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Australia to devote more trade and investment resources into Asia

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Australia is moving into the Asian Century by devoting more of its diplomatic and commercial resources to the region. Austrade, the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC), the Export Market and Development Grants scheme and Australia’s diplomatic efforts will all be concentrated more heavily on Asia following the release of the White Paper ‘Australia in the Asian Century’. Trade Minister, Craig Emerson said the rise of the Asian middle class offered unprecedented opportunities for manufacturers, farmer, miners and service providers. "The shift in the global centre of economic activity to Asia presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Australian businesses to tap into immense new markets," he said. "As growth in countries such as China, India and Indonesia moves to greater reliance on domestic consumption, increasingly affluent consumers will demand the high-quality food, manufactured goods and services that Australia provides so well," he added. The Gillard Government is deploying more of the country’s talent and resources into Asia to make the most of these opportunities. EFIC’s new mandate will ensure more of its resources are directed to addressing market failures that hinder SME’s exporters in emerging markets such as China, Indonesia, India and Mongolia. The Government recently announced a new consulate in Chengdu, Western China and if resources allow posts will be opened in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Phuket, Thailand; and in eastern Indonesia. Additionally, the appointment of a Resource and Energy Counsellor in Beijing will assist Australian companies to capitalise on China’s demand for minerals and energy resources. According to Emerson, personal relationships, good information and sound advice are always important in doing business. "In many Asian societies, they are essential. That’s why the government is making more of an effort to get more people and support on the ground across the region," he concluded.

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