Growers near Australia’s capital Canberra will soon have direct airfreight services into Asia with the Canberra International Airport due to open in September 2016.
The first international flights will run from Canberra to Singapore and Wellington, New Zealand, with both passenger and cargo services being explored.
Australian federal trade & investment minister Andrew Robb spoke at the International Freight Symposium in Canberra on Friday 12 February, where he stressed the importance of connectivity in boosting trade opportunities.
“When you enhance connectivity, in particular aviation links, you inevitably also boost trade and investment,” Robb said, according to Farm Weekly. “As the only 747-capable, curfew-free airport between Brisbane and Melbourne, Canberra is an increasingly attractive alternative to sending freight from Sydney.
“In terms of the freight movements of goods and produce, recent experience shows how improved connectivity increases exports.”
Cherry growers in particular are expected to benefit from the new routes, though growers in the nearby Yass Valley and Young Shire are still restricted by biosecurity protocols due to fruit fly.
The Australian government is also negotiating a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with Singapore, which Robb said would benefit trade and investment in business, tourism and education.
“The aim is to see a level of integration akin to the relationship we enjoy with New Zealand; so quite appropriate to see the flights between our three countries,” he said.