Australia Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022
Basic data
Capital Canberra
Population 25.69 million
Language English
Religion primarily Christianity
State system constitutional monarchy
Head of State Queen Elizabeth II, represented by the Governor-General (from July 2019 David Hurley)
Head of government Scott Morrison
Currency name Australian dollar (AUD)
Travel
Time shift +10 a.m. (in summer +8 a.m.)
Economy
Nominal GDP (billion USD) 1,575.0
Economic growth (%) 2.8
Inflation (%) 1.6
Unemployment (%) 5.4

The Commonwealth of Australia is a federated state consisting of six states – five mainland and one island, three federal territories and six overseas territories. The official date of establishment falls on January 1, 1901. The Commonwealth of Australia is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, the Queen is represented by the Governor-General. Since 2018, Liberal Party leader Scott Morrison has been Prime Minister.

Australia is a popular tourist country with enormous natural wealth. Ten percent of the world’s biodiversity is found in this sixth largest country in the world, and much of the local fauna and flora can only be found on this continent. The country’s diversity ranges from tropical forests in the north to the red soil of arid Mediterranean deserts to snow-capped mountains. Many Australian cultural and natural monuments belong to the World Heritage List, for example the Great Barrier Reef, the sacred mountain Uluru or the Sydney Opera House.

Australia has completely closed down during the pandemic and allows only limited arrivals of its citizens and permanent residence permit holders, who must undergo mandatory quarantine in state-designated hotels and tests upon arrival at their own expense. The country is expected to reopen in mid-2022. There have been sporadic outbreaks of the disease due to leaks from quarantine facilities and local closures, however, due to the closure of the country, the authorities have been able to relax social measures much earlier than in other countries, and there has been an economic recovery in Australia.

  • PaulSourcing: Tips and recommendations for doing business with Australia. Also includes country basic data and information for entering the its market.

The Australian economy is mainly focused on mining, agriculture and the service sector. It is characterized by openness and diversity, a transparent business and investment environment. Australia’s foreign trade is strongly oriented towards the PRC, due to the current diplomatic and trade rift with this its largest trading partner, Australia is trying to diversify its foreign trade through the conclusion of free trade agreements, including the EU and Great Britain. With a long-term absence of recession (1991-2020), it is considered one of the strongest and most stable economies in the world. Trade between the Czech Republic and Australia is mainly based on Czech cars and Australian wool. Before the coronavirus crisis, tourism was an important item in the mutual trade exchange of services.

Entering the market can be made difficult by a significant time difference, geographical distance, opposite seasons in the southern hemisphere or Australia’s four climate zones. In the case of some products, non-tariff barriers may be encountered during export (certification, strict phytosanitary regulations).

Australians are very communicative and informal, after the end of travel restrictions we recommend personal participation in trade fairs to establish contacts and business relationships. It is necessary to take into account a freer approach to the perception of the passage of time in e.g. email correspondence compared to the concept we have experienced.

AUS has relatively successfully faced the effects of the COVID pandemic, however, the projected 5.1% GDP growth in 2021 will not be achieved due to the unexpectedly large outbreak of the delta variant and the lockdown in the summer of 2021. Economic growth will be further supported by government measures and increasing employment. The appreciation of the currency and the tension in foreign trade will be reflected in exports, where the export of iron ore to the PRC and the diversification of other exports will continue to be key. The challenge for the AUS will be to address climate change: the AUS has not yet committed to carbon neutrality by any specific date. The government is focusing on the development and implementation of green technologies as a means of achieving lower emissions and will continue to move away from the use of coal towards the transition to natural gas. In the medium term, an aging population will also pose a problem.

Cultural and business meetings

Subchapters:

  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public holidays

Introduction

Business relations are determined by Anglo-Saxon customs. A very good knowledge of the English language, knowledge of general world and possibly local realities, communication skills and a professional attitude are assumed.

Addressing

The ideal way to approach business partners is to participate in a trade fair, preferably repeatedly. A reference from the US or EU market is suitable. Marketing materials must be flawless and processed to a high professional standard.

Business meeting

Business meetings must be planned and arranged in advance. Very soon after getting to know the other party, Australians switch to using their first name, which also applies to subsequent business correspondence. So-called courtesy visits without specific content are not frequent, preference is given to intensive and shorter meetings. Business cards are exchanged without a special ritual, rather for information and are not always available to those acting. The exchange of small gifts between the acting parties is rather an exception. The main features of business negotiations are concreteness and directness. It is customary to confirm the conclusions of the meeting in writing, while the agreed conclusions are implemented. The trust of Australian partners can be gained relatively easily, as they are based on the assumption that a long-term business relationship should be beneficial for both parties. However, in the case of dishonest behavior, their trust can also be lost just as easily and in most cases definitively. During business meetings, it is not customary to offer or serve alcohol if the meeting takes place during the day on company premises. Despite the informal way of life, business attire is required, and a tuxedo is prescribed for some particularly important social occasions. However, this does not apply outside the big cities, rural areas are characterized by great informality. The negotiating team should have at least two company representatives. There is no emphasis on age or gender diversity in business negotiations, but the age and gender balance of the firm’s negotiating team could be looked at given current Australian politics. It is not customary to invite a business partner to your home if you have not known the business partner for a long time.

Communication

Communication in English is assumed. It is helpful to acquire a basic set of Australian English, which abounds in many unique expressions. In communication, we recommend restraint in the case of some socially and historically sensitive topics (Australia Day vs “Invasion Day”). Visit Calculatorinc for more information about Australia culture and traditions.

Recommendation

When staying in Australia, it is recommended to arm yourself with patience, Australians often solve problems with the obligatory “no worries” without further ado. A different perception of the passage of time can be expected from the Australian partners.

Public Holidays

Public holidays in the Commonwealth of Australia are celebrated individually by each state or territory. With few exceptions, Australians keep the main holidays such as Easter and Christmas on the same days, the dates of other holidays are different in individual territories. If the date of the national holiday falls on a weekend, the national holiday associated with the working day off is replaced by the following weekday. Holidays associated with working time off include New Year’s Day (January 1), Australia Day (January 26), Australian and New Zealand Armed Forces Day (ANZAC Day, April 25). The Easter holidays are movable and fall on Friday and Monday. Australians then celebrate Christmas Day on December 25 and the day after Boxing Day. Date of Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Celebration and Labor Day are determined individually by state and territory governments, but always fall on a Monday.

Australia Culture of Business