When thinking about the Agriculture Industry in South East Asia, it is not unusual for the initial perception to be that it is an industry dominated by rice production. This is understandable when you consider that the world's two largest rice exporting countries – Thailand and Vietnam – are ASEAN member states, forecast to grow around 45% of the world's trade by 2020. But South East Asia is much more than. Most of the instant coffee that we drink in Europe is grown in Vietnam, the world's second largest exporter of coffee beans. Malaysia is a major exporter of palm oil, the region is the nucleus of world rubber production and its aquaculture industry supplies seafood to grocery stores around the world.
Every country in the region has long since achieved food security. As average incomes continue to rise we see that ASEAN citizens are reducing their intake of traditional staple diet items such as rice and enjoying new food products and tastes. Food tastes are changing at differing rates across the region, with a move towards healthier consumption being led by the citizens of the city state, Singapore. This is presenting challenges and opportunities for players within the industry.
Investors that are looking to Build, Compete and Grow within the Asia Pacific region really should be giving the South East Asia agriculture and animal health markets serious consideration.