Perth will need to leverage its growing reputation to ensure opportunities are grasped as we emerge from the pandemic.
The importance of Western Australia’s rich minerals and resources sector is clear by the names that adorn Perth city’s many high-rise towers.
Woodside Petroleum, BHP and Rio Tinto are among the more familiar names, as are those of supporting players – banks and consulting firms – including Westpac, Deloitte, ANZ, PwC and EY, along with local conglomerate Wesfarmers.
Every city showcases its marquee firms in glowing neon across the night sky, which in Perth speaks to the investment made by local, national and international firms in the state’s economy.
This, along with the cranes that dot the skyline, signal a city that’s open for business.
Attracting and sustaining investment is the work of governments, corporations and individuals.
It’s competitive, with every country, province and city playing a high-stakes game.
According to our research, Foreign Direct Investment is a key measure of national success in attracting investment and capacity for economic development.
ABS data from 2018 shows that the countries with the highest investment levels in Australia are the US, followed by Japan, the UK, the Netherlands and China, with the US having been the biggest investor since 2001.
The sector that attracts the most investment is, you guessed it – WA’s greatest economic strength – mining and quarrying, which received 37.8 per cent of the overall inflow.
Elizabeth Quay on the city’s foreshore is another example of foreign investment.
The arrival of the five-star Ritz Carlton hotel and the turning of the sod of the new Southern Hemisphere headquarters of Chevron Corporation, both US multinationals, were much heralded events.
The flow-on effects to the local economy, its businesses and workers of these large-scale investments should not be underestimated.
I recall two local firms were on site for months, with Georgiou undertaking the groundworks and Lightning Brick Paving laying the cobblestones and pavers.
Investment decisions are often made in boardrooms across the globe by people who aren’t necessarily familiar with Perth and WA. This is when reputation matters.
During our Hashtag Perth project, the Committee for Perth sought to understand how Perth’s reputation fared as a place to invest and commissioned research partner Ipsos to find out.
Of the 600 residents surveyed across the Perth and Peel regions in 2019, 51 per cent said Perth was a good place to invest, whereas almost 2,000 respondents in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland and Singapore rated Perth higher, at 63 per cent. Favourable responses by any measure.
As part of the survey, we were fortunate to gain the perspectives of those who had actually invested here, again, with a positive outlook.
Investment goes hand in hand with what a city has to offer, and in Perth’s case many of the features we value highly are seen as the icing on the cake by others.
Perth’s naturally attractive environment, high quality of life and economic prosperity all scored well.
Promoting Perth – Open to Investment features the region’s success stories to date.
Before COVID-19, Perth was gaining in reputation and recognition. As the vaccination program rolls out and borders reopen, Perth must be in pole position to leverage its positive reputation as a safe and fruitful place to do business.
Read the Promoting Perth E-edition here.