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Government targets Five Eyes markets under new export strategy

eos tour
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne, during a guided tour of the Electro Optic Systems’ (EOS) new production facility in Canberra, while spruiking the new Defence Export Strategy. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

As industry welcomes the newly released Defence Export Strategy, the government has laid out which export markets it hopes to tap.

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the new strategy, which includes the establishment of a Defence Export Office and the introduction of an Australian Defence Export Advocate, will target specific markets.

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"Our target markets for defence exports are countries like the United States, Canada, the UK, New Zealand in the first instance. They are our most prospective destinations, followed by Europe and then beyond that places like Asia and the Middle East," Minister Pyne said.

The minister said that while Asian countries, including Japan and South Korea, were targets, the government is not looking to export to China anytime soon, despite ruling them out as a military threat.

"We obviously don't see China as a military threat," he said, citing China's own ambitions to grownits domestic defence industry.

"We would not at this stage be exploring military sales to China, that isn't a priority market. That isn’t a priority market and of course they have their own very sophisticated domestic military market, which is unlikely they would look to Australia. We are more focused on countries like Japan and South Korea, Malaysia, in the south-east Asian and Asian region."

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The new strategy will be given $20 million per year for its implementation, including $6.35 million to develop and implement strategic multi-year export campaigns, $3.2 million to enhance and expand the Global Supply Chain program, and an additional $4.1 million for grants to help build the capability of small and medium enterprises to compete internationally.

A $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility will also be administered by Australia's export credit agency, Efic, an initiative the government said will help Australian companies get the finance they need to underpin the sales of their equipment overseas and provide Australian defence industry an opportunity to identify and pursue new export opportunities when there is a market gap for defence finance.

Government targets Five Eyes markets under new export strategy
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