Australia is currently undergoing an economic transition but outgoing Treasury Secretary Martin Parkinson wanted to remind the country overnight of the massive impact and potential it has had and will have due to our proximity to China and the rest of Asia.
On the trade pivot to China, Parkinson said:
In 2003-04, 23.3 per cent of our exports went to the Anglosphere – the US, UK and New Zealand. In 2013-14, this was 10.8 per cent. Over that decade, the fastest-growing export market was China, which went from receiving 8.5 per cent of our exports to 32.4 per cent.
On the massive opportunity from the emerging middle class in the region:
By 2050, four of the 5 largest economies in the world will be in our region – China, India, Japan, and Indonesia.
I have spoken in the past about the emerging middle class in China, India, Indonesia and other populous countries, as the next source of global growth in consumption. In this decade – and for the first time in 300 years – we will see the number of Asian middle-class consumers equal the number in Europe and North America.
This middle class – which is expected to grow from around 500 million people in 2009 to around 3.2 billion by 2030 – is likely to increase its demand for a wide range of goods and services.
The transition continues but the opportunities remain.