A Launceston distillery could soon be exporting its wares to whisky-lovers across the Tasman Sea, as part of a push by the state government to bolster trade with New Zealand.
Chris Condon, director and head distiller at The Launceston Distillery, has welcomed the state government's "Draft New Zealand Integrated Trade Strategy", which aims to increase Tasmanian's exports across the Tasman Sea.
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"We're not currently exporting to New Zealand, and this opportunity could be fantastic for small companies like us," Mr Condon said.
"We're a growing company and need to look elsewhere for more markets, and I think the synergies between Tasmania and New Zealand would be a good fit for us.
"There's a growing whisky industry in New Zealand, and they like our clean, green image."
The draft strategy arrives as a restricted trans-Tasman bubble comes back into effect. As of Wednesday this week, travellers from New Zealand's South Island will be allowed to arrive in Australia without quarantining - but not vice versa.
Tasmanian Resources Minister Guy Barnett - who led a roundtable earlier this week to further develop the strategy - said bolstering trade with New Zealand was more important than ever.
"Growing trade with our neighbour will support our economic recovery and unlock our capacity to position ourselves for prosperity in a still uncertain post-pandemic market," he said.
The roundtable on Tuesday included Tasmanian businesses such as Mr Condon's, as well as representatives from the seafood, maritime, manufacturing and mining sectors.
The talks are intended to highlight areas the government can support Tasmanian industries looking to enter the New Zealand market.
In particular, the government has put a specific focus on encouraging both private and government partnerships between the two nations, as well as improving freight and other logistical difficulties faced by potential exporters. The draft strategy is also considering an improved Hobart-to-Auckland link to aid businesses and increase tourists.
The push is part of the state government's broader "Tasmanian Trade Strategy" which aims to grow Tasmania's trade to $15 billion by 2050. According to government data, exports over the past five years from Tasmania to New Zealand totalled $110 million.
Looking forward, Mr Barnett has flagged plans for a tourism and trade mission to New Zealand, when travel restrictions allow.
A finalised New Zealand trade strategy is expected by February 2022.
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