Expert’s visit is good timing
A VISIT to Cairns by respected Commonwealth Bank chief economist Craig James could not have come at a better time.
In Businessweek today he is urging business and community leaders to use the State Election to lobby hard for major investment, especially for exports through Cairns Airport.
It’s a golden opportunity to elicit promises for funds to secure new routes and export contracts.
Both major parties have made commitments to the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund but there also is a proposal for an irradiation plant to treat locally produced tropical fruits for export. Also grants are needed to explore export deals.
Food exports and tourism grow hand-in-hand. Passengers upstairs in the plane and quality export produce underneath, especially seafood and fruit.
Cashed up Asian consumers want top quality fruit, vegetables and meat, not just run of the mill bananas and sugar.
Mr James suggests creating a classy Far Northern export brand.
Our proximity to Asia, with airlines such as Cathay-Pacific, SilkAir and Hong Kong Airlines, provide regular flights and soon China Southern and Hainan carriers from mainland China.
Cathay-Pacific runs a very successful export freight business using their flights to and from Hong Kong.
Singapore is another market that must be seriously considered with demand for first class Australian products.
They are willing to pay for quality and can trust where the food comes from. Nick Dalton Deputy editor