Welcome from Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UK Export Finance
I am pleased to welcome readers to this IMA guide to doing business with Australia. Despite being far apart on the map, Australia and the UK are close in spirit. So if your product or service is successful in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ll be successful in Australia.
This is great for UK businesses. Australia is in its 25th year of uninterrupted economic growth. It is the fifth largest economy in the Asia-Pacific region and the 12th largest in the world. It has a strong appetite for UK goods and services and is our 12th largest export market.
So the opportunity is out there and you should be too. Search online for ‘Exporting is GREAT’ and you can find live export opportunities for Australia. On the same website you can also find sources of support to help you realise these opportunities, including finance and insurance.
This is where UK Export Finance can help. Our mission is to ensure no viable UK export fails for lack of finance and insurance. We do this by helping companies win business, fulfil contracts and get paid when exporting. When doing business in Australia, you may look to a commercial bank or insurance services to provide the support you need. If, for whatever reason, they are unable to help UKEF can provide solutions to help ensure the export still happens.
Research has shown that most smaller businesses don’t have time to do much of their own research and generally look to one source of finance, typically their own bank.
This is why we have a team of regional Export Finance Advisers on hand: so that companies can access free and impartial guidance on all the options when selling overseas. If you search online for ‘UKEF’ you will find their details on our website. They can help you access the support that matches your circumstances, whether this comes via your bank, via an alternative source or through UKEF.
As a government department UK Export Finance’s role is to support exports by complementing the support available from the private sector. We don’t chase our own market share, but help you chase yours. In the last three years, we have supported £180 million of UK exports to Australia. We can provide guarantees for working capital loans, which is how we helped Esprit Digital raise the working capital needed to meet a large order for its digital display screens from an Australian shopping centre.
We can help companies issue contract bonds by sharing risk with their banks, which is how we helped the vehicle manufacturer Supacat fulfil a large order for its special operations vehicles for the Australian Government. For Supacat our support allowed it to retain more cash as working capital, while provide assurance to its buyer through an advance payment bond.
These are just two examples of how we help businesses grow by backing their trade ambitions. We can also help support competitive finance packages and provide insurance against non-payment. We look forward to many more examples of firms exporting to Australia with our support in the years ahead.
Chief Executive of UK Export Finance
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