8 November 2016,

AUSTRALIAN businesses could gain $138 billion in revenue by acting on expansion plans into Asia, says the latest ANZ Opportunity Asia report.

The report, based on a survey of 1,000 Australian businesses, shows that those who acted on expansion plans into Asia found it easier than expected, and reaped increased revenue.

ANZ group executive, Australia, Fred Ohlsson says that challenging business conditions in Australia, including stagnant wages and a higher cost of living, have encouraged locally-based businesses to look to Asia for profit.

"We've found more of our customers are considering alternative revenue streams overseas to ensure sustainable growth," says Ohlsson.

The key findings of the report are:
  • Existing Australian operations in Asia have on average a turnover 16% higher than those who are domestically focused;
  • 73% say that Asian profit margins are higher or comparable to their domestic profit margins;
  • 57% say doing business in Asia makes sustainable growth far more achievable;
  • 87% are planning to embark on an Asian expansion will do so within three years;
  • 65% of survey participants are planning on doing business in Asia are targeting China;
  • 75% from the agricultural sector say they receive substantially larger profits from their Asian operations than from their domestic markets.

The agricultural sector is capitalising on the opportunity - 75 per cent of businesses receive substantially higher profits from their Asian operations, while 89 per cent of survey respondents say doing business in Asia is an "attractive option".

"The growing middle class in Asia and its ever-increasing demand for clean, green and high-quality food sources means that Australian agricultural produce is and will continue to be in high demand," says Ohlsson.

The report also shows that expanding into Asia is easier than many first think - 71 per cent of businesses say they had no issues with securing appropriate levels of funding, while 64 per cent say that they had no difficulties in developing the right Asian strategy for their business to succeed.

"Common misconceptions are that the process is complex and obtaining capital is hard, but our research shows businesses who have taken on the challenge are now reaping the rewards with many describing their Asian experience as more straight forward than it would be seeking growth in other international markets," says Ohlsson.

The Opportunity Asia report is designed to capture sentiments around international growth to identify best practice, share insights, and highlight opportunities while providing guidance on how to navigate challenges that may be holding some businesses back.






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