The Radical Shift Hitting Aussie Exports
With our wide-open space, clean air and natural wonders, Australia is an exporter’s dream.
It’s no surprise that our natural resources are coveted worldwide. With demand in South East Asia growing every year, coal, iron ore, aluminium and gold currently comprise over 60% of total exports.
Australia is also well known for quality. When it comes to food, education and professional services, our products are known for being world-class.
In fact, ‘education related travel services’ — international students studying in Australia — is our third most exported commodity. Bringing in upwards of AU$21 billion to our economy in 2016.
Number eight on the list is Australian beef. Aussie beef is a prestigious and sought-after product, particularly in countries where food quality remains a concern. It brings in billions to our economy and provides a major boost to the agriculture industry.
When you add wheat, wine and wool to the mix, there’s no doubt that we have a very healthy export industry that is essential to economic growth.
However, the export industry in Australia also has a dark side…
Live exports, which were temporarily suspended in 2011 due to revelations about inhumane slaughter practices in Indonesia, remain a hot topic in Australia.
Despite repeated reports of extreme animal cruelty and horrific travel deaths, the allure of profit, as usual, has prevailed.
After the five-week suspension, Australia resumed exporting live animals to countries that have little to no animal rights protection. Choosing to disregard the evidence and the bans that currently exist in New Zealand and the UK.
And as they’re a major economic driver, live exports are actually increasing. 30,000 cattle have already been exported from Darwin this year. Which is double the figure for January 2017.
The prioritising of commerce over ethics seems to colour much of our trade decisions.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Turnbull government recently pledged to increase defence exports by AU$1 billion.
If successful, this move would put us in the top 10 weapon exporting countries within the next decade, up from 20th place.
The proposed aim is to increase local manufacturing jobs and export more products to the Middle East, the US and the Indo-Pacific. As well as doubling defence export earnings to $3 billion.
However, the Greens and various aid groups have accused the plan of trying to profit from war, while contributing to the global arms race.
As Marc Purcell from the Australian Council for International Development put it:
‘We should not be getting into the game of marketing weapons which kill, maim, and bring great sorrow and destruction to communities around the world.’
The future of Australian export
Clearly, what we choose to export is fraught with debate. Especially when there are ethical questions involved.
As such, choosing what exported goods to invest in can be a tricky process. Both in terms of profitability and sustainability. However, there are still products that you can invest in that reduce, rather than exacerbate, suffering and warfare.
With the government on the verge of passing the necessary legislation, medicinal marijuana exports could soon land a place in our top 10 most exported commodities.
When used medicinally, marijuana has been proven to greatly ease the symptoms of a myriad of major illnesses — in both children and adults.
And as experts are predicting there is a shortage about to hit the global market, now could be the perfect time to invest in this bourgeoning industry and the Aussie companies leading the shift.
Small-cap investing expert Sam Volkering has just released his research report on which Aussie stocks could turn into global leaders in this space. To get your hands on it, click here.
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