Part of national C$1B COVID-19 relief and recovery fund . . .
As part of Australia’s C$1-billion COVID-19 relief and recovery fund, its federal government has pledged C$110 million to help its fisheries and agriculture sectors by restoring freight flights to key international markets. The fund is set aside to support sectors, regions, and communities most severely affected by the outbreak. The country’s agriculture and fisheries sectors are major exporters to Asia and have been hit hard by the pandemic-related reduction in demand across the region.
A focus on freight . . .
Part of the assistance is the new International Freight Assistance Mechanism that will help these hard-hit sectors overcome air freight limitations and resume exports to key markets in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. It will help optimize the utilization of limited freight flights exporting high-quality products to international markets while bringing back essential medical supplies on return flights. The support is targeted to those exporters dependent on air freight to export high-value agricultural and fisheries products. Additionally, all levies for the year for Australian fishers have been waived, which will save operators an estimated C$10 million.
Canada’s plan to support its business and industries . . .
Canada’s COVID-19 economic response plan is providing support to major industries, including fisheries and agriculture. To ensure cash flow and worker retention, credit availability is being provided to farmers and small businesses through institutions like Farm Credit Canada and Export Development Canada. In a joint statement released by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on March 27, federal and provincial ministers committed to work together and recognized the need to ensure that a logistical support system is in place to facilitate the continued movement of produce.
- Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics: Australian fisheries and aquaculture outlook 2020
- Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment: Securing freight access for Australian agricultural and fisheries exporters
- Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Joint statement on ongoing collaboration of federal-provincial ministers related to COVID-19 impacts