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Last updated : Nov 2009
Perth Business Profile
Perth Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Ben Elton wrote, in Stark (his 1989 satirical novel):

Perth gets up in the morning and says: Okay, let’s do it, let’s make money, let’s get on with a load of really high-powered stuff right now!’ So wrote ,

During the late 1980's, Perth boasted more millionaires per head than any city in the world. This was largely thanks to aggressive development of Western Australia’s massive resources of gold, iron ore, nickel and other minerals.

However, a lot has changed over the last decade. A series of financial scandals involving corporate fraud and a Royal Commission into government corruption sent some of the highest flyers to prison (Alan Bond and Laurie Connell) and others on the run (Christopher Skase). Anxious to correct its reputation as the ‘Wild West’, the Perth pendulum has now swung in the other direction, with the result being a business climate that may be too traditionalist for its own good.

The current outlook is, however, optimistic. Despite the October 1997 Asian stock market collapse, Perth’s head count of millionaires is still considerable, with the late 1990's having seen a surge in new technology moguls, although many of these fell by the wayside in the 2000 dotcom crash.

Successful companies
that remain include daytraderHQ, access1 and adultshop.com. The Perth economy sits comfortably on a cushion of natural resources, some of the biggest mining and exploration companies in the world have offices in Perth, including BHP Billiton, Alcoa, Rio Tinto and Western Mining.

Tourism has climbed gradually since Fremantle hosted the America’s Cup in 1987, Perth plays host to over three million visitors per year. Major corporations headquartered in the city also include Wesfarmers, Bankwest, ERG Ltd, Chevron and Woodside. Nevertheless, the government has been criticised for not expanding enough from the resources sector.

Western Australia still leads Australia in economic growth. In the quarter to June 2001, the area contributed 25 % of Australia’s total exports, well ahead of the other states. Unemployment in Perth, standing at 7.7 %, was just 1 % above the national rate.

Central Perth is roughly divided into City, Perth, East Perth and Northbridge, with the main business district being Perth, particularly along Hay Street, Murray Street and St George’s Terrace. The Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre is expected to be completed in 2004 and will be situated in the CBD. The centre will cater for functions of up to 2,500 delegates.

Business Etiquette

Businesspeople in Perth are normally less formal than in Melbourne or Sydney. Small talk and humour are welcome and most people prefer to be addressed by their 1st names from 1st acquaintance. However, a high standard of dress is expected, even in markedly hot weather.

Perth people have a strong service ethic and ‘not a problem’ is a frequent reply to any request. Work related socialising, in the form of picnics, barbecues or cruises, is common and alcohol will flow freely.

Similarly, liquid lunches come with the territory. However, smoking in any indoor place should be stringently avoided by visitors unless they are invited to do so.

General business hours
are weekdays 9.00 am to 5.00 pm.