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Defence export strategy delayed

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.

Industry will not see the release of the Defence Export Strategy until next year, Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has confirmed.

Addressing the Lowy Institute last week, Minister Pyne said the strategy, which the government previously said would be out by Christmas this year, will be made public early next year.

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"Ahead of the release of the Defence Export Strategy in early 2018, as Minister for Defence Industry I have been building up some important international relationships and partnerships we need to support our interests and to pave the way for greater defence exports," Minister Pyne said.

The minister is optimistic Australia's defence industry will see more export opportunities.

"Over the past 12 months, I have visited the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Poland, Saudi Arabia twice and attended IDEX in the UAE," he said.

"On every single one of these official visits, I am proud to highlight the innovative capabilities of Australian defence industry. We are already widely respected, and there is considerable potential for us to export more of what we do to our friends and allies."

Australia has made strong headways with Poland, with the countries in discussions for export of Thales Hawkei vehicles. Poland is looking to initially acquire around 50 protected mobility vehicles, with follow on acquisition programs expected to increase this to approximately 700. 

Defence Connect understands negotiations regarding the potential export of these vehicles has been underway for some time, with interested countries, including Poland and Indonesia, waiting for the Hawkei vehicle to reach full production before finalising any contracts.

Development of the new strategy has seen extensive consultation between Defence, industry and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure the strategy works coherently to help open up new export markets for Australian defence materiel. The new strategy will be in line with the government's economic objectives and will aim to enhance Australia's future economic prosperity.

Defence export strategy delayed
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