Australia is one of the strongest economies in the world. We are rich not simply in our natural resources, but also in our magnificent environment, pristine agricultural supply chain, extraordinary indigenous heritage and resourceful and creative people.
Australians deserve much better than an age of ignorance.
We need leaders who put innovation, entrepreneurship and long-term thinking ahead of sound-bite opportunism – leaders who trust in independent analysis and objective decision-making, not party-political rhetoric.
Our editorial provides further background (click the image above or here).
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The world’s greatest economies have been built on international trade and investment. From the Greek and Roman Empires of ancient times to the Ottoman Empire and British Empire, global commerce has created huge wealth and unparalleled economic advantage. Meanwhile, every century or so, technological development and political decision-making have combined to catalyse significant shifts in the global balance of power. In the UK, this included the advent of steam power, mechanisation of manufacturing and adoption of steel-hulled ships for transport during Britain’s industrial revolution. Scientific and industrial innovation thus enabled the creation of the largest, richest and most powerful empire of all time.
Much of that technology and experience was exported to the United States, enabling the construction of the railroads and creation of the United States of America, creating the military, financial and technology powerhouse of the 20th century. The same is true for the world’s greatest commercial enterprises. The world’s first companies – the Dutch and British East India companies – were formed around 1600 to pursue international trade. At their peak, they both owned merchant navies with massively more ships than any country has today. Today, the five largest listed companies in the US are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, three of which are barely twenty years old. Importantly, all have built their success on innovative new technologies, and all five have businesses that are global in nature. Importantly, these five companies alone have accounted for a material part of overall stock-market growth in the US since 2000. Collectively, they have a market value of $3.5 trillion, more than the entire capitalisation of Australia’s Stock Exchange.
So, it was with great interest that I attended the Belt & Road Trade and Investment Forum in Beijing last week. Read on...
Australia is in crisis. Not economically – despite slowing growth, the domestic outlook is still one to which nearly all other major economies can only aspire. As one senior diplomat put it last week, “Australian growth is slowing to a pace that we are still striving to achieve”.
Whether judged by economic growth, or the budget position, or debt to GDP, Australia is enormously more resilient than many other major nations. Of course this is no cause for complacency – it remains important to bring the budget back into balance in due course. But when it comes to the country’s mindset, it is surely time to hit the reboot button.
>>> Read the full article here
There has been extensive discussion of Australia’s potential to be the food bowl for Asia. We agree that there is significant economic growth potential in agriculture and primary production. But we think that much of the discussion has glossed over where the largest opportunities lie, and what action is
needed to realise them.
Asia’s population is set to grow by some one billion people over the next thirty to forty years, an increase of 25%. More importantly, the Asian middle class will grow by around 2.5 billion people over this period, a six-fold increase. Forecasts suggest that Australia can feed only a very small proportion of these additional middle class mouths. So the real question is how to extract the most value from the country’s production, by targeting the most valuable consumers, rather than continuing a mindset inherited from Australia’s colonial past of mass producing and delivering to port.
>>> Read the full article