Ex­porters eye Ja­pan for growth

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

JA­PAN is emerg­ing as a coun­try show­ing real in­ter­est in Tas­ma­nian pro­duce, says a re­port on op­por­tu­ni­ties in Asia.

ANZ re­gional busi­ness bank­ing ex­ec­u­tive for Tas­ma­nia, Chris Sparks, said the bank’s Op­por­tu­nity Asia re­port showed ru­ral and re­gional busi­nesses could be the key to un­lock­ing fore­cast rev­enue growth of $138 bil­lion for Aus­tralia’s econ­omy through ex­pan­sion and ex­port into Asia.

“Ja­pan is an in­ter­est­ing mar­ket, for ex­am­ple Tas­ma­nian oys­ters are be­ing sup­plied into Ja­pan. Hazel­nuts and honey are other prod­ucts in their in­fancy ex­port­ing into Asia,” Mr Sparks said.

“Dairy, fol­lowed by cher­ries, ap­ples and beef are four sec­tors mov­ing quite quickly.”

He said lo­cal milk prices were slowly bounc­ing back.

“There is no doubt re­cent step-ups in far­m­gate milk prices have made a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence to help farm­ers break even and in­ter­na­tional de­mand will slowly in­crease.

Mr Sparks said the ANZ’s view was that the mar­ket would sta­bilise quickly.

China re­mains the No.1 pri­or­ity for 76 per cent of re­gional en­ter­prises across Aus­tralia.

“It’s not hard to see why when we con­sider the av­er­age an­nual growth rate of food and bev­er­age im­ports into China is fore­cast to in­crease by 20 per cent per year un­til the end of the decade,” Mr Sparks said.

“To en­sure mar­ket share in China and other Asian mar­kets, re­gional busi­nesses must re­main ag­ile, thereby in­creas­ing their ca­pac­ity to cater for grow­ing off­shore de­mand.

“Key to their con­sid­er­a­tions will also be their fu­ture in­vest­ment needs and po­ten­tially dif­fer­ent or al­ter­na­tive fund­ing op­tions.”

The re­port sur­veyed more than 1000 Aus­tralian busi­nesses on sen­ti­ment around in­ter­na­tional growth. The re­sults high­lighted that trade into Asia from re­gional busi­nesses has in­creased 85 per cent in the past eight years, out­pac­ing metropoli­tan en­ter­prises.

The re­port fore­casts the ma­jor­ity of Aus­tralia’s ex­port growth over the next 10 years will come from re­gional Aus­tralia, with agri­cul­ture set to be a sig­nif­i­cant player.

ANZ gen­eral man­ager for re­gional busi­ness bank­ing Chris­tine Lin­den said the agri­cul­tural sec­tor was im­por­tant for Aus­tralia’s growth.

She said the re­port showed a ma­jor­ity of agribusi­nesses con­sid­ered do­ing busi­ness in Asia an at­trac­tive op­tion and planned to ex­pand their busi­ness into Asia.

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