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Local spotlight on our Asia future

Asia's demand is rising for natural resources, agrifoods and fibres, tourist services and investments according to JCU's Professor Zhangyue Zhou.

Nov 6, 2012: - Asia’s demand is rising for natural resources, agrifoods and fibres, tourist services and investments according to James Cook University’s Professor Zhangyue Zhou.

The Director of the University’s AusAsia Business Studies Program, Professor Zhangyue said that the large and increasing population but limited and diminishing resources gave Asians no choice but resorting to meeting their rising demand from overseas resources.

This will be a key topic at the annual Asian Market Forum to be held at JCU in Townsville on Thursday (November 8).

The forum’s aim is to update the local business community about the Asian economy and market.

“For every five people around the globe, three are from Asia,” Professor Zhangyue said, “and the total Asian population will further increase from the current 4.2 billion people to 5.3 billion by 2050.”

He said that the increase in consumer income and urbanisation will only further fuel Asia’s demand.

“Much of the increased demand will have to be met by increased imports. Taking cereals and meats as an example by 2050 Asia will be a major net importer of both cereals and meats.”

Asian consumers’ income is also improving, led by China and India’s fast economic growth and the urbanisation of the continent is expected to increase from the current 42 per cent to 66 per cent by 2050.

“Our northern Queensland region is lucky to have been endowed with diverse resources that are highly demanded by Asian consumers - rich natural resources, envious agricultural conditions to produce agrifoods and fibre, world heritage listed attractions for tourists, and enormous opportunities for foreign direct investments,” Professor Zhangyue said.

“But our region is not the only one in Australia where Asians have to do business,” he said. “To capture potential opportunities from the rising Asian demand so that we can best utilise our endowments, we have to continuously update our knowledge of Asia and understand the Asian market.”

Key topics for Forum include:

  • Economic and market development and outlook in the Asian region by a senior officer from ABARE

  • Updates on Australia’s Free Trade Agreement negotiations and impacts for North Queensland from one of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s senior negotiators

  • How to attract Asian investors to invest in the North Queensland region from a senior fund manager who has enormous experience of the Asian market

  • Projections of flows of Asian tourists, especially from China, to the region by one of James Cook University’s world-renowned tourism professors

  • Agrifood demands in the Asian region and opportunities for northern Queensland by the Principal Agrifood Analyst from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The 2012 Asian Market Forum is jointly organised by the AusAsia Business Studies Program at the School of Business of James Cook University in partnership with Queensland Government’s Treasury and Trade, Austrade, Port of Townsville, Townsville Enterprise and Townsville Chamber of Commerce.

Contact: Professor Zhangyue 07 4781 5890 or 0401 942036

JCU media: Jim O’Brien 07 4781 4822 or 0418 892449

Issued: November 6, 2012