WA businesses should make more of SE Asian opportunities

The CEO of joint venture Interflour has said that West Australia’s business leaders need to make more of the opportunities in south-east Asia, a region which he believes could outstrip China as a manufacturing hub.

The West Australian reports that Greg Harvey told a breakfast event audience in Perth that Australian business engagement in the region was “anaemic at best”.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, south-east Asian investment by Australia is only worth $32 billion, compared to $81 billion in New Zealand.

Interflour – a partnership between CBH and Indonesia’s Anthony Salim – advised partnering with family-owned businesses, the “fabric of the business community” in the region.

“In my experience the best renowned and most professional ones are using the big four accountancy firms for annual audits, often using international law firms as their legal advisers, they often have strong regional banks or global banks, and marquee corporate advisers,” The West Australian reports him as saying.

“As a result, issues around risk and corruption often get managed out of the decision-making process.”

Interflour exports barley from the state’s farms for milling and selling to the fast-growing regional beer industry.