Australia’s growing agri-business and food sector offers unique opportunities for investors interested in food and fibre production, as well as downstream processing industries.
The government has been actively cultivating the agricultural sector as an economic growth engine, in addition to existing pillars such as mining and tourism. With production far surpassing domestic consumption of locally grown food, Australia is expected to continue driving export demand for its premium-quality food products. The government has started exploring northern Australia’s potential as a food bowl, encouraging private sector investment to assist in developing the region’s infrastructure to facilitate future agricultural production. Agricultural exports include wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables, cattle, sheep, poultry and seafood.
With a segregated land mass protected from contamination by a natural sea barrier, abundant arable land and operational efficiency, coupled with a transparent food chain and highly effective regulations, Australia is well-placed to be a long-term partner of choice for quality and premium food.
Given Australia’s proximity to major markets, its large land mass and dispersed population, Australia is dependent on well-functioning road, rail, airport and sea freight infrastructure to connect trade with the rest of the world.
In its recent 2019-2020 Budget announcement, the Australia Government has committed to a record transport infrastructure investment of A$100 billion (S$96.36 billion) over 10 years. The key focus will be on road and rail development projects as the Government aims to ease congestion in major capital cities, improve freight connectivity with regional areas and support the growing population which is expected to reach 40 million by 2035.
Singapore has been a long-term and significant investor in Australia’s real estate infrastructure, including traditional commercial, retail, tourism, and hospitality assets. In recent years, there is growing interest in new asset classes including: data centres, eco-tourism, health and wellness facilities, retirement living, student accommodation and urban/township developments. There is a wealth of opportunities to support Australia’s growing and ageing population, and international student sector.
Australia has some of the world’s largest reserves and deposits, with resource and energy accounting for almost half of Australia’s goods exports at A$278 billion (S$267.88 billion) in 2018-191. The resource and energy sector will continue to be a major contributor to Australia’s national wealth. Examples of these resources and energy include coal, gas, geothermal, hydro, solar, oil, uranium and wind.
Australia is a leader in renewable energy, with almost 17% of renewable generation contributing to the National Electricity Market. Australia has one of the world’s longest interconnected power systems which provides opportunities related to generation and distribution infrastructure. There is also demand for new technology and solutions aimed at delivering reliable and affordable energy, such as energy storage, micro/off-grid solutions, and peer-to-peer energy trading.
1 “Resources and energy commodity exports surge again”, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, 2019