Global Networks: Transforming how Australia does business


Global Networks: Transforming how Australia does business

It’s hard to avoid conversation on global networks and increased trade access across the world at the moment. But it can be even harder to know what this will mean for Orana’s businesses.

Last week, CEDA (Committee for Economic Development of Australia) hosted the Sydney launch of their latest policy positioning paper, Global Networks: Transforming how Australia does business. Luckily, we went along and read the report so you don’t have to!

Here are some of the key points determined by the team, with our notes on what the region and its businesses can take away from the report.

1. “The current multilateral system of trade governance may be too slow and cumbersome to remain relevant” - Nathan Taylor, CEDA Chief Economist

The paper paints a picture of a world where technology is rapidly changing the face of global trade relations. It states, “Australia’s economic prosperity will result from an economy focused on innovation and productivity.”

Take Away: With increased government interest in trade liberalisation, we need to ensure that we (as individual businesses and as a region collectively) are nimble and able to be responsive to the challenges of the future.

2. “The rise of Asia has seen the global centre of gravity move closer to Australia.” - Nathan Taylor, CEDA Chief Economist

There is a clear present focus on Asia, and for good reason. Asia has outstripped Europe as the generator of the majority of global patents. While technology has brought the world closer together, relationships (and geography) will still be key determining factors in who people choose to work with.

Take Away: Work towards you and your business becoming Asia literate. This may include investing in further professional development to understand how different countries do business or tapping into the globally mobile workforce we hope to both attract and encourage our young people to participate in.

3. “[FTAs] are a central part of the government’s microeconomic reform agenda…They are fundamental to supporting the diversification of our economy and reducing our reliance on any one sector, regardless of how strong.” The Hon. Andrew Robb AO MP, Federal Minister for Trade and Investment

We are moving into a post-mining boom era. Having seen the impact of such strong reliance on one industry, it seems the government is working to ensure greater economic diversity and strength into the future.

Take Away: While Agriculture is being celebrated as the big winner in the recent spate of FTAs (great news for the Orana region), the focus on diversification means there are huge opportunities for other sectors as well. More free global trade increases the need for internationally savvy financial and legal services, and the FTAs (particularly CHaFTA) have considered this in their approach.

4. “Currently [international] students exist largely in a void and risk becoming the country’s most significant, and largest, underused resource.” – Kerry Brown, Director of the Chinese Studies Centre and Professor of Chinese Politics, University of Sydney

International education has been Australia’s most successful services export to date, particularly to Asian markets. We have educated Asia’s innovators for years. In a business culture where relationships are key, this will be of huge benefit to Australia.

Take Away: International students and trainees are one of the best untapped resources in Australia, in terms of improving our relationships with their home countries. In the Orana, the Korean Trainee Project will see Korean trainees placed in regional businesses to build our region’s involvement in international education and build these relationships.

5. “It would be helpful if Australia published a formal trade policy that included, among other things, options for multilateral, bilateral and non-discriminatory reductions in trade barriers.” - Nathan Taylor, CEDA Chief Economist

This seems to be the crux of CEDA’s argument in this paper. Australia, it seems, may be overdue for a formal trade policy. This would ensure an economic focus in negotiating trade deals, rather than having these stand as an extension of diplomacy.

Take Away: CEDA is well respected by government. Watch this space to see if the recommendation is adopted. RDA Orana would encourage participation in any resulting conversations to ensure the regional voice is heard in this decision making.

Image shows RDA Orana team members with Stephen Martin, CEO, CEDA.


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