Capturing the ASEAN Agricultural opportunity for northern Australia

Strategic policy development
Reference number
CRCNA funding
Total project value
Project length
4 months
Finish date
Project Status
Project Manager
Carla Keith


  • Australia-ASEAN Chamber of Commerce (AustCham ASEAN, Singapore)


Northern Australia and the ASEAN region are natural partners for cooperation on agriculture and food production and the range of value-adding activities across the agri-food sector and the supply chain that supports it. Agri-food trade has accelerated since commencement of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) in 2010, setting consistent trade and investment rules across our region and improving market access.

The ASEAN region collectively has a population of over 630 million people, with an increasing appetite for the clean and green food for which Australia is recognised. During the period 2014-16, Australia’s agricultural exports to ASEAN countries exceeded an annual average of $8 billion, accounting for 21 per cent of Australia’s total agricultural export, with many of these products produced in northern Australia. In turn, many ASEAN businesses have invested in the Australian agri-food sector, integrating products and knowhow into their value chains.

This project will build on existing CRCNA research to help identify and address infrastructure requirements, regulatory bottlenecks, ownership restrictions and skills gaps currently impeding significant growth of  five high value products (beef, avocados, macadamias, on-shore aquaculture and soybeans) into new or emerging ASEAN markets.  Austcham ASEAN’S research proposes to  address these issues by:

  • Identifying additional markets and commodities in ASEAN which could provide opportunities
    for northern Australia .
  • Developing a detailed understanding of barriers and required actions to capturing the
    identified opportunities (leveraging AustCham ASEAN’s network throughout ASEAN)

Expected outcomes

  • A research report which identifies the opportunities for northern Australian agri-food sector in the ASEAN region and :
    • Identifies key trends in the ASEAN food sector to 2025
    • Assesses fit with capabilities/supply in northern Australia
    • Outlines the challenges to capturing the opportunity (e.g. infrastructure, non-tariff barriers)
    • Outlines an action plan to address, including a focus on fostering a conducive business environment
  • The final report identifies key potential roadblocks to realising the ASEAN opportunity to key policymakers and provides potential action steps for northern Australia to realise the ASEAN food opportunity through leveraging Austcham ASEAN’s networks.