Being part of a ground-breaking team from Western Australia to promote trade with South Africa, at a time when our Federal Government discouraged trade (coming close to making it illegal), gave me plenty of examples to add to my extensive file on ‘Government outcomes usually being the opposite of their intent’.
Trade should never be discouraged between consenting adults as it has always been the most effective way of bringing out the best in both parties, and often results in the growth of something new and beautiful.
The benefits of peaceful trade will always be more effective than government policy, which usually leads to crony corruption – which, once taken root, can do nothing but damage.
Please enjoy my 1981 report and marvel with me at how the same Federal Government that was so intent on discouraging trade was at the same time subsidising efforts to promote trade.
In the news at the time:
On Tuesday July 2, 2002, The Australian Financial Review ran an article on the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme, Government cuts export grant. The key points were:
- exporters that had been advised they were entitled to the maximum amount of $200,000 would receive less than $166,000
- the Export Consultants Association estimated that more than 900 exporters would be affected
- the cuts came after the government announced it wanted to double the number of exporters by 2006.