The comments from MP Craig Laundy, assistant minister for Industry Innovation and Science, were revealed as trade body Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) held its innovation seminar in Sydney.
The value of sales of Australian complementary medicines has doubled from $2.3 billion to $4.7 billion in just over three years, corresponding to a CAGR of 26.9%.
Laundy said: "Very few industries globally can boast such a double-digit compound annual growth rate. This reflects the growth achievement across the entire industry supply chain and all supporting sectors, from raw material suppliers to natural health practitioners.
"Every sector of the supply chain outpaced the 1.7% growth rate of the broader Australian economy, representing an increased share of national income deriving from the complementary medicines industry."
Speaking today at the event, which was attended by NutraIngredients-Asia, CMA CEO Carl Gibson announced the results of the 2017 Australian Complementary Medicines Industry Audit, which highlighted how consumers are increasingly taking an active role in managing their health and are keen to access innovative new products.
"The rising value sales reflects the growing consumer demand for complementary medicine products, both here and internationally," said Mr Gibson.
A major contributor to the success story for the Australian complementary medicines industry is the growing demand for products across Asia.
According to Austrade, formal exports of Australian complementary medicines increased by 156.3 million, or 64.3%, to 399.5 million in 2016.
This was driven by growth to Australia’s top five export destinations for natural health products, namely Hong Kong, China, South Korea, New Zealand and Malaysia.
He added that exports had doubled over the last three years and that there were now 82 licensed manufacturing sites in Australia.
The industry now supports 12,700 direct high-skilled jobs, with over 35,000 people employed across the 29 natural therapy sectors.
Laundy added that the industry's growth was a prime example of business and government working together.
"The Australian industry provides an excellent case study into the growth possibilities of the sector when supported by the government's National Innovation and Science Agenda, including the strong focus on helping to drive investment in research and development, the promotion of trade liberalisation and supporting Australian firms to be competitive on the global stage."