Grants for SMEs to access Asia and boost economy

Western Australian SMEs and business associations wanting to enter key Asian markets can access a total of $200,000 in grants aimed at creating jobs by diversifying trade with Asia.

Asian Engagement Minister Peter Tinley announced up to 20 grants were available in round 2 of the Access Asia Business Grants Program which supports Western Australian businesses and organisations to grow trade with key Asian markets.

Round 2 will focus on helping businesses to build and maintain competitiveness in Asian markets to contribute to WA’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Since international travel is not possible for the foreseeable future, they will help WA-owned and operated SMEs and organisations engage in activities such as adopting new business models to expand market share, scoping new supply or value chains, developing export plans that manage COVID-19 implications and accessing new Asian markets or sectors.

As well as SMEs, grants are open to industry associations and Asian business councils to support their business efforts in Asia, including key markets such as China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore.

Businesses must be working in one of the priority sectors identified in Diversify WA – the State Government’s economic development framework.

These are Energy; Tourism, Events and Creative Industries; International Education; Mining and Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; Technology and Advanced Manufacturing; Primary Industries; Health; Defence; and Science and Innovation.

Access Asia Business Grants are an initiative of the State Government’s Asian Engagement Strategy 2019-2030: Our Future with Asia announced in August 2019 to support Asia-focused WA organisations to diversify the economy and help create jobs.

Fourteen SMEs received grants in 2019’s first round including the Busselton Jetty which utilised its grant to develop a digital marketing campaign for key tourism markets in Asia.

Expressions of Interest for round 2 of Access Asia Business Grants opened on October 12 2020 and close October 23 2020. This second round of the program was initially opened in late February 2020 and postponed because of COVID-19.

Source: WA Government