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7 May 2021

Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews

Agribusiness, commercial fishing and aquaculture news from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).  If you have any questions or information to share, please email export@dpird.wa.gov.auSubscribe to Western Australian Agrifood Export eNews.

IFAM online briefing for WA agribusiness exporters

The teams from the Australian Government's International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) and the Agribusiness Expansion Initiative (ABEI) will host a joint virtual industry briefing for Western Australian exporters this coming Monday 10 May 2021.

The event will be a great opportunity for industry to hear about the latest developments at IFAM, adapting to 'new-look' supply chains, and new insights into the current airfreight environment.  Participants will also receive an introduction to ABEI, which is already helping exporters across Australia expand their international markets or find new ones.

Most importantly, exporters will be able to speak directly with IFAM's freight logistics and supply chain experts.  Please submit any questions for discussion to airfreight@austrade.gov.au by Sunday 9 May.

Since April 2020, IFAM has been helping Australian businesses stay connected to existing international markets by reconnecting and maintaining global air links during the COVID-19 pandemic. In contrast, ABEI was recently launched to help exporters expand and diversify to new markets through a range of services facilitated by Austrade and Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

The event will take place from 2 to 3 pm AWST on Monday 10 May, so register now to secure a spot.

The latest IFAM outbound and inbound flights are available on the IFAM website. Exporters should speak to their freight forwarder and visit the IFAM website for further assistance.  For more information, please email airfreight@austrade.gov.au, Austrade State Director WA, Jane Caforio, at jane.caforio@austrade.gov.au, or DPIRD's International Airfreight Coordinator, Terry Burnage, at terry.burnage@dpird.wa.gov.au.  Source and Graphic:  IFAM / DPIRD 

Expand your commercial capabilities through the 2021 Innovation Voucher Program

West Australian businesses are encouraged to apply for this year’s Innovation Voucher Program.

The program aims to support start-ups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) access the professional skills and services they need to advance their ideas or commercial activities in Western Australia.

Eligible businesses can receive up to $20,000 of financial support, which can go a long way to supporting businesses in four categories of activity – research and development, product development, technology transfer/intellectual property, and commercialisation support.  Recipients must co-contribute at least 20:80 applicant-to-state government funding to be eligible.

It's part of the State Government’s New Industries Fund, which functions to support innovative business operators and create new jobs in WA.

Overcoming the commercialisation gap be difficult, but with the financial backing received through the program, businesses can bridge that gap, successfully expand and help diversify the WA economy.

Since launching in 2011, a total of 178 vouchers worth approximately $3.3 million have been awarded through the program.  Applications close at 11 am AWST on 25 May 2021. For further information, please email the Department of Jobs, Tourism Science and Innovation at innovationvouchers@jtsi.wa.gov.auSource and Graphic:  JTSI

DFAT grants now available for Dubai World Expo

Grant funding is available from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Council for Australia-Arab Relations to promote Australian interests in the Middle East, specifically to promote Australian participation in the Dubai World Expo from 21 October 2021 to 22 March 2022.

Grants from $20,000 to $70,000 are available to create digital or physical promotions for Australian interests in the World Expo, which was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic may dampen an appetite for physical participation, virtual participation is entirely possible, and travel costs to Dubai are permissible under the grant guidelines.  

Applications must be made through the Australian Government's Smarty Grants website and close at 2 pm AWST on 2 June 2021.

For further information, please contact DFAT's Manager Council for Australia Arab Relations, via email at caar@dfat.gov.au, or call 02 6261 2090.  Source:  DFAT  |  Photo:  Dubai World Expo

WA tops agriculture equipment and machinery purchases

Just two weeks ago the World Bank said global agricultural prices had hit a seven-year high – 20% higher than a year ago – and this week a new report shows asset financing for equipment and machinery across Australia’s booming agriculture sector is also sitting at a seven-year high.

According to the Commonwealth Bank report, farmers in Western Australia have led the demand with new machinery purchases up 83%, followed by Queensland up 47%, and New South Wales up 30% compared to the same time last year.

The gains in global agricultural prices – driven by the recovery in global economic activity, strong demand from China, as well as some food supply shortfalls – have clearly been a major incentive to increasing investment in farm machinery across Australia. 

Commonwealth Bank’s Executive General Manager of Regional and Agribusiness, Grant Cairns, said this record funding was being driven by farmers investing in transport equipment, sowing and cropping equipment, tractors and harvesters.

According to the data, March 2021 was the third largest month for purchases of agriculture machinery since 2014. Tractor purchases are up 78% and harvesters up 88%, compared to the same time last year.  Source:  Commonwealth Bank / World Bank / DPIRD |  Photo:  DPIRD

Apply now for Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Grant Pilot Program

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is inviting peak bodies, business associations, industry organisations and other relevant stakeholders with an interest in enhancing trade and investment between Australia and Vietnam to apply for funding under the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Grant Pilot Program.

The intended outcomes of this grant opportunity are to: increase public awareness of Australia’s economic opportunities in Vietnam; develop enduring partnerships across sectors in Australia and Vietnam; and increase Australia’s capacity to effectively engage with Vietnam in existing and emerging areas of mutual economic interest.

Applications for grants – valued from $50,000 to $100,000 – close 12 noon AWST on 14 May 2021.  For further information, please email DFAT's Vietnam Economic Strategy Team at vietnameconomicstrategy@dfat.gov.au by no later than 10 May 2021.  Source and Photo / Graphic:  DFAT 

WTO: Global trade costs down 15% from 2000 to 2018

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) says global trade costs have declined by 15% between 2000 and 2018, with trade costs for agricultural goods lower than costs for trade in services, although trade costs for manufactured goods are the lowest. 

Using estimates of bilateral trade costs for 43 economies and 31 sectors, the WTO Trade Cost Index database launched last week details the impact of regulatory barriers and other factors on costs to trade.

Key findings of this WTO analysis include:

  • Overall trade costs are higher for women, smaller businesses and unskilled workers.
  • High-income groups face higher trade costs, given their larger share of consumption in services.
  • Trade policy barriers and regulatory differences are estimated to account for at least 14 per cent of trade costs in all sectors. 
  • Trade policy barriers are relatively the most important component of trade costs for trade among low income economies.
  • Transport and travel costs together with information and transaction costs explain the largest share of trade costs between high-income economies.

Further updates to the WTO index will look into capturing the cost of uncertainty in the global market – including from the COVID-19 pandemic – and will explore ways to produce timely estimates of trade costs to account for real time update of trade measures.  Source and Photo:  WTO