MORE than $72 million has been committed to expanding and diversifying markets for Australian farming, forestry and fishing exporters, with trade set to be one of the biggest issues for 2021.
The federal government package includes scaled-up support services for 2000 agri-food exporters to expand their international markets, greater access to market intelligence, matched grants for government and industry associations, and additional technical experts.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the new package of measures would kick off early in 2021, providing rapid support to agri-food exporters.
"Diversifying your customer base is a basic principle of doing business and markets don't sit still so we shouldn't either," Mr Littleproud said.
"We need to continually be working with industry to maintain, expand and create markets for our primary producers.
"There is no doubt that the global appetite for Australia's high-quality produce is strong, however developing new markets doesn't happen overnight."
Newly-minted Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the package would build on the government's work to expand free-trade agreements and market access for Australia's agricultural sector by enabling it to scale up its exporter services.
"Trade plays a critical role in our economy, supporting one in five Australian jobs, and we want to ensure our agribusinesses have access to the right services and information to continue growing and expanding their overseas markets," Mr Tehan said.
"This initiative will see government work in partnership with industry and individual businesses to map out new export markets and opportunities and take full advantage of the government's extensive trade and investment network to strengthen their businesses."
Australia's relationship with its largest trade partner China will be among the biggest challenges facing the Morrison government in 2021, alongside the COVID-19 vaccination and the nation's economic recovery from the pandemic.
China has placed tariffs and unofficial trade bans on Australian barley, wine, timber, lobster and coal, while there are concerns more exports may be added to the list.
The story Millions for agri-food exporters to expand international markets first appeared on Farm Online.