PwC Partner Andrew Parker said it is vital that businesses act now to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in Asian markets.
“Many Australian businesses fail to appreciate that the window of opportunity to get a foothold in Asia is fast closing,” he said.
“Companies that are now successful in Asia arrived there up to 15 years ago, and they made their business plans and investments work. Along with large local businesses, they are now the competition – and they are world-class competitors.”
Mr Parker last week launched the report Passing us by: Why Australian businesses are missing the Asian opportunity. And what they can do about it.
The report surveyed over 1,000 Australian businesses, showing that half of Australia’s large companies are doing business in Asia, but only 23 per cent have staff on the ground in-market.
“When we drilled down into what they were actually doing, it was clear that in many instances their ‘business’ consisted of little more than shopfronts or offices to source goods, or outsourcing part of their business functions,” Mr Parker said.
“We are trading with Asia at record levels but this is a bi-lateral relationship. The results of our survey clearly show that Australian business is a long way from the level of engagement, investment and commitment needed to secure a long-term share of the region’s growth.
“Within the next 10-15 years, Asia be will producing half of the world’s total economic output and be home to a growing middle class of a staggering 3.2 billion people,” Mr Parker said.
“There are still opportunities for Australian companies to do business in Asia, if done right.
“Australia can choose to be more than a farm or a quarry – and meet the gaps in a broad range of consumer products and services, including those that Australia does well: food, education, tourism, health and financial services,” Mr Parker said.
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