Business, indago digital, Industry Updates

EMDG – $60 Million Export Market Development Grant For Small Australian Businesses

On the 29th March 2019, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham announced that the Australian government will add an extra $60 million to the EDMG over the next three years to help domestic small and medium size businesses with international marketing.

This represents a part of the Coalitions effort to restore the $100 million dollars cut from the scheme back in 2012-13.

Who can apply and how does it work?

All small and medium sized Australian businesses with an annual turnover of $50 million or less that are targeting overseas markets can apply for a partial reimbursement of their international marketing and promotion spends.

EMDG supports eight categories of expenditure that includes travel, website maintenance, trade fairs, intellectual property registration costs and more. More importantly it can also be used to finance organic, paid, social & other forms of digital marketing campaigns.


The current company’s maximum reimbursement cap is $50,000 compared to $150,000 based on an international advertising spend of $305,000 in previous years. The business must spend a minimum of $15,000 on international advertising and is able to reimburse up to 50% of eligible export promotion.

How could Australian Businesses & Marketing Agencies benefit?

According to Senator Birmingham “this funding boost will help Australian companies get more exposure in international markets, allowing them to develop brand recognition and form relationships with potential customers, that we know is so critical to export success. It will make a real difference to Australian businesses that are thinking globally about their business, whether they are exporting for the first time or considering developing new overseas markets”.

This makes sense as small businesses will now have access to additional budget via the EDMG scheme that can be used to expand their brand overseas. Australian based digital agencies will also benefit if they are chosen to leverage the extra funds available to their clients to launch new campaigns targeting international audiences. Ideally this will result in domestic businesses increasing their revenue streams by tapping into new markets which will have a positive impact on the economy and provide more employment opportunities at home.


While Australia has traditionally played the role of an importer rather than an exporter, the instant communication & interconnectivity available in the digital age of today has done much to break down these barriers, with Australian businesses beginning to make significant in-roads into overseas markets. Last years statistics show that the main areas of focus were the USA, UK, China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Germany.

One may argue that all the EDMG will do is put more tax payer dollars in foreign pockets as businesses will need to engage overseas agencies to grow their brands there, but any digital marketer will say that social media and Google work the same way in any country, and that engaging with an Australian agency to run international campaigns is a completely viable option in 2019.

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