Export growth shows need for freight hub

4 March 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

UPLIFT IN TRADE FIGURES SIGNAL EXPORTS COULD TAKE OFF WITH ACT FREIGHT HUB

Merchandise exports from the ACT are on the rise and direct international flights to Asia and New Zealand will help this trend continue.

According to International Trade figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the ACT exported $3 million worth of goods in January 2016. This was a
three-year high and indicates demand is growing for merchandise from the ACT.

“The Canberra Region is home to many producers of excellent goods, but we need to ensure we continue to assist them to expand existing overseas markets and find new ones for their products,” Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry said.

“Our services sector already performs strongly on the international stage, and as we continue to mature in our thinking about the CBR Region economy, an increase in exports of goods, as well as services, will be important.

“With international flights and the accompanying air freight opportunities only six months away, we need to focus on facilitating entry into the export fray and removing the barriers to export growth.

“Road connections and other infrastructure investment will be vital, particularly upgrading key access routes such as the Barton Highway.”

Ms Hendry said Singapore Airlines services to Singapore and Wellington would open up potential new markets for local goods, and access to China and other Asian economies.

“Canberra Business Chamber supports Canberra Airport as the Region’s central freight hub because it will make export of fragile and perishable goods more time and cost effective for local businesses than exporting through Sydney.

“This in turn will deliver economic returns to the ACT. We look forward to reviewing the ACT Government’s freight strategy, which we expect to be released this month.”