Business in Australia

How does Australia stand up as a destination of choice for Business and those behind those businesses who wish to build a successful life for themselves and their families? In this day and age when competition for new business and inward investment is truly global, these are questions governments ignore at their peril.

Australia is a relatively young country. Politically, it is firmly placed within the Western camp. It has a history of stable government and respect for the rule of law. Property rights are robust. It has an independent judiciary and corruption is a rare phenomenon in Public and business life. Today it has a diverse multi-cultural society that looks outwards towards the world. Its education and health systems are highly respected and draw collaboration in research and development from around the world. Geographically it is well placed to capitalize upon the business opportunities being created as the South East Asian economies power forward. Underlying all of this is a very successful economy and a vast mineral wealth. Its open market approach has few restrictions on the import of goods and services. In recent years the country has opened up its markets that have led to productivity growth across the economy leading to greater flexibility. Its mineral wealth includes major reserves of:

  • Renewable energy sources;
  • Gold;
  • Copper;
  • Uranium
  • Iron;

The 2019 Heritage Foundation ‘Index of Economic Freedom’ gives it the following ratings:[i]

Rule of Law

Property Rights 79.1

Government Integrity 79.9

Judicial Effectiveness 86.5

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom 88.3

Labor Freedom   84.1

Monetary Freedom 86.6

Open Markets

Trade Freedom 87.6

Investment Freedom 80.0

Financial Freedom 90.0

Government Size

Government Spending 60.1

Tax Burden 62.8

Fiscal Health 86.2

The 2018 ‘Forbes-Best Country to do Business Register’ places Australia in the ninth position just below Singapore. It shows a GDP growth of 2.2% for the year and a GDP per capita of $53,800. Its trade balance was down by 2.6% against GDP. Its present population is 23.5 million.[ii] It is competitive in world markets for its high-value manufactured goods, technologies and its financial and insurance services.

It is a prominent member of the WTO, APEC, G20, and other international and global trade organizations. It has a raft of FTA’s including the following countries:

  • China;
  • South Korea;
  • Japan;
  • Malaysia;
  • Chile;
  • Singapore;
  • Thailand;
  • New Zealand;
  • The USA;
  • ASEAN & New Zealand;

It is also part of the ongoing negotiations for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. It has witnessed two decades of solid growth to its economy driven by exports, this has transformed into low unemployment (5.6%), low inflation (2%), low public debt against GDP (41%), all helped by its efficient and stable financial market and system. On the downside, the fall in demand for its minerals resulting from the slowdown in Chinese markets is likely to impact across the economy.

So, what is it like to establish and build a business and life in Australia? Our blog will take a good in-depth look at this question.