Jump start for stalled Aussie exports

01 Apr 2020 |

A new intiative to get international freight moving again will ensure global markets are once again stocked with Australian products, and in turn will shore up vital trading relationships currently at risk.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry congratulates the Federal Government for making international freight a priority, following its curtailment in recent weeks due to isolation policies implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Government’s new $110m program, to be coordinated by logistics expert Michael Byrne, will revive stalled exports in seafood, red meat, horticulture, and dairy to China, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. The freight routes will also prioritise the backhaul for medical and other supplies.

ACCI Director of Trade and International Affairs Bryan Clark said many Australian producers had been all but shut down as a side effect of the ban on passenger flights.

“While Australia has always been well serviced by dedicated freight aircraft, the high frequency passenger planes have historically been an important freight channel. This dropped off suddenly as passenger flights were limited and then became almost unavailable.”

“This initiative will kick start the flow of high quality and high value Australian products to the consumers in our most valuable markets across Asia, the Middle East and beyond.

“As China and other nations look to reestablish trading links in an attempt to return to some levels of normalcy, it is extremely important we move quickly to ensure our trading relationships are re-established and consumers get Australian products before another supply nations takes our spot.

“The initiative to backload with important supplies for Australia health and other needs is really smart. This ensures the flights will be commercially viable and that Australian people, medical services and businesses can get access to critical supplies to overcome immediate shortfalls in some areas.

“Sea freight will remain our most important channel for goods trade and we hope that can also ramp up as soon as possible but this is a key step to getting our highest value products into and out of Australia.

Mr Clark said the complementary announcement of funding for the Export Market Development Fund was “excellent news for Aussie exporters”.

“ACCI has been calling for the fund to return to its recent high point of $200 million and the Government has exceeded this in its announcement today.

“The programme reimburses expenses companies incur when trying to enter new markets and the new funds will apply to expenses already incurred in this current financial year, so it will be a direct cash injection to eligible firms.”

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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