The Federal Government has appointed AMTIL to provide the Rail Haulage Supply Chain Export Hub, a new initiative aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) gain better access to international markets in the rail and haulage sectors.

The launch of the Export Hub was announced at an event on 13 March at the headquarters of Volgren in Dandenong, south-east Melbourne. The event was attended by Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews, Dr Jens Goennemann, Managing Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC – a partner organisation in the Export Hub), and Paul Fowler, President of AMTIL. AMTIL will receive $1.5m from the Federal Government’s Small and Medium Enterprise Export Hubs Initiative to run the Export Hub.

Export hubs are business networks that help SMEs harness opportunities in international markets, particularly where the Federal Government has signed free-trade agreements – including China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. Minister Andrews said the funding will boost the economy by helping more businesses to gain access to new and bigger markets, to increase sales, and create more Australian jobs.

“The funding for this Hub is integral to helping Australian businesses grow and will ultimately increase local and regional job opportunities in Victoria,” said Minister Andrews. “The Coalition is committed to supporting small and medium businesses through the Small and Medium Enterprise Export Hubs Initiative and other successful programs like the Entrepreneurs’ Programme and the Industry Growth Centres initiative.

“Export Hubs will be expected to develop export strategies based on local strengths, which in turn will align with the national strategies and networks of the Growth Centres. With 1.2m jobs created since the Coalition was first elected in 2013, these hubs will help our goal of creating 1.25m more jobs over the next five years.”

Dr Goennemann added: “This announcement today by Minister Karen Andrews shows that advanced manufacturing has a very strong export story. As an industry, we ship over $9bn per month in goods and services. The AMTIL Export Hub initiative is positive evidence that Australian manufacturing is on the move and there’s much more potential to grow.”

The Export Hubs operate in six key industry sectors of competitive strength and strategic priority identified under the Government’s Industry Growth Centres initiative. These sectors were identified as having strong prospects for creating future economic and jobs growth for our nation. For more information on the SME Export Hubs Initiative, visit: