Regional cities are consistently top performers in the Business Sophistication theme, comparable with metropolitan areas. They have thriving small business communities and active engagement with outside markets through import and export exposure.
Industry and Service Hubs are by definition areas that have developed around a particular industry, inherently vulnerable to trends in a few industries. Many of these areas have resources in the form of financial advisors who could be utilised more effectively by the small business sector to boost the average income of entrepreneurs in the area.
The Heartland regions have a very successful small business sector. These areas have the highest average entrepreneur income in regional Australia which suggests that rural financial counselling services and other assistance provided by state and federal governments are being utilised very effectively.
OUR GREATEST COMPETITIVE CHALLENGE – BENEFITING FROM THE GROWTH OF SOUTH EAST ASIA
The region geographically nearest to Australia is experience the highest growth rates in the world. The Chinese middle class is expected to reach more than 75 per cent of urban Chinese population by 2022. This points to the huge increase in consumption in the region over the few decades. Huge reductions in barriers to trade are imminent in the form of lowered or eliminated tariffs on Chinese exports such as beef, wine, dairy and wool over the next few years through the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Australian small business have an opportunity to significantly grow their market by catering to the needs of middle class consumers in the region.