Forum expands northern exports

Three regions represented at the Northern Australia Forum will join with Federal, State and Territory Governments to improve and increase access to professional export and trade assistance services through the opening of TradeStart offices in Alice Springs, Carnarvon and the Kimberley.

Senator Macdonald announced the TradeStart offices in his concluding speech at the Forum, addressing one of the priorities raised during the three days in Katherine and the preceding local consultations. TradeStart draws on Austrade services to assist clients on the spot, promote exports within the local business community and facilitate learning regarding the export industry and its benefits to the local community.

As well as funding and resource assistance from Austrade, Minister Macdonald also announced that the Federal Government will be providing an additional $198,000 over two years for the three offices.

The doubling of TradeStart offices in the North highlighted that regional and rural based businesses have significant potential to further contribute to Australia's exports. The growing network also underlined the Federal Government's long term commitment to regional Australia by directly boosting local employment.

Opening TradeStart offices throughout the country will help to eliminate the traditional barriers of isolation, providing regional Australia with the necessary support to 'look global'.

The Gascoyne Development Commission will support the TradeStart initiative in the Gascoyne region where export potential has been identified in fisheries and aquaculture, horticulture, the pastoral industry and increased tourism.

The Kimberley Development Commission will partner with Austrade in the Kimberley region to further develop exports in the areas of irrigated leases, horticulture, aquaculture, pastoral industries and education.

The Alice Springs TradeStart service will be facilitated by the Northern Territory's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Export opportunities in indigenous arts and craft, horticulture, arid zone expertise and products and tourism will be explored and developed. TradeStart offices already located in the North include Cairns, Rockhampton and Darwin.

TradeStart also provides remote exporters access to international market expertise through Austrade offices around the globe.