Economy

“Super sectors” to contribute $250 billion to the economy within 20 years

Yolanda Redrup /

Agribusiness, resources, tourism, international education and wealth management have been identified as the next “super-growth” sectors, capable of contributing $250 billion to the economy in the next 20 years.

New research from Deloitte has found these sectors offer high growth rates and will be helped by the retreat of the Australian dollar from its record highs – and small businesses are set to benefit.

Deloitte predict these five “super-waves” will collectively match the mining industry in terms of their contribution to the Australian economy, giving it a boost of about 1%.

Report co-author Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics said in a statement the success of a nation cannot be built on natural resources alone and new growth drivers are needed.

“We need another wave – or several – to create more diversified growth,” he says.

“And the first place to look is markets that can be expected to grow significantly faster than the global economy as a whole over the next 10 or 20 years, or by more than about 3.4% a year.”

Australia’s long-term average growth rate is 3%, but over the next four years the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics forecast a rate of only 2.5%, and some economists anticipate it will be even lower.

Five “big-picture advantages” for Australia were also determined by Deloitte: world-class resources in land, minerals and energy; proximity to the world’s fastest growing markets in Asia; our use of English, the world’s business language; a temperate climate; and well understood tax and regulatory regimes.

Agribusiness is set to benefit from the global population growth of 60 million per year, which will increase food demand, while growth in air pollution in emerging economies will push gas demand upward.

The tourism sector is tipped to double in size in the next 20 years, fuelled by Asia’s growing middle class, and Australia will attract more foreign students from India and China.

Deloitte also estimate by 2050 the south-east Asia region will account for more than half the world’s financial assets, driving an increased demand for wealth management services.

Managing director of Deloitte’s Western Sydney office Danny Rezek told SmartCompany small business has a vital role to play in the prosperity of the super sectors.

“Innovation is the foundation for the whole concept of prosperity and while not specifically mentioned, it’s underlying the whole report, and inherently small and medium sized enterprises are better at being agile and innovative,” he says.

“The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s small business, Too Big to Ignore campaign is absolutely accurate in terms of the positioning of small business in relation to prosperity.”

Rezek says in the next 20 years, every business will have a role to play in boosting the economy.

“We’re sometimes seen as a one-trick pony in regards to the economy, but there are so many sectors which will be hot sectors in the next 10 to 20 years,” he says.

“Whether you’re a small, medium or large business you will have to identify the sectors which will prosper and how you’ll support that sector if you’re not in it.”

Other sectors identified by Deloitte crucial to Australia’s prosperity include banking, health, construction, business and property services, transport and logistics, public administration and manufacturing.

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