This year's Australian Export Awards, which celebrate the achievements of some of the country's most innovative businesses, are now open.
Trade Minister Craig Emerson today encouraged export-oriented companies of all sizes to lodge an entry for the Awards, which last year celebrated their 50th anniversary.
Applicants in each of the 12 industry group categories are judged against peer performance in exporting, international marketing and financial strategy.
Winners in each State or Territory award program qualify to become national finalists. One of the national winners is also chosen for the top accolade, the Prime Minister's Australian Exporter of the Year.
Last year's 12 winners generated more than $8.6 billion in export earnings and employed more than 27,500 people.
"Australian exporters drive economic growth and create jobs, often without fanfare," Dr Emerson said.
"Their efforts and contribution to the Australian economy deserve recognition, which is why the Australian Export Awards are so important."
The benefits of participating include networking opportunities, publicity and, for national finalists, eligibility for the APEC business travel card, which offers streamlined access to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year national winners will also receive up to 40 hours of tailored services from Austrade, the Government's trade promotion agency, and a dedicated trade adviser for 12 months. This package is valued at $10,000.
The Australian Export Awards are co-presented by Austrade and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
State and Territory export award winners will be announced throughout September and October, and national winners at a ceremony in Melbourne in November.