NT EPO: Asia Pacific economic map needs to favour the land in the north



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Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills has said the economic map of this continent needs to pivot much more in favour to the land in the north rather than the traditional power hubs recognised in the past, when speaking at CEDA’s Darwin EPO.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Terry Mills has said the economic map of this continent needs to pivot much more in favour to the land in the north rather than the traditional power hubs recognised in the past, when speaking at CEDA's Darwin EPO.

Mr Mills said the Northern Territory's proximity to Asia meant Darwin has huge potential as a hub for the rest of Australia to connect with Asia.

"We have an obligation by virtue of our location...we see our opportunities are in energy and resources, export, tourism and agribusiness, defence and education facilities," he said.

While he said the scope of what the NT has to offer is obvious, there were challenges.

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Terry Mills
Chief Minister
Northern Territory

Justin Fabo
Head of Australian Economics,
Corporate and Commerical
ANZ

"The main drivers of our economic growth are private construction investment and international exports and although potential across the Territory is immense, energy and resources exports need a competitive market," he said.


Using LNG as an example, he said a future challenge may be predictions US shale gas will provide more than half of gas needs in the US by 2040 and the US will be a net exporter of LNG by 2016.

"In the NT our challenges include needing to establish a national network serving the interests of domestic users," he said.

In addition to leveraging opportunities in key sectors, he said a priority for his Government would be improving the state fiscal position.

"You simply cannot run government by means of short term, knee jerk policy. Instead we are working towards a dynamic, efficient and resilient NT economy that sets the foundations for interactions with Asia," he said.

"So what are my government's priorities? Surely we must return the budget to surplus as soon as we possibly can and establish and meet prudent fiscal rules."

Presenting the economic outlook, ANZ Head of Australian Economics, Corporate and Commercial, Justin Fabo said the Northern Territory had an opportunity to broaden out to other high value areas beyond resources and mining such as services and food.

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