By Nigel Austin, The Advertiser, 01 December 2015
South Australian exporters have a major new supporter as they chase export markets around the world, following a decision by Australian government agency Efic to open an Adelaide office.
Efic director Andrew Perkins said that since opening at Grenfell St in October, he had struggled to keep up with demand for its services.
He said the agency had helped a series of exporters since he started as news of the new Adelaide service spread by word of mouth.
South Australian exporters were previously assisted by an Efic agent working out of its Perth office.
After working for Invest in SA for the previous three years, Mr Perkins said the one thing he’d taken out of the past two months was hearing stories of companies doing amazing things on export markets.
“It was decided to start an office here as Efic is growing nationally and this is part of the strategy to increase our resources across the country,” Mr Perkins said.
“We are seeing increased inquiry across industries including food and wine, advanced manufacturing, health technology and defence.
“A big focus is supporting exporters in regional areas because a large proportion of SA exports come from regional areas and I will spend a lot of time in those areas supporting exporters.”
The Efic office includes Mr Perkins and one other person starting on December 14 to help meet the demand for its service.
Efic is a specialist financier that delivers simple and creative solutions for Australian companies to help them win business, grow internationally and achieve export success.
Through its loans, guarantees, bonds and insurance products, it has helped many Australian exporters and subcontractors in export supply chains to take advantage of new contract opportunities that may otherwise have been out of reach.
Mr Perkins said Efic provided specialised finance for small and medium exporters, companies in an export supply chain, firms looking to expand overseas operations to better service their clients and com panies working in emerging and frontier markets.
“A lot of what we do is partnering with the banks so they can provide finance to their clients to increase export orders or expand offshore,” he said. “We guarantee the bank so they can lend the money.”
Efic covers all industries through its mandate to increase the number of exporters from SA. “We will help considerably more exporters than in the past and we’re trying to help as many companies as we can,” he said.
Mr Perkins said the focus of Efic was to help small to medium sized enterprises with a turnover of up to $150 million.