDG scheme, eligible businesses can be reimbursed for up to 50% of their offshore promotional expenditure including marketing consulting fees and advertising costs. To apply for an EMDG grant, you’ll need a valid ABN and be exporting or promoting:
- goods made in Australia
- Australian tourism services
- intellectual property generated from work done in Australia
- an event held in Australia
or one of the services listed in the eligibility criteria.
You’ll also need to have incurred at least $15,000 in expenses (within the last 2 years) from promoting your products or services to residents in export markets excluding New Zealand and North Korea.
While expanding overseas is a big step for SMEs, it can reap many benefits if you know which markets to target. In today’s current economic landscape, Asian markets offer ample opportunity to establish a loyal consumer base, reduce domestic dependence and achieve larger economies of scale, at a faster pace, and within a shorter time frame. Here’s more about why Asia should be the destination of choice for Australian businesses.
Asia’s economic growth continues to accelerate
Australian businesses will benefit from Asia’s burgeoning economy and its growing consumer base. ANZ research estimates that Asia’s GDP growth is set to outperform the rest of the world’s. After suffering a relatively minuscule contraction in 2020, it is forecast to rebound by 7.7% in 2021. Asia will not only be the world’s largest producer of goods and services, more importantly, as home to the world’s largest middle-class population, it will also be the largest consumer. 
Digitisation is opening the door to new opportunities
Asia’s ecommerce sectors are also growing faster than the world average and the pandemic has only accelerated digitisation. Take China as an example, ecommerce grew by 27.5% in 2020 and will grow by another 21.0% in 2021. It is forecasted that 52.1% of China’s retail sales will come from ecommerce in 2021, up from 44.8% in 2020. Followed by South Korea whose ecommerce retail sales account for 28.9%, China is set to be the first country where e-commerce sales outstrip bricks-and-mortar retail in 2021. 
So, what does this mean for Australian businesses? While Australia enjoys close proximity to Asia, crossing physical borders may still seem daunting for SMEs. By leveraging the capabilities of Asia’s dynamic ecommerce platforms, businesses can establish an online presence and reach overseas audiences with less risks and investments.
Start your journey to Asia today
In spite of the potential opportunities in Asia, it’s hard to deny that the challenges and risks of exporting are significant, particularly for SMEs. We totally get it. That’s why we’re here to help you take the first steps in the right direction and leverage the EMDG scheme to get your international strategy sorted.
We have extensive experience in market entry strategy and brand launching in China and other Asian markets. Whether you are in the market orientation and budget building stage, or if you already have a solid plan that you want to implement, we are happy to offer our expertise and collaborate with you to make this venture a success.
Get in touch with our marketing specialists and consultants today.
 ASIA’S UNDENIABLE RECOVERY by Sanjay Mathur, Chief Economist, Southeast Asia, 30 March 2020
 Australia in the Asian Century whitepaper 2012 https://china.embassy.gov.au/bjng/whitepaperwhitepaper.html
 In global historic first, ecommerce in China will account for more than 50% of retail sales by Ethan Cramer-Flood, 10th February 2021. https://www.emarketer.com/content/global-historic-first-ecommerce-china-will-account-more-than-50-of-retail-sales