With mining commodity prices on a downward trend, Australian exporters were advised to look into non-resource export to Asia as another profitable undertaking. A study by global business adviser Boston Consulting Group estimated that businesses outside the mining sector could earn up to $126 billion by 2021 if they shift their attention to this market.
While non-resource exports from Australia as a proportion of all non-resource Asian imports declined to 2.8 per cent from 3.1 per cent in the past decade, Boston expects such type of exports would grow significantly in the next 10 years based on the scale of Asia's economic growth which opens opportunities for Australian businesses.
The report, titled Imagining Australia in the Asian Century, was initiated by Boston with the Business Council of Australia and profiled 13 Australian companies that are already engaged in heavy trade with Asia. The 13 includes ANZ, Leighton, Linfox Logistics, RMIT University, Craig Mostyn Group and Crown.
"The benefits this delivered are now taken for granted. In two decades this may be the case for those Australian exporting businesses outside the resource sector that moved early to integrate with Asian economies," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the report.
"Australian firms expanding to Asia must place a higher bar, relative to their domestic businesses, on prioritising market entry, building relationships and gaining advantage from intellectual property and expertise," Boston Senior Partner and report co-author Larry Kamener was quoted by Business Spectator.
The $126-billion estimate excludes returns from the current $74-billion direct investments and portfolio holdings of Australian businesses in Asia.
The report identified nine areas where opportunities are bright, namely: finance, infrastructure, education and health services, resource capabilities, integration, logistics, manufacturing innovation, tourism and the creation of a food bowl for Asia.
It recommended the development of an Asia-capable workforce and new and innovative business models.
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