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
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 April 2001, unemployment in Melbourne was
6.3 %, compared to the national rate of 6.8 %.
Suits are a must when conducting business in
well dressed Melbourne and all appointments should be arranged
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.