Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and 18 Australian companies have crossed the Pacific to attend key defence industry events and meet with senior representatives.
Minister Pyne will deliver the keynote address to the US-Australian Dialogue on Defence Industries, part of the 2018 G’day USA program. The program brings together Australian and US industry leaders and experts, policy makers and senior business representatives to further develop collaboration on providing innovative capabilities.
During his visit to Washington DC, Minister Pyne will also meet with senior US government officials to highlight Australia’s innovative defence industry and promote opportunities for increased industry co-operation between Australia and the US. This includes discussions with the Deputy Secretary of Defence; Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; and the Director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program.
"Australia is transforming its defence force and investing in the capabilities necessary to meet Australia’s future warfighting challenges. As part of this transformation, we are expanding our defence industry to be more innovative, competitive and sustainable," Minister Pyne said.
"The 2018 US-Australian Dialogue on Defence Industries will build on the success of the previous four events in creating opportunities for Australia’s world-class defence industry to explore future projects and areas of co-operation."
Minister Pyne's visit also coincides with 18 Australia companies exhibiting at Sea Air Space 2018 in Maryland as part of Team Defence Australia, a record level of attendance for Sea Air Space. The Team Defence Australia delegation will be looking to secure more export opportunities on the back of the government's recently released Defence Export Strategy.
"The increased funding and support outlined in the Defence Export Strategy will support even more Australian businesses to achieve export success and contribute to the strength of this relationship," Minister Pyne said.
The new strategy has multiple initiatives and investments, including:
- A new Australian Defence Export Office. Defence said the office will work hand-in-hand with Austrade and the Centre for Defence Industry Capability to co-ordinate whole-of-government efforts and will provide a focal point for defence exports;
- An Australian Defence Export Advocate, former Defence Minister David Johnston, to provide high-level advocacy for defence exports and work across industry and government to ensure that efforts are co-ordinated;
- A $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility administered by Efic, Australia’s export credit agency. The initiative aims to 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; and
- $20 million per year to implement the Defence Export Strategy and support defence industry exports, 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.