Australia’s top exporters recognised: Oyster basket manufacturer among top winners

Aspen Medical and SEAPA jointly won the 2018 Australian Exporter of the Year award.

Canberra health provider, Aspen Medical, and Adelaide-based oyster farming equipment manufacturer, Seapa, were jointly awarded the prestigious Australian Exporter of the Year award at the 2018 Australian Export Award.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham announced the 2018 Australian Export Award winners at a ceremony in Canberra on 27 November.

“Aspen Medical and Seapa are two great Australian business success stories,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This is an outstanding achievement by two Australian companies that started as small grassroots operations and are now global businesses exporting their high-quality products and services to the world.

“They exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation and I hope they can inspire thousands of other small businesses out there to take a punt and become exporters.”

Aspen Medical, which also won the Health and Biotechnology Award, provides primary healthcare, emergency healthcare, training, consultancy, medical evacuations and clinics in 16 countries on three continents.Over the past 12 months alone Aspen has doubled its number of employees.

The ACT-based business achieved a world first in 2017–18 when it became the only commercial company in the world contracted by the World Health Organization to deliver clinical services in Iraq.

Seapa is a South Australian business that is revolutionising the oyster farming industry with its injection-moulded plastic baskets and farming systems.

Seapa began exporting to North America in 2001, and its export markets have grown to include Europe and North Asia, where its technology is helping to grow better quality oysters at lower costs.

Minister Birmingham said this year’s awards recognise the enormous contribution exporters make to Australia with the 88 finalists employing over 21,000 Australians generating more than $2 billion in export sales.

“This year’s finalists export a variety of high quality Australian goods and services from biometrics consulting to lace wedding gowns, aerospace components to essential oils, thermoplastic horse shoes and vaccines for HIV,” Minister Birmingham said.

“Exports create more Australian jobs and strengthen our economy. That’s why the Liberal-National Government continues to provide more opportunities for our exporters to secure new market access across the globe.

“Australian businesses that export hire 23 per cent more staff, pay 11 per cent higher wages and have labour productivity that is 13 per cent higher than non-exporting firms.

Inpex was also awarded the Trade Tourism and Investment Minister’s Investment Award for their Ichthys LNG project which is expected to create 1800 jobs on average per year over the next 40 years and generate $195 billion in exports.

Four NSW companies winning the national awards were Flavourtech (Manufacturing), Cover Genius (Business Services), Animal Logic (Creative Industries) and the University of Wollongong Global Enterprises (Education and Training).

NSW Minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair congratulated the four NSW winners and nine finalists for their success at the Australian Export Awards.

“NSW is producing world class goods and services that are making an impact in markets right around the world and these export awards are helping build a greater profile for our state’s capabilities both nationally and globally,” he said.

NSW exports to the world were worth $82 billion in 2017 including $46 billion in goods exports and another $36 billion in services exports.

“The NSW Government assists companies to export their products and services through a network of export advisors located across the state including in Sydney, Gosford, Nowra, Orange, Port Macquarie, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga,” Minister Blair said.

“Businesses that export are generally more successful hiring more staff, paying higher wages and having better productivity than firms that don’t export,” he added.