The Australian government has instituted a raft of measures to help businesses – particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – weather the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses around the world are gearing up to confront the period of uncertainty and difficulty that the coronavirus pandemic has brought.

Nippon Paper Industries has received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board to go ahead with the acquisition of Orora’s Australasian Fibre Business.

And now for some much needed good news: Australasia's peak packaging awards programme – the Packaging Innovation and Design Awards – has released its highly anticipated list of company and individual finalists across eight categories, representing the cream of the crop in packaging design innovation and industry contribution for 2020.

Packaging demand across the world reached US$917.1bn in 2019 and is expected to grow in the coming four years, according to the latest data from industry analyst Smithers.

Packaging producer Ecolean and its customers in the Chinese dairy sector are lending a helping hand in China during the coronavirus pandemic, donating goods to hospitals and communities.

Pact Group is joining the fight against the Coronavirus by starting up production of hand sanitiser, with operations across four of its Sydney facilities. Production is expected to be in full swing by mid-April.

Another one bites the dust – the Australasian Waste & Recycling Expo (AWRE) will no longer take place as scheduled, event organisers announced recently.

Eleven ANZ companies were set to receive WorldStar awards for packaging innovation at a gala ceremony during interpack. In line with other coronavirus-related event changes, the World Packaging Organisation has cancelled the event.

Australian industry events are falling like dominoes as the coronavirus pandemic gallops through our communities. The latest casualty is foodpro 2020, scheduled for 5-8 July and now postoned to 2021, with no fixed date as yet.

Any business with a turnover of up to $500m can take advantage of the government's new $150,000 instant asset write down on newly purchased plant and equipment, but they must do so by the end of June.

The AIP Australasian Packaging Conference 2020 and surrounding events, including the PKN Women in Packaging Breakfast, has been called off in line with current coronavirus health measures. New dates will be announced imminently.

The much awaited and inevitable decision has been taken to postpone packaging and processing megashow interpack 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. New dates have been set for 2021.

Trevor Evans, the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environment Management, and seven members of the APCO Collective Action Group have been confirmed as speakers at the 2020 AIP Australasian Packaging Conference.

Natural Evolution managing director and co-founder Krista Watkins has been named Queensland’s latest #eatqld Champion for her support of Queensland produce and agricultural innovation. Watkins will join the panel at the upcoming Women in Packaging breakfast forum on 2 April.