FTA ME (Free Trade Agreement Market Entry) Grant

Up to $80,000 is available from the FTA ME Grant to deliver market entry strategies to help Australian small and medium-sized businesses access FTA target markets.


FTA ME (Free Trade Agreement Market Entry) Grant

The FTA ME (Free Trade Agreement Market Entry) Grant provides funding for Australian member-based business organisations (chambers of commerce, business associations, industry associations, bilateral chambers and peak industry bodies), universities and TAFE colleges to deliver market entry strategies aimed at helping Australian SMEs and stakeholders access FTA target markets.



The FTA ME Grant assists eligible Australian member-based business organisations, deliver projects aimed at helping their members and stakeholders access and utilise Australia’s FTAs in eligible markets such as TPP-11 markets, Peru, China, Japan and Korea. The grant will support organisations to undertake targeted business activities delivering strategies to SMEs with potential to lead to market entry.

The grant is administered by a Secretariat (FTA-ME Secretariat) staffed by officers of the Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade. Austrade is the Australian Government’s international trade, investment and international education promotion agency and also acts to advance Australia’s tourism interests.



The objective of the FTA ME Grant is to generate market entry strategies for Australian SME businesses that lead to opportunities which increase utilisation of FTAs in eligible markets. The grants are designed to deliver business strategies which both educate and increase the potential for tangible outcomes by SMEs in FTA markets. Eligible Australian business organisations, based in Australia, will be supported to deliver:

  • Market entry strategies highlighting targeted business opportunities in conjunction with in-market activities to strengthen and increase FTA outcomes.

The key goals of the grant are to leverage the capability of Australian member-based business organisations to:

  • Develop and deliver market entry strategies for SMEs, underpinned by expert advice that targets FTA market entry, fosters greater in-market business development and partnerships and identifies opportunities in the target markets
  • Ensure adequate information and knowledge based training is available to support Australian businesses understand sound market entry strategies and opportunities in FTA target markets.

Building greater awareness of FTA benefits, particularly in the SME sector, increasing access and utilising opportunities is expected to have a positive impact on the broader economy and particularly on regional Australia. Where relevant, the knowledge gained from delivery of initiatives in this program will be shared by Austrade with Australian business and stakeholders to ensure maximum awareness and utilisation of FTA benefits.

FTA ME Grants are intended to provide partial funding to eligible Australian member-based business organisations with projects and business activities aimed at achieving the objective and goals of the grant program.



The FTA ME Grant is to be run in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years. Successful applicants will have 12 months to complete their project.

Applicants can apply for funding from:

Year 1: Grant funding of $20,000 – $80,000 (excluding GST) in the 2018-19 financial year.

Year 2: Grant funding of $20,000 – $80,000 (excluding GST) in the 2019-20 financial year.


Eligible Projects

With consideration for the key program aim detailed above, projects must have a clearly defined purpose that links to the objective and goals of the grant as set out in Section 1.2.

  • Projects must deliver outcomes focused FTA market entry strategies with capacity to lead to business development, access to opportunities, benefits and utilisation in FTA markets (for Australian business and industry)
  • As strategies for market entry are developed, projects can include FTA market visits and activities to foster business development opportunities and build sustainable business links in target markets
  • Through sound training mechanisms, projects must demonstrate the provision of accurate information to SMEs to support market entry strategies including rules of origin, trade and investment regulations and tariff phase-outs in FTA target markets. Projects must also address any non-FTA barriers to ensure SMEs receive balanced information in relation to market entry
  • Projects must focus on at least one of the target markets where FTAs have either been ratified or signed. Preference will be given to strategies targeting markets where SME exporters and service providers currently have limited or no direct in-market experience
  • Projects must demonstrate the activity will add value and would not otherwise occur without support from grant funding
  • Existing or previously conducted FTA projects will not be funded for the purpose of continuing or extending an activity without demonstrating significant new value-add content. However, organisations that completed technical training projects under the FTA-TP Grant may apply for
    funding to undertake new market entry strategy projects under the FTA-ME Grant.

Projects involving Australian member-based business organisations working together with partners and experts to deliver market entry strategies are encouraged. In particular, projects that engage qualified third party experts to build, shape and strengthen strategies for market entry will be highly regarded.

Only one organisation can be the applicant for the purposes of receiving funding. 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 FTA-ME 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.


Eligible Applicants

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • be registered as an Australian member-based business organisation or a registered Australian education institution, be operating in Australia and have an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have been constituted as a legal entity for at least 12 months prior to 1 October 2018
  • maintain to the Delegate’s satisfaction, appropriate business ethics and demonstrate to the Delegate’s satisfaction a commitment to legal obligations including anti-bribery laws, both in Australia and overseas markets.

Funding recipients are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of all FTA information delivered to members and stakeholders as part of their funded grant project. Recipients are also responsible for obtaining and maintaining any insurance necessary or prudent for undertaking the proposed activity, and to provide the FTA-ME Secretariat with evidence of these policies promptly on request as required by the Funding Agreement. Grants will not be provided to organisations that have failed to provide a proper acquittal of an earlier grant provided by Austrade. Applicants who fail Austrade’s ‘net benefits’ and ‘best interests of Australian trade’ tests conducted as part of additional quality assurance processes (see Section 4.1) will not be eligible to participate.



Applications close 16 January 2019.


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