Old Asia a well of op­por­tu­nity


A RAPIDLY age­ing Asian pop­u­la­tion could pro­vide a tail­wind of new eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for Aus­tralian busi­nesses, a Deloitte re­port says.

The con­sul­tancy’s third edi­tion of its Voice in Asia se­ries fore­casts that Asians aged over 65 will be the largest and fastest-grow­ing mar­ket in the world, pro­vid­ing a “tar­get-rich” en­vi­ron­ment for busi­ness.

Those in Asia aged over 65 will in­crease from 365 mil­lion in 2017, to more than 520 mil­lion in 2027, with the re­gion to have more peo­ple aged over 65 than the eu­ro­zone and North Amer­ica com­bined by 2047.

The re­port says that while it will cre­ate emerg­ing chal­lenges for eco­nomic growth in age­ing na­tions, age­ing pop­u­la­tions will gen­er­ate a “growth clus­ter” of new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Age­ing pop­u­la­tions may well be chal­leng­ing to some na­tions, but they will also present some in­cred­i­ble busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties within those same na­tions. Our anal­y­sis shows age­ing will pro­duce some very large win­ners at the in­dus­try level, par­tic­u­larly in Asia,” Deloitte Australia Econ­o­mist Chris Richard­son said.

The re­port said there are more peo­ple earn­ing more money in Asia who are keen to spend and that pri­vate sec­tor op­por­tu­ni­ties on health-re­lated ser­vices will grow as “stretched gov­ern­ment bud­gets” mean a likely re­duc­tion in tax­payer spend­ing.

Deloitte Asia Pa­cific deputy man­ag­ing part­ner Ian Thatcher said Australia will be less at risk of an age­ing-re­lated slow­down be­cause of its track re- cord of wel­com­ing mi­grants. “And we are also very well po­si­tioned to sell into the chang­ing growth dy­namic in Asia,” he said.

“Hav­ing rid­den a mas­sive wave with China and min­ing, the com­ing po­ten­tial out of Asia will lie more in other coun­tries and other sec­tors.

“Aus­tralian busi­nesses in tourism, agribusi­ness, health care, ed­u­ca­tion and wealth man­age­ment will all see a tail­wind of Asian de­mand in the years ahead.”

The re­port says that money be­ing spent by and on age­ing pop­u­la­tions will grow even faster than Asia ages be­cause of the im­pact of new tech­nolo­gies and the on­go­ing man- age­ment of in­creas­ing chronic con­di­tions.

It says that more Asian coun­tries can min­imise the im­pact of age­ing through:

GET­TING more women into the work­force to boost growth po­ten­tial;

WEL­COM­ING mi­grants, par­tic­u­larly those who are young and highly-skilled;

IN­CREASE pro­duc­tiv­ity through a gov­ern­ment fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion and re-skilling the work­force as a way to bol­ster op­por­tu­ni­ties of­fered through new tech­nolo­gies.

Deloitte Ja­pan Econ­o­mist Tsuy­hoshi Oyanna said it was in­creas­ingly ev­i­dent in Ja­pan that age­ing-re­lated op­por­tu­ni­ties will be well be­yond health care. “Rapid age­ing in the Ja­panese pop­u­la­tion has changed the needs of peo­ple and the way busi­nesses sat­isfy them,” he said.

“There has been in­creas­ing de­mand in sec­tors such as nurs­ing, con­sumer goods for the el­derly, age-ap­pro­pri­ate hous­ing . . . as well as as­set man­age­ment and in­sur­ance.”

CASHING IN: A pro­duce mar­ket in Hong Kong, China. A new re­port says the age­ing Asian pop­u­la­tion will pro­duce some big win­ners at the in­dus­try level.

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