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Last updated : Nov 2009
Sydney Business Profile
Sydney Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Thanks to the Olympic Games, Sydney’s tourism soared in the year 2000, generating revenue from tourism related businesses across the board to the tune of an estimated A$7 billion.

The publicity that Sydney has received as a tourist destination due to the result of the Olympic Games has been valued at more than A$600 million. The event unquestionably helped boost Sydney’s profile in the corporate world and the city is now seen as a genuine contender with Singapore and Hong Kong as a financial hub in the Asia Pacific region.

In the year 2002, the Australian Stock Exchange was ranked 12th largest internationally in terms of size and 19th in terms of turnover. The Olympic Games, together with a falling Australian Dollar, also contributed to a 26 % increase in Australian exports.

Between 1994 and 2001, Sydney’s economic growth rate exceeded 5 %. Sydney's unemployment rate, however, rose from 4 % in 1999 to 4.7 % by the end of 2003. However, this was still low compared to the national rate, which stood at 5.4 % at the end of the year 2003.

Sydney plays a main part in Australia’s economy, accounting for over 25 % of Australia’s total economic activity. The city is Australia’s undisputed financial centre, with 65 % of Australia’s finance industry situated here, including the Reserve Bank, the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange.

The strong economic mix includes services, manufacturing and mining, with financial, property and retail services together accounting for over 80 % of total economic output. Financial and business services accounts for 47.1 % of the Sydney's workforce. Multinationals with Asian Pacific headquarters here include Price Waterhouse Coopers, AMP, IBM, TNT Ltd, 3M, Mastercard, Microsoft, Boral Ltd, BT, American Express, Coca-Cola Amatil, HJ Heinz, Unilever and Vodaphone. Out of the nation’s top 100 companies, 60 % have headquarters in Sydney.

The financial district is centred on Martin Place in Sydney's city centre. North Sydney, on the other side of the harbour, is an active high rise business district in itself.

Business Etiquette

In keeping with its distinctly work hard, play hard culture, the protocol in Sydney is classically informal. During the week, business is often accomplished over a long lunch, with alcohol included, and the weekend can start as early as Friday lunchtime.

Australians are very friendly people, and socialising comes easily. Nevertheless, there are a few things that may offend or irritate. The 1st is the use of the informal ‘G’day’, foreigners should avoid trying to imitate this overused greeting. The 2nd is that, while out drinking, a system of ‘rounds’ is observed and it is not acceptable when someone skips his or her round by not offering to pay.

Gift giving is not a common practice, although a small token (such as chocolate, wine or flowers) is suitable if invited to a home. If at a loss for discussion topics, sport is always a good choice.

Both men and women often wear suits, Business hours are officially weekdays, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, although an extended working day is very usual in certain sectors and it is not uncommon for people to be working well into the night or over the weekend.