A new report from Deloitte has found that Australian companies will need to innovate quickly and efficiently to adapt to the needs of customers in new markets.
The Australian Business Trends 2014 report examines how Australian businesses can capitalise on the latest global trends in order to benefit from new technologies and an accompanying explosion in the movement of goods, services, capital, people, ideas, cultures and values.
One of the key trends in the report, ‘Another billion’, explores the impact on consumption and identifies opportunities if a billion people are expected to enter the ‘middle class’ globally over the next two decades.
“This spread of prosperity will offer a raft of opportunities for businesses that move first, and will present challenges for those that lag behind,” the report said.
“Increased consumption in the Asia-Pacific region will provide huge opportunities to Australian companies, especially across the financial services, retail and telecommunications industries,” it said.
Jenny Wilson, customer strategy and insights partner with Deloitte Consulting, said Australia is well placed to capitalise on this changing economic landscape, especially due to its proximity to the growth markets of Asia.
“Strengthening our already strong relationships with the new global giants such as China and India will become more important than ever as we seek to establish a stronger presence in their markets and their companies continue to enter ours,” Ms Wilson said.
“Reaching the one billion is not a simple ‘acquire and enter strategy’ - as inherent within this ‘mass opportunity’ is a myriad of micro segments which will drive different meaning to why consumers value and consume products and services,” she said.
China is already Australia’s largest trading partner by some way, taking a stunning 38 per cent of Australian merchandise exports, Ms Wilson said.
“The detail of the [free trade agreement] is still to be seen, but it appears to offer significant opportunities for many Australian exporters to better access the massive Chinese market,” she said.
“There will also soon be trade benefits in ‘new’ export sectors such as health, education and financial services, with firms in these sectors having additional access to operate in China.”