Without a doubt, the size and scale of China is massive: if the Chinese were to consume one more kilo of beef and one more kilo of lamb per capita - not out of the question - the market would need to supply an additional 6.5 million head of cattle and 65 million lambs. Extraordinary!
" Australia is well positioned to continue to capitalise on continuing strong Asian economic growth and an expanding middle class."
Steven Ciobo, Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister
And that’s just China alone. Add in emerging markets like Indonesia and India and it is certainly exciting times for exporters. In just 2016, the value of Australia’s exports grew to $A312 billion.
Attitude doesn’t seem to be a hurdle. When I’m talking to customers and industry it appears optimism and the outlook is strengthening for many small and medium-sized businesses.
The latest Roy Morgan Business confidence rating shows the January result to be the highest in the past year – which is a fantastic sign for SMEs.
TAKING UP THE CHALLENGE
But the opportunity is nothing without someone taking advantage of it. As Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steve Ciobo says, with the government’s support in the form of trade deals, it’s up to the business sector to take up the challenge of Asia.
“Australia is well positioned to continue to capitalise on continuing strong Asian economic growth and an expanding middle class,” he told ANZ.
For the past two years, ANZ has produced an Opportunity Asia report, which is based on a survey of more than 1000 Australian businesses.
The report is designed to capture sentiments around international growth to identify the best practices, share insights, highlight opportunities and also provide assistance around some of the challenges that may be restricting some businesses from expanding.
The latest report shows, on average, businesses with existing operations in Asia had a turnover 16 per cent higher than those that were domestically focused.
Seventy three per cent of respondents acknowledged that their profit margins from the region are higher or comparable to their domestic profit margins.
Sixty five per cent of businesses with established Asian operations are planning to further expand their business operations.
There are a growing number of Australian companies planning to do business in Asia and if all of these plans come to fruition, Australian businesses could gain $A138 billion in additional annual revenue. Interestingly, our research shows that entering Asia is not as difficult as it can often seem. Businesses just need to be ready.