|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
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.