Australian exports could boom as the country emerges from coronavirus months earlier than most of the world.
With the pandemic still ravaging Europe, North America, and the developing world and throwing supply lines into chaos, Australia could be seen as a lifeline.
Experts predict demand for Australian products will soar as overseas markets have confidence in our reliability and lack of disease risk.
Overseas buyers are already swooping on Australia properties and international students will soon return to universities in droves.
Experts predict demand for Australian products and education (international students pictured) will soar after the country beat coronavirus so quickly
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that even with Australia’s unemployment skyrocketing, relief was on the horizon.
‘Markets are seeing that Australia is a country that can be relied upon, and that is a good bet in what is a very uncertain time,’ he said.
University of NSW academic and former Austrade economist Tim Harcourt agreed that beating coronavirus early will be a boon for producers.
‘Being relatively coronavirus-free can only make us more attractive to international trading partners,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Mr Harcourt said agriculture, alcohol, spirits, high quality food, medical equipment, and manufacturing had good opportunities.
He said the export boom could also help lift areas ravaged by bushfire, such as Kangaroo Island which produces gin.
‘International tourism might be gone but exports could be a real opportunity to help them recover,’ he said.
University of NSW academic and former Austrade economist Tim Harcourt said an export boom could also help lift areas ravaged by bushfire, such as Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is famous for its gin distilleries that could get an export boost
Australia already has a reputation in Asia for high-quality and safe goods, which has notoriously led to ‘daigous’ stripping shelves of baby formula and other goods to sell to overseas buyers.
An example of why is a recent rush of babies in China with deformed heads after drinking a fake baby formula that was actually a protein powder.
International students could be welcomed back to Australia in time for semester two in August – and there could be many more than usual.
The Federal Government is keen to revive the almost $35 billion industry under stage three of its roadmap to reopening Australia.
Mr Harcourt said international students were lower risk than other immigrants due to their younger age, and would he happy to endure quarantine.
‘Our competition is Britain and the U.S. which have been very badly affected, so Australia would be even more attractive,’ he said.
‘Students finishing high school might not want to go to university at home because they’re in lockdown and are seeing Australians getting back to the pub already.’
International students could be welcomed back to Australia in time for semester two in August – and there could be many more than usual
Chinese buyers are already snapping up Australian properties as the pandemic is on the ropes here
Georg Chmiel, executive chairman of Chinese property market analysis firm Juwai, said Asian parents were keen to send the children out of harm’s way.
‘Chinese marketers tell parents that their children’s health will be better protected if they switch from studying in the U.S. or UK to Australia,’ he said.
‘I know it is simplistic, but you can understand why some parents are persuaded. People are scared.
‘The (total) number of COVID-19 cases per million is more than 3,400 in the UK, more than 4,400 in the US, but only about 280 in Australia.
‘Those numbers will persuade some parents that Australia is the safest place for their children to study.’
Mr Chmiel said Australia’s success at suppressing coronavirus also made it an attractive place to do business and buy property.
‘Australia was already appealing as a safe country where your investments are protected,’ he said.
‘Now, the country seems to have managed the pandemic well. That makes it even more appealing to foreign buyers.’
In April, Chinese buyers made twice the number of inquiries on Australian real estate as in any other month so far this year and 50 per cent more than in any month in the second half of 2019, Juwai’s figures showed.
A recent rush of babies in China with deformed heads after drinking a fake baby formula that was actually a protein powder shows why Asian consumers love Australian goods
One father, Mr Hu, said his three-year-old child’s skull ‘juts out obviously’ as a result. He said the child had been growing slowly and only displayed the physical traits of a two-year-old
Australian National University lecturer John Hewson said other countries would increasingly look to Australia as part of their supply train.
‘Other countries’ supply chains may have been disrupted so import substitution is something we should think about, for some industries it could be a significant opportunity,’ he said.
‘We could have a particular edge in areas like low volume manufacturing.’
Dr Hewson said overseas businesses could be prompted to invest in Australia as a platform to expand into the Asia Pacific.
‘We have done well at keeping commodity prices up through the pandemic and our trading account is unexpectedly strong despite world trade collapsing,’ he said.
Adam Creighton, economics editor for The Australian, suggested Australia could even become a destination for wealthy retirees fleeing the rest of the world.
Oliver Hartwich, executive director of the New Zealand Initiative, said overseas sporting competitions like the Premier League could even temporarily relocate here (pictured is a match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Optus Stadium in Perth)
‘Well-off seniors in Europe and North America may be prepared to pay a hefty down-payment in the millions – enough to fund their healthcare costs and more – for a permanent visa to Australia,’ he wrote.
‘The government already offers significant investor visas for anyone worth $1.5 million or more – why not a significant senior subclass?’
Oliver Hartwich, executive director of the New Zealand Initiative, told the newspaper overseas sporting competitions like the Premier League could even temporarily relocate here.
‘Bring in the players and everyone, quarantine them for a couple of weeks and let them start playing the rest of their matches in sports grounds and empty stadiums here,’ he said.
Eric Knight, a pro vice-chancellor at the University of Sydney, suggested convincing American tech firms to move research the development operations to Australia.