Aust business competitiveness 'slipping'

Our businesses losing their global competitive edge warns new report

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A new report says Australia's business competitiveness is slipping compared to other countries.

A new report says Australia's business competitiveness is slipping compared to other countries.

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Australian businesses slipping in agility, entrepreneurship and management credibility.

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Australia's business competitiveness has slipped with the country ranking poorly on company agility, entrepreneurship and management credibility.

That's according to the IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021 which on Thursday ranked Australia 22nd of 64 nations, four places lower than 2020.

The study ranked Australia among the worst nations on company agility and management credibility, customer satisfaction and entrepreneurship.

The country also fared poorly on the sophistication of its exports, given Australia's heavy reliance on mineral resources.

It likewise ranked lower than 40th for personal and business tax burdens, ICT services exports and energy infrastructure.

CEDA chief economist Jarrod Ball said Australia could not rest on its laurels despite relative success in suppressing COVID-19 amid the pandemic.

Mr Ball said businesses would need to do much of the heavy lifting in the post-pandemic era and governments would need to take stronger climate change action to spur green innovation.

The government would also need to speed up its vaccine rollout and build permanent quarantine facilities to accelerate the reopening of international borders.

"We will need to be a lot more dynamic, innovative and open up new markets for new goods and services in future to deliver another generation of solid economic growth, jobs and rising incomes," Mr Ball said in a statement.

But he said Australia's skilled workforce, policy stability and good health care were factors in its favour for future prosperity.

Switzerland ranked first in the study with Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Singapore rounding out the top five.

It comes after Australia's unemployment rate on Thursday dropped to 5.1 per cent, down from 5.5 per cent and back to its pre-pandemic level.

"The Australian economy is roaring back, bigger, stronger and leading the world," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra.

But the RBA wants to see inflation sustainably within the two to three per cent target before it considers raising the cash rate from its record low of 0.1 per cent.

Australian Associated Press

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