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Small to medium companies becoming export heavy lifters

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South Australia’s premium small to medium businesses are becoming the state’s economic heavy lifters, a report into export activities has identified.

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Employment from Exports, released today by Trade and Investment Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith, found that SA’s $11.4 billion in exports and activities outside the state were directly and indirectly responsible for more than 200,000 jobs, or 28.5 per cent of the state’s employment.

The report found that small to medium enterprises were the fast movers and outdoing their larger counterparts when it came to exports.

“A lesser known success story is that our small to medium businesses are excelling in growth export sectors including the production of food, wine, advanced manufacturing and services,” Hamilton-Smith said.

“Our exports in these sectors have risen by 10 per cent, fuelled by an increasing global demand for our premium products and our expertise in service industries.”

Hamilton-Smith said more than 65,000 of SA jobs were connected to overseas exports.

“South Australia is well placed to benefit from the signing of trade agreements including the Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“These agreements have cleared the path for South Australian industry to expand internationally and will further integrate South Australia into the fast growing regions of the world by removing barriers to trade and investment.”

Traditional sectors such as manufacturing, mining and agriculture, continued to rate highly, but the report also found growth export opportunities in health care, social assistance, retail, public administration, safety, education, training, science and technology.

“There are many opportunities for South Australian businesses to strengthen their international investment and trade relationships and create jobs growth prospects,” Hamilton-Smith said.

“There has been significant interest from South Australian businesses in the State Government’s Export Partnership Program which provides 50:50 funding up to $50,000 to assist companies to boost exports to international markets.”

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