Australia is right on the doorstep of the booming middle class in Asia; something that plays to Australia’s food production credentials. The strength of Australia’s agriculture and food sector, underpinned by rural exports worth $A45 billion annually, will likely exceed $A100 billion in the next 15 years.
If the Chinese were to consume one more kilo of beef and one more kilo of lamb per capita, which is not out of the question, the market would need to supply an additional 6.5 million head of cattle and 65 million lambs – extraordinary!
The emergence too of south east Asia trading partners - like Indonesia – creates diverse and growing markets. By 2030, Indonesia will be the fifth largest economy in the world, yet trade with Indonesia remains extremely low.
With average beef consumption at 2kgs per head, compared with the OECD country average of 14kg – a quantum shift is undoubtedly on the way. Producers, processors, exporters – all those in the supply chain need to be ahead of the demand curve.
LIFE AFTER THE BOOM
The opportunity for the North extends well beyond resources and agriculture.
Australia has just reached a 25-year deal with the Singaporean Government that will see Singapore increase the number of troops it has on rotation in Australia from 6,000 to 14,000.
The Asian Development Bank estimated there is $US8 trillion worth of infrastructure projects in the region between 2010 and 2020. The opportunity for our intellectual capital – in the form of architects, engineers and project managers – is as strong as any commodity we currently export. And one that is underutilised.
The FTAs with key trading partners Japan, Korea and China open the door for many businesses and further illustrate the importance of Australia’s bi-lateral relations.
From a consumer perspective we’re now seeing people demand higher quality products and niche services, in everything from meat, wine, health and beauty services to technology and medical expertise and education.