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South Australia leads nation in key business measures

Friday, 17 February 2017

Businesses in South Australia have a clear competitive advantage over their interstate counterparts, a new independent report shows.

Analysis by the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute compared workforce costs, quality of life and liveability with Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia as part of a bid document by a major defence company.

Releasing the data at the 2017 Investment and Trade Statement in Adelaide today, Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith said the report demonstrates the competitive advantage that a South Australian workforce offers businesses of all sizes.

It compares wage costs, quality of life, cost of living, house prices and rental affordability with South Australia coming up trumps on almost every count. It also examines the cost of doing business; payroll tax, salaries, availability of workers, levels of industrial disputes, logistics and procurement and again we are top of the list.

In a more detailed assessment of our performance, the Investment and Trade Statement highlights the great strides SA made in 2016 in establishing and broadening its international engagement and connections. In the past year;

·         Jobs linked to export activity have risen from 65,000 to 72,000

·         318 local companies took part in six business missions into 13 countries

·         More than $8 million in direct export deals were completed during those missions and many more will follow

·         1924 business connections were made as a result of those outbound missions

·         In China alone, 730 new business connections were made along with 205 export leads with an estimated value of $50 million

·         Our merchandise exports are up to more than $11.5 billion in 2015-16

·         In the past year, another 83 south Australian business have become exporters



In the sixteen months since the establishment of Investment Attraction SA (or IASA), there has been more than $1 billion of investment, representing 13 projects and almost 4800 jobs. Highlights include:

·         Inghams - $275 million investment and 1470 jobs

·         Orora - $52 million investment and 110 jobs

·         Neoen - $250 million and 160 jobs

·         Datacom - $$22 million and 795 jobs


Quotes attributable to Trade and Investment Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith

We have every reason to be proud of what we have done in the past year, but we need to press on.

One of the few challenges is in the area of energy costs, but as we saw earlier this week, that’s an emerging national problem with the market operator acknowledging that the Australia’s market rules are based on last century’s technology. The State Government is pushing hard to get that fixed with market rules adapting to the global shift towards renewable energy.

This Trade and Investment Statement and the Australian Industrial Transformation Institute report show that living and working in South Australia is a better prospect than anywhere else in the nation and we intend to let industry and businesses know about our advantages.

So today I renew my commitment – and the government’s commitment. In 2017, let’s try even harder, and let’s aim to do even better.