Drivers and opportunities
The natural resource base of Central West and Orana underpins its economy and drives the region's agriculture and mining industry output. Agriculture contributes over $1.3 billion to the region's economy and employs over 10,900 people. Of all those employed in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry sectors in Regional NSW, 20% are employed in Central West and Orana. This makes the region well placed to benefit from agribusiness opportunities.
Recent trade agreements with China, Japan and Korea will see tariffs on products such as beef, fruit, vegetables, nuts and bottled wine either reduced or eliminated. This will provide greater export opportunity for the region's agricultural sector.
Further opportunities can be leveraged in the food processing (manufacturing) sector, driven by the 'dining boom' and increased demand from Asia. Regional transport and freight networks provide access by road to most of the domestic market, as well as to international markets through Port Botany, Port Kembla and Port Waratah (Hunter). Continued improvements in freight productivity (such as the recently announced Western NSW Freight Productivity Program), the construction of the Inland Rail corridor and reduced costs will also help to boost the region's competitiveness.