Up to $300,000 is available for new initiatives to improve Australian business links into Asia.
The Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan has been established to assist member-based business organisations harness commercial opportunities in Asia for small to medium sized Australian businesses.
The objective of the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan is to facilitate new initiatives to improve Australian business links into Asia through Australian business organisations based in Australia or in Asia.
The key goals of the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan are to leverage and / or expand the capability of member-based business groups to:
- assist Australian firms to more effectively access in-market business networks and develop new relationships with potential business contacts and partners in Asian countries
- identify and secure more opportunities for Australian firms to compete and succeed in regional value chains
- enhance and strengthen business links between Australia and Asia by reinforcing the profile of Australian business capability within the region to increase awareness and understanding of Australia in Asia, and of Asia in Australia.
Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan grants are intended to provide partial funding to member-based business organisations to deliver new projects or programs aimed at achieving the objective and goals of the ABE Plan. This includes projects or programs that demonstrate the potential for the development of long-term links between institutions in Australia and their counterparts in Asia.
Projects must have a clearly defined purpose that links to the objective and goals of the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan.
Projects must be related to an Asian market and must be linked to delivering outcomes for Australian businesses or industry.
Projects involving Australian and overseas member-based organisations working together are encouraged. However, when projects are to be undertaken in conjunction with, or part funded by, a counterpart, the applying organisation will be the contracted entity for the purpose of receiving an Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan grant. The appropriate applying organisation must also be able to demonstrate that the counterpart has confirmed their participation and/or involvement to ensure the success of the project.
Projects must be a new activity or have substantial elements of innovation that would not otherwise occur without support. Projects that are a continuation of an existing activity or previously conducted activity will not normally be considered.
Whilst not exhaustive, the list below provides examples of the types of activities that would be considered eligible for funding as part of a project proposal under the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan:
- identifying new opportunities in an Asian market for companies in a specific industry sector in which Australian capability is poorly understood
- providing support to a group of companies from diverse sectors to deal with in-market issues that inhibit their market entry or expansion
- assisting a group of Australian companies already active in some Asian markets to build new business links into other emerging Asian markets or cities
- leveraging the in-market experience and contacts of Australian businesses and business people operating in an Asian market to support and enhance successful market entry by companies that are new to that market.
Examples of the type of activities that would be considered eligible for funding as part of the project proposal under the Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan include (but are not restricted to):
- missions, events and other promotional activities
- market research into a specific industry sector within an Asian market
- development of industry capability materials or websites
- production of fact sheets, video and sound recordings, web tools, seminar and workshop materials
- advisory / coaching / mentoring activities by experienced in-market practitioners
- staffing and administrative costs required to deliver the project
- evaluation, financial audit and accounting costs.
To be eligible for an Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan grant, an applicant will need to be an Australian member-based business organisation such as chambers of commerce and industry, business councils and chambers and peak industry associations and:
- have members who are Australian Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
- be registered as a Australian business with an Australian Business Number (ABN) or
- in the case of Australian business chambers based in Asian cities, be appropriately registered with local business authorities and provide a letter from the relevant Australian diplomatic or consular mission confirming that the organisation in question is actively and effectively involved in promoting networking and business promotion among Australian members and local companies; and
- have been constituted as a legal entity for at least 12 months prior to 20 December 2012
- have appropriate levels of public liability insurance, professional indemnity and workers‟ compensation; and
- maintain appropriate business ethics and demonstrate a commitment to legal obligations including anti-bribery laws, both in Australia and overseas markets.
Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan applicants can apply for funding from a minimum of $20,000 to a maximum of $300,000 (excluding GST) for eligible project costs.
Asian Business Engagement (ABE) Plan applications close on 5pm on 8 April 2014.