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.