Working in a changing economy

Bunbury businesses remaining viable in a transitioning economy will be the main topic of discussions at a business leaders meeting in the city.

Australian Institute of Company Directors chief economist Stephen Walters will join Piacentini and Son chief executive John Tombleson and Perkins Builders managing director Dan Perkins in Bunbury on Wednesday to discuss how local businesses can innovate in a transitioning economy.

Western Australia’s transitioning economy and the impacts of the Federal Budget on regional WA will both be put under the spotlight.

Mr Walters said he would also discuss the recent Federal Budget’s impact on the WA economy and what global economic headwinds had in store for the State.

“Directors have consistently rated infrastructure investment as the number one priority for the Federal Government for many years now,” Mr Walters said.

“The good news is that it appears the Treasurer took notice of that in this year’s Budget, with WA being a major beneficiary of increased infrastructure investment.

“The bad news is a challenging economic environment will make things tough for new State Government and local businesses alike, particularly in regional areas.

“President Donald Trump’s policies and their impact on global trade, Japan’s long-term decline, and potential fall-out from Brexit may pose challenges for WA in the medium term as well.

“However, China’s continued industrialisation and Asia’s growing middle class could provide the fuel needed to get WA’s economic fires started again.” Forrest MHR Nola Marino has also highlighted the role China could play in boosting business in the South West.

She said with the Federal Government looking into Free Trade Agreements with Hong Kong, new export opportunities could be created for South West service providers.

Australia’s services exports to Hong Kong increased by 50 per cent in the past five years to reach $2.4 billion in 2015-16.

“Services make up about 70 per cent of our economy and employ four out of five Australians, but account for just over 20 per cent of total exports,” Mrs Marino said.

Hong Kong was Australia’s eighth biggest export market, worth $11 billion last year.

“More exports mean more local jobs,” Mrs Marino said.

For more information about the Bunbury Leaders Meeting go to aicd.companydirectors.com.au/ events/events-calendar.

Source: South Western Times.