Business in Western Australia should feel encouraged to seek markets overseas with the launch of the Premier's `Adding Value' package, Small Business Minister Gordon Hill said today.
"The 12 month tax-free holiday she has guaranteed to new manufacturing and export projects, will exempt them from all State taxes - money that can be re-directed into product development, research and promotion overseas," he said.
"The State Government is well aware of the difficulties faced by local businesses trying to break into competitive markets overseas, particularly with our closest neighbours in Asia.
"Recent Government initiatives, such as the successful `Into Asia' conference and numerous trade promotion activities, have helped many local businesses develop new markets overseas and generate demand for WA's abundant commodities.
"Now, coupled with the total abolition of payroll tax, and the tax-holiday for new manufacturing and export projects, small businesses have been given an excellent chance to expand," Mr Hill said.
The `Adding Value' package also builds on the Government's `Into Asia' strategy by promising to remove any regulatory barriers to expanding trade into Asia; by enabling small businesses to visit Asia, and by doubling funds for Asian trade promotion.
Mr Hill said the Premier's plan would relieve 92 per cent of the State's businesses from the burden of payroll tax - without having to implement a GST, as the Opposition proposed to do.
He said other initiatives included in the package would slash by half the number of licences and regulations that now existed in WA and abolish the renewal fee for business registrations, while keeping the fee for new registrations within the CPI.
"Currently there are 415 State licences in WA, many of them outdated and prohibitive," he said.
"Abolishing half of them would be welcomed by most small businesses and dismissing the renewal fee for business registrations would benefit every business in WA - small, medium and large."
Mr Hill said the money saved by small business as a result of the Premier's package, would give many of them a better chance to succeed.
"As importantly, it would create employment opportunities - and incentives to employ extra staff.