The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has this morning released the results of a global competitiveness survey which shows that Australia is now the 17th most competitive country in the world.
That’s only down one spot from 2013 but the big story, according to CEDA CEO Stephen Martin, is that in the last five years, Australia has slipped from five to 17 – a 12-point fall.
The survey, conducted by the Swiss based IMD Business School, is compiled using two-thirds input of hard statistical data and a one-third input of survey data garnered from executives.
What it shows, according to Professor Martin, is that while Australia often worries about the competition coming from emerging countries the results show “the threat to our economy and international competitiveness is also coming from mature or advanced economies”.
Identifying the areas where Australia needs work, Professor Martin highlighted that Australia needs to focus on research and development and a competitive tax regime.
He weighed into the GST (Goods and services Tax) debate saying that the base needs to be broadened so that the company tax rate can fall further.
But Professor Martin’s key message – delivered less than subtly – was that as a nation we need to focus on R&D.
Australia potentially stands as becoming the dumb white trash of Asia unless governments realise the importance of education and R&D as a critical component of improving international competitiveness.
Australia better get a wriggle on. While we have slipped to 17th and down 12 places in 5 years the New Zealand just jumped 5 places in one year to 20th.
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