From little things big things grow: Supporting Australian SMEs go global

February 2019

© Commonwealth of Australia 2019
ISBN: 978-1-74366-956-3

View the report as a single document:

View the report as separate downloadable parts:



  Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
  Trade Sub Committee

Terms of Reference


List of Recommendations

1. Introduction

  Conduct of the inquiry
  Geographical scope of the inquiry
  Definition of SMEs
  Australian Bureau of Statistics data on SME exporters
  SMEs exporting goods and utilising FTAs
  Australia’s free trade agreement agenda and SMEs
  Government aim to support SMEs benefit from FTAs
  Overview of the inquiry

2. SMEs' experiences, challenges and opportunities with FTAs

  SMEs’ experiences with FTAs and most targeted markets
  Australia’s growing wine exports into Asia
  Challenges for SME exporters to utilise FTAs
  Tariff market access and rules of origin
  Non-tariff barriers and SMEs
  Opportunities for SMEs with FTAs

3. Consideration of what issues, products and services are negotiated in FTAs

  Negotiation process for FTAs
  FTA prioritisation for advanced technology and services
  Accessing Certificates and Declarations of Origin
  Non-tariff measures
  Industry, Innovation & Science Department role in FTAs
  Jobs and Small Business Department advice on FTAs
  Consultation on FTAs with business community
  Consultation on FTAs by other government departments
  Harmonising Australia’s free trade agreements
  Addressing the needs of SMEs in FTAs
  Market access protocols for food in FTAs
  Seeking an economic partnership with Taiwan
  Considerations for the FTA with the European Union
  Mining equipment, technology and services sector in FTAs

4. Awareness of, and accessibility to, free trade agreements

  Raising awareness of FTAs and SMEs’ trade opportunities
  More effectively measuring SMEs utilisation of FTAs
  FTAs are complex evolving instruments
  Challenges for SMEs when utilising FTAs for exports
  FTA seminars and workshops
  Improving resources for regional exporters

5. Lessons learnt from attempts at leveraging FTAs

  How SME exporters benefit from freer trade
  Economic analysis of the impact of FTAs on SMEs
  Assisting regional SME exporters
  Australian SMEs require long term strategies
  SMEs contribute to reviews of FTAs and make changes
  Sports diplomacy and building trade with China

6. Role and effectiveness of support structures and networks in helping leverage FTAs

  Communicating the benefits of FTAs to SMEs
  The role of Austrade in supporting exporters
  Supporting trade delegations to or from overseas markets
  Expanding the Export Market Development Grants scheme
  Department of Industry, Innovation and Science role
  Victorian Chamber’s role in encouraging exporters
  Asialink Business’ role in helping SMEs export to Asia
  The role of the Department of Home Affairs in exports
  The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources’ role
  Development of a single window for trade
  Export Finance and Insurance Corporation’s role in trade
  Private sector trade finance
  Government’s FTA information seminars
  In-market activities by Government
  Government hotlines and mailboxes for exporters
  Government’s publications and online resources
  Improved infrastructure for regional traders
  State government trade resources and ‘Team Australia’
  Role of customs brokers in helping SMEs utilise FTAs
  Wine Australia and the regional wine support package
  Establishing an SMEs’ council to represent SMEs

7. Ongoing capacity building to create opportunities and more value from future FTAs

  Government efforts to increase SME utilisation of FTAs
  Training Provider (FTA-TP) grants.
  Subsidising SMEs to access the services of customs brokers
  Asialink Business recommendations to build capacity
  Bolstering trade links for SMEs with Europe
  Impact of migration policies and diaspora on trade

A. Oral submissions

B. Written submissions

C. Exhibits

D. Public hearings

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 2313