NAB Chief Economist Alan Oster has shared his thoughts for the year ahead, with Asia offering Australian businesses many opportunities in 2015.
Mr Oster said when looking at opportunities for Australian business in the Asia, the first place you need to look is China.
“The Chinese GDP numbers, which came out recently, were a little bit higher than most people thought,” Mr Oster said.
“The second biggest economy in the world, growing at around seven per cent, is still good – so the demand for commodities is huge.”
While the expectation going forward is for Chinese GDP growth of around seven per cent, Mr Oster said that Chinese authorities are also trying to make their growth more sustainable, moving more into the consumer market.
Mr Oster observed that while the non-Japanese economies in Asia are struggling slightly now because they are trade hubs and trade is not strong at present, these economies will benefit from the fall in oil prices more than most.
When looking at India, Mr Oster said there are promising signs coming out of the Indian economy.
“India looks like it’s coming back a lot stronger than previously thought.”
The Free Trade Agreements recently signed by the Australian Government with Japan, South Korea and China will also provide new business opportunities for Australia according to Mr Oster.
“The benefits tend to be opening up some of the trade areas – so, if you think of China – essentially we got deals in agriculture that puts us on the same level playing field as New Zealand.
“The benefit is closer interaction, you’re going to see more Asian tourism coming here, more education. So, in the medium term it’s actually worth money.”