Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb has announced the appointment of Michael Lee to review the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme.

Mr Robb said Mr Lee – the former CEO of Zip Industries – is well qualified to undertake the mandatory review of the EMDG scheme, which was established to help businesses tap into potential export markets, through the promotion of their products and services overseas.

“Mr Lee is a highly experienced business executive whose solid track record demonstrates a deep understanding of the challenges Australia’s international businesses face,” Mr Robb said.

“The EMDG scheme is of critical importance to Australian exporters; we have recently increased its funding by $50 million over four years, in order to help ensure our export businesses remain competitive.

“The review will give exporters the opportunity to provide comment and insight into how the scheme works for them,” Mr Robb said.

Mr Robb said public submissions will be called for shortly, while public meetings will also be held around Australia, to ensure a wide range of views are canvassed within the timeframe of the review, which is to be completed by 30 June 2015.

Mr Robb said the Coalition Government is committed to strengthening the competitiveness of Australian exporters.

“Appropriate funding of the EMDG scheme allows eligible businesses to plan their exporting efforts, in the knowledge that adequate funding for EMDG grants will be available to support them,” Mr Robb said.

During his time at Zip Industries – a world leader in instant boiling water – Mr Lee was instrumental in expanding its operations to Malaysia, New Zealand and the Middle East.  Mr Lee also helped build the business in Australia and the United Kingdom.

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