Pandemic recovery plan to boost Australian exporters’ online presence

ISLAMABAD, Mar 23 (APP):SYDNEY, March 23 (APP/Xinhua): A series of government grants will help Australian exporters ramp up online engagement with key overseas markets to aid economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials in the State of Queensland announced Tuesday that 400,000 Australian dollars (310,000 U.S. dollars) would be used to help local companies that already had an e-commerce deal and wanted to boost engagement.

Queensland Premier and Minister for Trade Annastacia Palaszczuk explained the scheme was part of her state’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan. “COVID-19 impacted the global economy and has brought substantial challenges to export businesses including increases in air-freight costs and lower availability of those services,” she said.

The upshot, according to Palaszczuk, was the pandemic had also introduced more consumers to the power of online shopping, creating an area of opportunity for businesses. “E-commerce is booming all over the world as more consumers in more markets see value in the convenience of online purchasing and home delivery,” Palaszczuk said. “So there’s an opportunity for Queensland exporters to use e-commerce to achieve higher returns.”

The state of Queensland is Australia’s second largest exporter in terms of value, much of which is made up of agricultural products such as meat, fruit and vegetables, which have a reputation for being among the best in the world. Based in the tropical Aussie city of Townsville, mango grower Manbulloo is among local businesses to greatly expand its e-commerce capacity over the past five years — now selling through digital channels in China, Canada and the United States, among others.

Manbulloo Export Manager Scott Ledger said through engaging with e-commerce platforms in those countries they were able to make up for profits lost during the pandemic. “Using e-commerce, consumers will pay more because they value the convenience of buying online and the freshness of the product delivered to their home,” Ledger said.

“Exporting provides us with another way to grow our business and provides us with opportunities to innovate in the supply chain.” Individual companies will be eligible for grants up to 10,000 Australian dollars (7,754.3 U.S. dollars ) as well as the guidance of Trade and Investment Queensland.

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