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Last updated : Nov 2009
Melbourne Business Profile
Melbourne Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com

A lot of Australia’s economic activity is centred on Melbourne, as it is home to many of the nation’s largest corporations, including Coles Myer, BHP Billiton, Telstra, National Australia Bank and Shell Australia. The city also provides headquarters or the R & D base for international companies such as Cadbury-Schweppes, NEC, BP, Orica, Ericsson and Kraft. In the CBD, smart Collins Street is the main business address.

Victoria has a workforce with 1 of the highest levels of education and technological literacy in the OECD. Melbourne’s has brilliant multilingual capabilities, over 30 % of the population speak another language at home, which also makes it attractive to foreign companies.

During 1999 and 2000, Victoria was the most profitable Australian location for local and international companies. Private business investment grew by 11.8 % during 2001, over twice the national rate.

Victoria is home to 40 % of Australia’s pharmaceutical industry, nearly 60 % of the automotive industry and 5 0% of the aerospace sector. The Australian head office and manufacturing operations of Toyota and Ford are Melbourne-based and General Motors has begun construction of its new A $700 million state of the art V6 engine plant in Melbourne, also the home of its Holden headquarters.

Australia is 1 of the leading users of information and communication technologies and most of the major international organisations operating in Australia have manufacturing or research activities in Melbourne, including IBM, Nokia, Hewlett Packard, Ericsson, Motorola, Philips, NEC, Fujitsu and Siemens. Asia Pacific’s biggest Internet service provider, Pacific Internet, also recently opened its Australian headquarters in Melbourne.

Australia’s dairy industry is centred on Victoria and the state produces 13 % of the global trade in manufactured dairy products, a Victorian cheese, the Jindi brie from Gippsland, was named best cheese in the world at the prominent 2002 Wisconsin World Cheesemakers Contest.

Victoria provides 46 % of Australia’s horticultural production and has strong cereal based food, meat, confectionery and wine industries. Campbells, Heinz, Cadbury-Schweppes, Coca-Cola, Kraft and Nestlé all manufacture and export food from Victoria.

Melbourne is also Australia’s research capital, hosting 38 % of total research and development undertaken by businesses nationally. In particular, Melbourne is an acknowledged world leader in biomedical and health research, attracting Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Monsanto, Aventis and Nufarm to manufacture in Victoria.

In April 2001, unemployment in Melbourne was 6.3 %, compared to the national rate of 6.8 %.

Business Etiquette

Suits are a must when conducting business in well dressed Melbourne and all appointments should be arranged in advance.

Like much of Melbourne life, business is generally conducted over coffee. Drinks at a stylish bar or breakfast meetings are also favoured, although long business lunches are a thing of the past.

Australian business people are very approachable, quite informal and quick to use 1st names. Academic or professional titles do not impress them, nor do over zealous sales presentations. Business cards are used.

General business hours are Monday to Friday, from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, however many executives work longer hours. If invited to someone’s home, a bottle of wine as a gift will almost always be acceptable.