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Industry

Australian defence exports on the rise

21 August 2018

Key Points

  • Statistics show strong quarterly growth in Australian defence export applications
  • The government attributes the increase to its defence export strategy, which was issued early in 2018

Figures published by Australia’s Defence Export Controls (DEC), a branch of the Department of Defence (DoD), show a 25% increase in the number of defence and dual-use export applications submitted in the last quarter of fiscal year 2017–18 compared to the same period last year.

Announcing the increase on 20 August, Australia’s Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne said it demonstrates that “Australian businesses are grasping export opportunities to extend their potential beyond domestic Australian Defence Force (ADF) contracts”.

Australia has reported a rise in international defence sales. The country’s major export products include Thales Australia’s Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)Australia has reported a rise in international defence sales. The country’s major export products include Thales Australia’s Bushmaster protected mobility vehicle. (IHS Markit/Patrick Allen)

Pyne pointed to the government’s Defence Export Strategy, which was launched earlier this year, as a contributory factor.

“The earning potential of defence and dual-use exports since the launch of the Defence Export Strategy in January 2018 was over AUD1 billion [USD735 million], vindicating our investment in this initiative,” he said.

According to the statistics, the DEC received 1,050 export applications in the fourth quarter of 2017–18, while in the corresponding period in 2016 the number was 842, representing an increase of 24.7%.

The DEC statistics also show that in the full year of 2017–18 a total of 3,826 export applications were received compared to 3,590 in 2016–17, representing an increase of 6.5%.

However, in terms of finalised export applications, the statistics show only a modest increase. In 2016–17 there were 3,574 finalised defence export applications and in 2017–18 there were only 37 more.

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