Minister for Small Business Gordon Hill said today Western Australian rural manufacturers were making big inroads in interstate and overseas markets.
Mr Hill said this was due to the efforts of the group known as Western Australian Regional Manufacturers, or WARM, assisted by the State's Small Business Development Corporation.
WARM is an association of WA manufacturers specialising in agricultural equipment, supplies and services, which aims to extend marketing opportunities for its members.
After participating in major agricultural field days in South Australia and New South Wales, nine WARM members were represented at a series of field days in New Zealand.
"From all reports, most of the local participating companies achieved major success while in New Zealand," Mr Hill said.
For example, Farmscan-Computeronics appointed a New Zealand distributor and made direct sales as a result of the trip, and another firm - Nichols Concaves - appointed a second agent and expects to quadruple sales within 12 months.
"The practical interaction of WA agricultural manufacturers with potential buyers inside and outside Australia has significant benefits for the State.
"WARM has demonstrated what can be achieved collectively by small business - in this case agricultural manufacturers - through a system of networking.
"Individually, such an exercise may never have been undertaken."
A spokesman for WARM, Ian Bent, said that of the nine WA companies to attend the New Zealand field days, most achieved their objectives.
"The event also provided an opportunity to assess WA-made products against similar New Zealand products, and in most cases our products were superior in quality and price," Mr Bent said.
"Because of the success achieved by the WARM participants in New Zealand this year, we are looking at sending a larger group for the 1993 field days."