CPA Australia has issued a report on Australia’s international competitiveness, written by professors Michael Enwright and Richard Petty.
The report, Australia’s Competitiveness: From Lucky Country to Competitive Country, found Australia’s economic performance, while strong, is trailing rapidly growing Asian economies.
According to the report, improvements to Australia’s knowledge of and engagement with Asia, including non-OECD nations, are needed to capitalise on the close proximity of that region.
Other findings include, the relative high cost of business in Australia is affecting its competitiveness and more needs to be invested in education, training and infrastructure, as well as reforming tax.
CPA Australia chief executive Alex Malley said the report shows Australia should prepare itself for the ‘Asian Century’, or its "complacency" could become its "Achilles heel."
Meanwhile "relatively strong economic performance" had hidden "significant structural issues" creating complacency towards reforms.
"We are now at a crossroads in terms of our ability to become one of the economic powerhouses of the Asia Pacific region or lose out significantly to faster-growing Asian nations who are set to overtake many OECD countries in the coming decade," he added.
The authors drew upon the opinion of 6,000 Australian and international business leaders, and analysed 76 key attributes of the Australian economy as well as researching specific industries in terms of national economic importance.
Enright said while Australia’s economy had been "relatively strong" compared other advanced economies; the country shouldn’t rest on its laurels and should instead try to improve "competitiveness at all levels" to "meet the many new demands of the Asian Century."