Current Policy Priorities

The Voice of Australia’s Exporters

The Export Council of Australia (ECA) is the only membership body in Australia focused on the needs of companies involved in international business.

One of the key benefits of membership is our ability to influence policy to make it simpler and cheaper for you to do business internationally. 

The ECA is a respected and influential voice on trade policy. Our strong relationships with key ministers, shadow ministers and senior public servants help us shape policy in a way that benefits our members and Australia’s international business community.

Each year, the ECA releases annual Trade Policy Recommendations for the Australian Government. These recommendations are driven by the needs of our members. They are developed in consultation with members, industry, and the ECA’s network of trade policy experts.

The ECA also makes submissions to parliamentary and other inquiries that relate to international business. 

In addition to the federal government, we regularly engage with state, territory and local governments, as well as foreign governments, to advance the interests of our members.

What the ECA stands for

Our current trade policy priorities are based on these principles:
  • International trade and investment will be crucial to securing our country's future economic potential. Australian jobs and economic prosperity are best created and protected over the long term through an open and competitive economic system
  • With more overseas opportunities than ever before, the challenge for Australia is to maximise the benefits of international trade and investment

  • To meet this challenge, Australia needs more trade and investment-capable companies to engage with these opportunities

  • Maximising the benefits of international trade and investment is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the businesses directly involved in import and export, and the businesses that support them. Building this 'trade ecosystem' requires commitment and dedication from all parties.

2017 policy recommendations

Our Trade Policy Recommendations in 2017 are to
  • Improve government support for Australian businesses by developing a national strategy for trade 

  • Invest in programs to communicate the importance of trade and investment to Australian jobs and long-term economic prosperity

  • Adequately fund the Export Development Market Grant (EMDG)

  • Develop a cohesive national brand that benefits a wide range of sectors

  • Continue to push trade liberalisation, including by reducing non-tariff impediments to trade, negotiating new trade agreements and simplifying rules of origin

  • Invest in initiatives that support the development of Australian services exports

  • Deliver a single window for trade that supports digital trade

  • Improve access to finance for Australian companies conducting international business

  • Continue to support investment into the Aid for Trade initiative

Read here for more information about our latest trade policy recommendations.

Additional information regarding ECA trade policy activity can also be found in the ECA’s media centre.

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Dee-Ann Prather, Down Under Enterprises International
NSW Women in Global Business Award winner
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