5 industries – and companies – to drive the economy for 20 years

The Australian economy will need to diversify its growth, and these companies look set to benefit.

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A new Deloitte Access Economics report has revealed five industries that could boost the Australian economy significantly over the next 20 years, highlighting that the economy must become more diversified and not solely reliant on natural resources.

Over the last decade, companies such as BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and countless other mining corporations have driven the economy. However, as recognised by the report's co-author, Chris Richardson, "the boom is slowing and our competitive advantage is being challenged… It's all about catching the next wave. We need another wave – or several – to create a more diversified growth."

Whilst mining is anticipated to continue being a major driver of growth, it is expected that agribusiness, gas, tourism, international education and wealth management are well-positioned to join it as the global population grows. The report expects the Australian dollar will continue weakening, and soon retreat to around US80 cents.

Companies to benefit

Ruralco (ASX: RHL) is one diversified agricultural company that should benefit from this trend. As the population grows, the company can use its geographical location and access to resources to supply soft commodities. Likewise, global crop protection company Nufarm (ASX: NUF) could realise strong gains in sales as farmers look to protect their products.

BHP is also set to benefit from agricultural growth after having committed to investing a further US$2.6 billion in its Jansen potash project in Canada. Potash is a fertilizer ingredient and whilst it is facing short-term pricing pressures, it boasts good long-term potential.

As Asian countries experience growth, more gas will also be required. To take advantage of growth in the gas industry, Woodside Petroleum (ASX: WPL) and Santos (ASX: SAN) are your safest bets.

Meanwhile, education services provider Navitas (ASX: NVT) is well worth a look at. Operating in multiple cities around the world already, Navitas has scope for further growth.

Based on its current price, Webjet (ASX: WEB) is one of the more attractive tourism companies to add to your portfolio. Webjet is an online travel agency that allows customers to search and book domestic and international products, including flight deals, travel insurance and hotel accommodation. With a market capitalisation of under $300 million, Webjet also has plenty of growth opportunities ahead of it.

Finally, Yellow Brick Road (ASX: YBR) is a good option to take advantage of growth in the financial industry. Led by Mr. Mark Bouris – the founder of mortgage lender Wizard Home Loans – the company increased its revenue for the year to 30 June by 68.36%, and looks set to continue delivering good results for years to come.

Foolish takeaway

Although it is important to invest with the future firmly in mind, it is just as vital to purchase shares at attractive prices to better ensure good returns in the long run.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.

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