As part of the government's objective to establish Australia as a top 10 global defence exporter by 2028, the $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility will support the implementation of the government's Defence Export Strategy.
Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo said, "The Defence Export Facility was established to grow Australia’s defence exports by helping overcome difficulties in accessing private sector finance for exports."
The Defence Export Facility will support the delivery of the Defence Export Strategy through access to the national interest account to help Australian businesses receive finance necessary to support international growth.
The facility has already provided financial support for Australian exporters like CEA Technologies, which was able to access a $90 million loan to expand its Canberra facility.
"CEA Technologies will use a $90 million loan from the Defence Export Facility to finance the construction of a new manufacturing facility in Canberra to help grow their exports and meet Australian Defence Force demand for their world-class phased array radars," Minister Ciobo added.
"The expansion of CEA’s facilities is expected to create 200 jobs and further high-tech jobs in its Australian supply chain."
The Defence Export Strategy recognises that Australian industry cannot sustain itself on the needs of the Australian Defence Force alone Accordingly, new markets and opportunities to diversify are required to help unlock the full potential of Australian defence industry to grow, innovate and support Defence’s future needs.
Exports will provide the Australian defence industry with greater certainty of future investment and support high-end manufacturing jobs for Australians for generations to come.
Australia has proven its competitiveness in the global defence market in niche areas, including advanced patrol boat design and manufacturing, as exhibited by WA-based Austal, which recently announced a $100 million contract to provide two Cape Class patrol vessels to Trinidad and Tobago.
The Defence Export Facility played a critical role in supporting Austal's success in securing the contract.
"Thanks to the Defence Export Facility, Austal is in negotiations to build two patrol boats for the government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (GORTT)," Minister Ciobo said.
"The export facility loan of up to $80 million will directly support Australian jobs on the program. Austal is still in contract negotiations with the GORTT but has concluded an interim schedule protection agreement to allow work to commence at Austal’s Henderson, Western Australia centre for excellence in Maritime design to support the sale."
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham reinforced the role of defence exports in strengthening the national economy and Australia's defence industry, saying, "Exports will help strengthen Australia’s defence industry and build the nation’s sovereign defence capability, critical to keeping Australia safe and secure."
The strategic goal over the next decade to 2028 is to achieve greater export success to build a stronger, more sustainable and more globally competitive Australian defence industry to support Australia’s defence capability needs. In support of this strategic goal, the government’s ambition is to achieve the following five objectives by 2028:
- Strengthen the partnership between the Australian government and industry to pursue defence export opportunities;
- Sustain Australia's defence industrial capabilities across peaks and troughs in domestic demand;
- Enable greater innovation and productivity in Australia's defence industry to deliver world-leading defence capabilities;
- Maintain the capability edge of the Australian Defence Force and leverage defence capability development for export opportunities; and
- Grow Australia's defence industry to become a top 10 global defence exporter.
The strategy brings together all of the levers available to government, Defence and industry to provide end-to-end support for defence exports, from building export readiness to identifying export opportunities, and ultimately realising export outcomes.
"The Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (Efic) will administer loans under the Defence Export Facility," Minister Birmingham added.
The strategy provides $20 million in additional annual funding from 2018-19 to support Australia’s defence exports. A new Australian Defence Export Office will be created within the Department of Defence to provide a focal point for defence exports and drive implementation of the strategy.
More information on how the Defence Export Facility and Efic can support your business access finance and global export markets is available here.