DAIRY Farm group managing director Owen Price yesterday used his farewell speech before retiring in two weeks as a rallying call to Australian businesses to get their acts together to conquer the lucrative Hongkong and Asian market. ''We must forget the old problems, the shortages, the strikes, the waterside workers, the competition and the weather,'' he said. ''For the sake of our country's future, we must develop a can-do attitude, find ways to solve the problems and work harder than any other country to get Australia's exports moving - and we must do it quickly,'' he told the Australian Chamber of Commerce. ''If we don't, there are lots of other countries happy to fill the gap,'' he said. ''Our country's future lies in our ability to export. Our home market is too small to generate the level of industry and employment we need to sustain our present standard of living.'' He said that although some Australian companies had wised up to the Asian business opportunities, too many were complacent. Mr Price held Dairy Farm up as an illustration of what could be achieved in a relatively short space of time, given a clear strategy and an entrepreneurial spirit. The company was established in Hongkong in 1886 as a producer and marketer of fresh milk to early settlers. Today it is an international food retailer, manufacturer and wholesaler represented in Asia, Australasia, Spain and Britain. Sales last year were A$13 billion (about HK$68 billion), including its associates, making it one of the world's 10 most profitable listed food retailers. In Hongkong, the group has cornered 50 per cent of the retail food market through its Wellcome supermarkets. Mr Price said: ''We strongly believe the key to the development of an international retail business lies in a simplistic management approach and decentralisation of responsibility and authority.''