Vital Signs. Business investment is flatlining, and it isn’t clear that suasion or a special allowance will help

By Richard Holden, Professor of Economics, UNSW You know the economy is in trouble when a clever and successful Liberal Party treasurer resorts to doing an Elizabeth Warren impersonation in front of the Business Council of Australia in hopes of boosting investment. That’s what Josh Frydenberg did on Monday, saying: Share buybacks and capital returns are…

Peter Roberts – on the road in Kuala Lumpur

By Peter Roberts in Kuala Lumpur I have been travelling to Malaysia for more than two decades since I worked in the region but nowadays my view of the city has been transformed. While once it was easy to dismiss Malaysia as a developing country compared to my home in Australia, progress in the capital…

Peter Roberts – on the road in Tokyo

In Tokyo the night US President Trump arrived to visit Japan’s PM Abe Shinzo and its new emperor I am reminded of Japan’s great contribution to the 20th century. Great technologies, work systems, great companies rose and fell and Australia was part of that history, especially through our trade with Japan and security relationship with…

Clean Energy Council acts on Queensland solar rules

The Clean Energy Council has convened an emergency meeting today (Friday) to discuss new Queensland state government rules covering the installation of solar PV systems. The rules, which require licensed electricians to perform mechanical work such as lifting, mounting and fixing unplugged solar panels, threaten jobs on solar farms and in commercial PV installations according…

Manufacturing to benefit from Adelaide Commonwealth Games

Analysis by Peter Roberts The South Australian capital of Adelaide seems assured of being the host city for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, with manufacturers among the many beneficiaries of this global event. Commonwealth Games Federation president, Louise Martin gave the game away in a little-reported interview on BBC radio this week, according to games insiders.…

From tyranny of distance to centre of the global economy

For a century Australian businesses bemoaned the tyranny of distance that left us with poor prospects far from the world’s biggest markets. Today’s chart, from Visual Capitalist, brings home with a vengeance the newfound power of our location in the thick of the world’s fastest growing economies. In answers any questions you may have about…

China sneezes, will Australia catch cold?

Analysis by Peter Roberts China’s economy has finally cracked under multiple pressures ranging from a trade war with the US to massive over-building and related indebtedness. The boom economy which is a major supporter of Australia’s economic fortunes recorded exports in US dollar terms in February which were 20.7 per cent down on the previous…

Supporting Australian SMEs to go global

By Helen Hull of First5000 Federal parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has released its report ‘From little things big things grow: Supporting Australian SMEs go global‘ following an inquiry into access to free trade agreements by small and medium enterprises. Among the key recommendations tabled in Parliament is that Free…