NSW businesses are invited by Austrade to learn about the place to be – North East Asia – at a free Small Business Month September 2007 event.
Austrade’s Regional Director, North East Asia, Laurie Smith said the North East Asian markets of Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan collectively account for over a third of Australia’s merchandise exports.
"China’s emergence as a major industrial powerhouse is one of the most significant and positive trade developments for Australia," Mr Smith said.
"In the next decade, China will likely overtake Germany to become the world’s third largest economy after the United States and Japan. Japan is Australia’s largest trading partner and has been Australia’s number one export market for nearly 40 years. Likewise Australia shares a very strong trading relationship with South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"Australia’s current Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with China and Japan and a potential FTA with Korea, along with emerging new business opportunities in the region make it essential that Australian companies have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of the markets in North East Asia," he said.
Austrade’s Beijing-based China Country Manager, Peter Osborne said nearly 4,000 Australian companies exported to China over the last 12 months.
"Austrade expects to see strong opportunities and success by Australian exporters both in the more developed urban centres and the eastern seaboard as well as in newly emerging ‘1st and 2nd tier’ cities in China," Mr Osborne said.
Austrade’s Osaka/Japan-based Senior Trade Commissioner Michael Clifton said trends in Japan are positive across the board, with notable activity in areas such as wine, arts and entertainment as well as food products.
"The influx of Australians to Japanese ski fields is proving positive in terms of profile and enhanced demand for Australian food and wine products in these areas," Mr Clifton said.
Austrade’s Seoul-based Trade Commissioner, Joanne Lee said Koreans’ interest in health and wellbeing continues to drive demand for quality lifestyle products, fashion, cosmetics and organic foods – as well as education and travel.
"Looking forward, the services sector is an area that has good potential in the future as Korean companies adopt more western styles of business," Ms Lee said.
Austrade’s Hong Kong-based Senior Trade Commissioner Mark Wood said Australia’s exports to Hong Kong improved by almost 18 per cent last year. Hong Kong is Australia’s 12th largest export market with total merchandise exports worth $3.15 billion in 2006 and services exports of $1.6 billion.
"In Hong Kong there’s growing demand for wellbeing products such as natural cosmetics, skin care and health products to complement Australia’s traditional exports of premium food and beverages," Mr Wood said. "There’s also a well-established market for Australian professional services, for construction materials and for education and training.
"Australia’s exports to neighbouring Macau grew a massive 35 per cent in 2006 to $50 million, largely due to a rapid increase in exports of gaming equipment. Export opportunities in Macau include building materials and construction services; food and beverages; gaming and related technologies, and vocational training," he said.
Austrade’s Taipei-based Trade Commissioner, Dianne Zou said the Taiwanese are experiencing the Australian lifestyle through tourism and education opportunities with many young working holiday makers going to Australia and acquiring a taste for Australian products and our wine.