Find a market niche for ’Asian Century’ council says
THE Southern Downs Regional Council has encouraged producers to consider the export market through a new economic development initiative.
At a breakfast yesterday TradeStart Export Adviser Geraldine Doumany spoke to local businesses about preparing for export in the Asian Century, a term used to describe the future Asia domination of global markets.
Ms Doumany identified natural resources and food security as two of the largest opportunities in the export market.
Niche quality products were also noted as one of the region's greatest strengths.
"Export wasn't as big for a while. However, people are revisiting after the high Australian dollar," she said.
Federal funding is also available to those who want to pursue overseas economies in the form of an export market development grant.
At the Department of Agriculture, Senior Industry Development officer for horticulture Justin Heaven said a company did not have to be a multinational to export.
"You do need to be significant in the domestic market, but we find niche markets in IT especially reach overseas, sometimes even before they get to Australia," Mr Heaven said.
Australian Vinegar CEO and principal vinegar maker Ian Henderson has already realised the potential of international market, but said exporting was not for the faint-hearted.
"I love the challenge; exporting can be profitable if you have a great product at a good price with the right people in place," he said.
Australian Vinegar itself has exported since 2006, originally servicing only foreign markets.
"The trick is to find your niche," he said.
"Exporting is like shooting with a rifle, not a shot gun. You need to take aim."
Ms Doumany also spoke of the potential of external investment in the Southern Downs as an opportunity.
"We do realise it is an area of contention; a good investment partner is crucial," she said. "Every time someone mentions outside investment alarm bells ring; we need to make sure it's a value adding process as an injection of capital to rural communities," Mr Heaven added.
"A joint venture is really what it's about, but its all blue skies at the moment," he said.
Export Market Development Grants
- Income of not more than $50 million in the grant year.
- Incurred at least $20,000 of eligible export expenses under the scheme (first-time applicants can combine two years expenses).
- Principal status for the export business (some exceptions apply, eg. non-profit export focused industry bodies).
- The business also must have promoted one of the following:
- The export of goods and most services.
- Inbound tourism.
- The export of intellectual property and know-how.
- Conferences and events held in Australia.