Grants to help Australian businesses expand their links in Asia have been awarded to 18 member-based organisations, under the Asian Business Engagement Plan program.

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said the grants will help further open up key Asian markets for Australian businesses and organisations in areas such as agribusiness, science and innovation and services covering tourism, education, professional services, engineering and built environment.

“The Asian Business Engagement Plan will also assist Australian business to pursue opportunities created by the successful conclusion of bi-lateral trade agreements with both Korea and Japan – two of our biggest trading partners,” Mr Robb said.

For example, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Co-op will receive $80,000 to build strategic partnerships with organisations in Korea and China, while the Australian Horticultural Exporters Association will develop online knowledge-sharing resources between exporters and Asian counterparts.

Mr Robb said there are identified opportunities for Australian firms, producer groups and creative industries to provide high-value goods and services to regional value chains, leading to greater integration into Asian markets of our small to medium enterprises.

Australia’s trade links with Asia are expected to represent at least one-third of GDP by 2025, up from one-quarter in 2011.

The $1.5 million Asian Business Engagement Plan is a merit-based competitive program administered by Austrade. Successful applicants have come from metropolitan and regional Australia and will develop programs to create trade, investment and export opportunities in Asian markets.

Please find a list of grant recipients and project descriptions attached.

Successful ABE Plan Grant Applicants


$ Amount




To develop a bilingual directory of Australian medical technology companies in Chinese/English, to support business partnering and facilitate trade with China.

Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA)


The AAAA’s ‘Asian Aftermarket Pathway Program’ will generate market information and build linkages with regional Industry Associations to drive collaboration in Thailand and Indonesia.

Australian Horticultural Exporters Association


The ‘Australian Horticulture Export Portal’ will foster collaborative knowledge sharing between exporters and Asian counterparts by setting up an online ‘one-stop shop’ for export information. 

Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce


The ‘Networks Through Skills Development Program’ initiative will focus on capacity building and skills transfer including a skills swap program and Alumni program in Myanmar.

Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Philippines Inc.


The Chamber will complete a study using the Sussex framework to estimate the possible impact of Philippines-Australia trade resulting from the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) agreement.

Australian Services Roundtable


To provide SMEs with export ready coaching and mentoring webinars and identify new and emerging services market opportunities in the markets, where ASR service export leaders have demonstrated capacity to assist.

Australia-Thai Chamber of Commerce


AustCham will strengthen and expand the Thai-Australian ‘sphere of influence’ to make business networks in Thailand more accessible for Australian SMEs while also building the institutional capacity of AustCham to support and promote Australian business over the long-term.

Australia-Taiwan Business Council Ltd


The project will focus on women in business and will enhance access and influence in Taiwan and China by building innovative, business-driven connections and networks with organisations or women entrepreneurs in Taiwan and China. 

Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers Coop Ltd (BFVGC)


BFVGC will progress new regional partnerships with strategically connected organisations in mainland China and South Korea, to build long-term business partnerships and co-investment in regional food supply chains to Asia including establishment of a market presence in China.

Composites Australia Inc.


Composites Australia will showcase Australia’s strengths in research, innovation, application of composite and manufacturing technology for advanced composites including advanced materials as a market entry initiative into Malaysia and Indonesia.   Links will be formed into high value added sectors including oil & gas, automotive and ground transportation (rail and bus) and infrastructure industries.


Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA)




TFIA will foster a sustainable future for the Australian Textile, Clothing and Footwear industry by equipping them with the knowledge, tools and connections to create global businesses through accessing new markets in Asia, particularly Hong Kong as a gateway to China.  They will deliver platforms for exchange of knowledge sharing and build Australia as a place of innovation and solutions.

Export Council of Australia


The Export Council of Australia will conduct an export capability development project focused on the Indonesian market and aimed at the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector. 

Food South Australia Inc.


Food South Australia will assess specific export opportunities in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore for high value added food products manufactured in South Australia and the market strategies required to export to the target markets.   This will include analysis of supply challenges and opportunities, and the strategies that counteract these. 

Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia


The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia will undertake research and development in Singapore and the Philippines to benchmark, design and implement tools and training material on building sustainability requirements into infrastructure planning, funding, design, construction and operational activities.

TAFE Directors Australia


TAFE Directors Australia will undertake a program to build links between its members and the 29 Government Technical Institutes currently operating in Myanmar.  TAFE institutes will showcase their institutes, highlight areas of strength and expertise, have the opportunity to initiate and formalise cooperation agreements and engage with key industry stakeholders and explore opportunities for tripartite partnerships.

NSW Business Chamber Limited


The NSW Business Chamber will launch the ‘Best of Australia’ project which will build new business links with China and support companies from diverse sectors, to deal with in-market issues that inhibit their market entry or expansion, reduce complex regulatory compliance, and grow export sales.

Sports Medicine Australia & the Australian Physiotherapy Association


This pilot project will scope the opportunities for the export of sports medicine expertise and training to China developing a comprehensive report and delivering seminars and webinars to members which outline sports medicine and sports physiotherapy opportunities in the target market.

Victoria TAFE (VTI)


VTI will leverage Indonesian government contacts and TVET providers to offer a program showcasing their collective skills and expertise, explaining their collaborative working relationships and highlighting the value of working with VTI as a ‘one stop shop’. This will include a meeting with key TVET and industry peak bodies in Indonesia to determine priority areas, likely collaboration opportunities, local funding and provide an opportunity for mentoring.

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