The role of Australian Defence attaches located around the globe has expanded to include identifying defence market opportunities, assisting Australian defence companies overseas to achieve military sales and providing advice on how the government and Defence can best advocate in support of Australian companies to seize those opportunities.
The announcement was made today by Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne, who is currently touring Europe to build on existing defence relationships across the UK, France and Austria.
“The government is committed to working with Australian defence industry to develop export opportunities,” Minister Pyne said.
“Our Defence attaches play an important role in some markets in identifying opportunities and supporting those efforts, and the government intends to ensure our defence industry is a focus of these efforts.
“The government is committed to maximising opportunities for Australian industry to meet Australia’s defence capability needs and realise exports overseas.
“Defence exports increase the resilience, productivity and capability of our sovereign Australian industry, while promoting innovation, skills and technology development, and employment.”
Minister Pyne has already travelled to the US and the Middle East to help push Australian industry capabilities and is set to visit Saudi Arabia next week.
Saudi Arabia has purchased ships from Australian shipbuilding company Austal, and Minister Pyne noted that proven capabilities like Austal’s success should be key in securing other opportunities with foreign countries.
“The government’s focus on defence exports is a critical element of its broader approach to supporting Australia’s defence industry,” Minister Pyne said.
The statement noted that Defence, in conjunction with the newly opened Centre for Defence Industry Capability, is currently developing a defence export strategy for release in 2017 to recognise a systematic approach to supporting, facilitating and advocating for defence exports.