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CONTRIBUTION FROM SA
outh Australia is a state focused on its defence future – and
that future includes innovative, sustainable defence companies
working from Australia’s Defence State to equip the Australian
Defence Force (ADF) and other defence customers around the
Exports, including supply-chain participation, provide an ideal adjunct
to domestic revenue for South Australia’s small to medium-sized defence
firms, and the returns can be lucrative. The state’s strong commitment to
the defence sector and our history of winning and delivering major defence
projects has resulted in South Australia now being home to 25 per cent of
the nation’s defence industry. The sector currently employs nearly 5,000
specialist workers in South Australia and is projected to increase by an
average 6.8 percent a year to 2013–14.
There are unique barriers associated with defence export, including
specific protectionist markets and detailed customs and other export/
import control procedures. Despite these challenges, the South Australian
Government believes supplying into international markets and supply
chains provides avenues for companies to diversify their revenue and
product base. These avenues may be particularly attractive for smaller
companies sensitive to the inherently cyclical nature of Australian defence
procurement. At the same time, the barriers are also less evident for local
businesses specialising in components or subsystems.
Through the Department of Trade and Economic Development (DTED),
the South Australian Government offers dedicated one-on-one support
for companies looking to export or enter local supply chains. Services
include specialist advice relating to market-entry strategies, market
intelligence and business matching; and a dedicated network of eight
overseas representatives with a thorough knowledge of South Australia and
local markets, and with access to other extensive market resources. South
Australian representatives are located in key and emerging growth markets
in Asia (Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Jinan),
India (Chennai), Chile (Santiago) and the Middle East/Gulf (Dubai).
New and potential exporters can access the state’s five specialist
TradeStart Export Advisors, who through a joint initiative with Austrade are
located in metropolitan and regional South Australia. These advisors take
local companies from the initial enquiry stage to exporting activity, with
individual coaching, mentoring, workshops and in-market assistance.
Financial support is available for eligible small to medium-sized
enterprises that are preparing for export or looking to expand their export
capabilities. DTED’s assistance includes its Gateway Business Program,
which offers up to 50 per cent reimbursement for expenses incurred
on marketing materials, third-party market research, website audit and
modification, mentoring or coaching, trade show or mission participation
and inbound buyer support. Companies must meet the program’s stated
criteria and can access up to $20,000 over two years.
The South Australian Government also plays a proactive role in leading
and managing defence trade missions, exhibitions and company visits
to and from South Australia – all of which serve to identify opportunities
for export and supply chain participation. In close connection with the
Commonwealth Government’s Defence Export Unit and lead industry
body, Defence Teaming Centre, Defence SA – the nation’s only dedicated
state agency focused on defence issues – supports local defence industry
participation in outbound and inbound missions aimed at identifying and
pursuing business opportunities in key markets.
Over the past two years, the South Australian Government has facilitated
two defence industry missions to India, as well as an inbound defence
mission of 26 naval companies from El Ferrol, Spain (a leading naval
shipbuilding region). South Australia will also host an inbound defence,
aerospace and security industry delegation from India in late June,
facilitated by its Chennai office.
These early exploratory missions are leading to commercial opportunities
with a number of international firms that are expressing interest in forming
joint venture partnerships with South Australian companies, particularly in
the naval shipbuilding industry. Discussions are preliminary but promising.
South Australia’s holistic approach also includes joint government-
industry participation at major defence trade shows in Australia. The
Defence State presence serves to expose small South Australian companies
to major global defence players.
Led by the Premier and the Minister for Defence Industries, the South
Australian Government continues to build and maintain strong links with
major defence primes around the world to secure further global supply-
chain opportunities for local companies, across all defence sectors.
Through Defence SA, a number of opportunities are actively being
pursued in the Joint Strike Fighter program, as well as with a number of
other US-based prime defence firms aspiring to win major Australian
defence contracts. Defence SA also collaborates closely with the Defence
Materiel Organisation to assist South Australian defence companies
leverage opportunities from the Australian Industry Capability Program
and Global Supply Chain Program.
The Industry Capability Network, which in South Australia is based
within DTED, also works to promote opportunities for local companies
within major-project supply chains, including defence supply chains.
Other DTED support for defence projects includes helping ensure South
Australian business can supply developers with the knowledge-intensive
services and high-value manufacturing capabilities it requires.
The Government of South Australia understands that small to medium
enterprises, in particular, need support to diversify their customer
bases, build relationships with key contacts including global primes,
and develop sustainable market-entry strategies. There is much going
on - and while there may be hurdles in the short term, the prospects for
South Australian firms are significant and the state is in it for the long
South Australian SMEs in Global Supply Chains
– What the South Australian Government is doing to support
defence export, including entry into global supply chains.
For more information on support for South Australian companies wanting to enter or expand their exporting initiatives, visit:
www.southaustralia.biz/Exporting-from-SA.aspx or contact Defence SA on (08) 8463 7140.
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