NORTHERN Australia is set to provide a substantial economic boost to Australia, with beef and live cattle exports to South East Asia expected to deliver up to $13 billion a year from 2025.
Speaking at the LIVExchange conference in Townsville on Wednesday, LNP Senator for Queensland, Susan McDonald said Vietnam held the greatest potential as a developing market, with potential earnings of to $11.5 billion by 2025.
A new report from the Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia and the Australian Chamber of Commerce in ASEAN found that demand for beef and live cattle exports would be greatest in Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The study, Capturing the ASEAN Agricultural Opportunity for Northern Australia, assessed all of Australia's agri-food products exported to the ASEAN region. The 15 industries identified included live cattle, beef, wheat, sheep meat, milk and cream powder, malt, table grapes, cheese, cream, oranges, infant food preparations, rock lobsters, macadamias, avocados, and soybeans.
"The report found that beef and live cattle as best bets for Northern Australia producers with Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia as key markets," Senator McDonald said.
"Producers are always looking for new opportunities and the untapped potential in Vietnam is great news. There is a growing consumer class driving this demand.
"Pointedly, the report also calls for regulatory impediments and market access issues to be addressed."
CLP Senator for the Northern Territory, Sam McMahon, said the report was also great news for the NT, which relied heavily on the live cattle and beef industries to support the local economy.
Darwin Port manages almost 40 per cent of Australia's live cattle exports.
"Territorians know the value of the beef and live cattle industry and news of new opportunities is a great shot in the arm for people," Senator McMahon said.
"The opportunities across a range of different products are an opportunity for the Territory which is ideally placed to facilitate exports to the ASEAN region."
The LIVExchange conference continues tomorrow.