Australia's Competitiveness: From Lucky Country to Competitive Country
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More About This Title Australia's Competitiveness: From Lucky Country to Competitive Country


In this in-depth overview of Australia's economy, Michael Enright and Richard Petty — leading scholars on international competition—look at the data behind the news reports to offer a complete view of Australia's stable and wealthy economy. The book compares Australia with other similarly sized OECD economies as well as other Asia-Pacific economies and looks at fifteen international sources of data on competitiveness. It features a large-scale survey on Australian companies and offers deep insight on the country's future in terms of economics and economic policy. Revealing an honest assessment of Australia's true position in the world, the book looks at how Australian businesses see themselves and offers policy positions for government and firms to make the most of Australia's unique global economic position.

Backed by CPA Australia, one of the world's largest accounting bodiesWritten by two global authorities on economic competitivenessCaptures the thinking of more than 6,000 business leaders both within and outside of AustraliaExplains how Australia has weathered the global recession and looks at Australia's relationship with China

For business leaders and policy makers in need of an in-depth look at the current and future state of Australia's economy, this book offers valuable and comprehensive information.


Michael J. Enright, PhD, MBA, AB (Hons.), is Sun Hung Kai Properties Professor at the School of Business of the University of Hong Kong, Director of Asia-Pacific Competitiveness Programmes at the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, and Director of Enright, Scott & Associates Ltd., a strategy consultancy. He has directed competitiveness studies in more than twenty countries and has advised numerous governments, major corporations, and multilateral organisations on six continents. He was a founder of The Competitiveness Institute, a global professional body with more than 2,000 members in over 100 countries.

Richard Petty, PhD, MCom (Hons.), BCom (Hons.), FCPA (Life), FAICD, is a Professor and Executive Director International at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Chairman of The Australian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong & Macau, a Past President and Chairman of CPA Australia, and chairman or director of several other companies. Professor Petty has more than twenty years of consulting experience and has advised numerous governments, major corporations, and multilateral organisations on doing business in Asia, particularly in China.

CPA Australia has a history that dates back to 1886, and today represents more than 144,000 finance, accounting and business professionals in 127 countries. While nearly 70 per cent of those reside in Australia, the organisation has been active in Asia since the early 1950s. It has nine offices and more than 30,000 members in the region. CPA Australia is committed to creative engagement with governments and their agencies, on behalf of its membership and in the broader public interest, to encourage the economic and social policies that foster improved productivity and competitiveness.


Foreword vii

Introduction ix

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Authors xv

CHAPTER 1 Australia’s Economic Performance 1

Aggregate Performance 1

Productivity 11

Global Trends 16

Looking Ahead 24

Notes 25

CHAPTER 2 International Assessments of Australia’s Competitiveness 27

Overall Competitiveness 28

Ease of Doing Business 32

Knowledge and Knowledge Economy 35

Economic Freedom 37

City Competitiveness 40

City Costs 42

Human Development and Quality of Living 42

Corruption and Corporate Governance 43

International Perspectives on Australia’s Competitiveness 46

Areas for Analysis and Action 49

Pushing the Envelope 50

Notes 51

CHAPTER 3 Competitiveness in the Real World 53

A Model of Competitiveness: The Five Level Competitiveness Framework™ 53

Surveying Competitiveness: The Importance-Performance Competitiveness Analysis™ Approach 56

Moving Ahead 84

Notes 84

CHAPTER 4 Drivers of Competitiveness in Australia 87

Firm and Industry Drivers 87

Meso or Cluster-Level Drivers 91

Macro or National-Level Drivers 98

Meta or Supranational-Level Drivers 107

Competitiveness Drivers in Perspective 110

Notes 115

CHAPTER 5 Workforce, Infrastructure, and Natural Resources 117

Workforce 118

Infrastructure 125

Natural Resources 132

Input Issues in Perspective 140

Notes 141

CHAPTER 6 Economic Policy, Regulation, and Tax 147

Economic Policy 148

Regulation 155

Tax and Tax Policy 160

Policy Areas in Perspective 167

Notes 168

CHAPTER 7 The Knowledge Economy, the Asia-Pacific Region, and the Role of Cities 173

Australia and the Knowledge-Innovation Economy 174

The Rise of the Asia-Pacific Region 183

Competitiveness and Australia’s Cities 198

The Knowledge Economy, Asia, and Cities in Perspective 206

Notes 207

CHAPTER 8 Scenarios for Australia’s Economic and Business Future 213

Key Trends 213

Trends in Competitiveness 215

Some Specific Scenarios for Australia’s Economic and Business Future 219

The Scenarios in Perspective 225

Notes 226

CHAPTER 9 Implications for Australia 227

Global Implications 227

Australian Implications 228

Australia and the Drivers of Competitiveness 231

Conclusions 260

Notes 263

Index 265