When most people outside of Australia think about the country, images of beautiful, dangerous wildlife and intense muggy warmth overwhelm the senses. Although wildlife and sweltering temperatures are a part of Australian life, there’s much more to the country than this. This SWOT analysis of Australia addresses four internal influences affecting the country’s growth and development.
Although some of this information is covered in the PEST analysis of Australia, more information is included here regarding the functionality of Australian economy, the intense cost of living, enterprise opportunities, and the threats associated with dying industries.
Strengths: A booming financial sector
Australia’s financial services contributes to the national economy significantly.
Over the last few years, Australia has contributed more than $140 billion to the GDP. On top of that, Australia boasts impressively safe, profitable, and economically impactful banks worldwide.
Thanks to the country’s financial security, Australia is home to one of the most efficient financial centres. In fact, the economic fundamentals overpower Canada’s and many other countries including Germany, Japan, and the United States.
Australia’s seeing a boom in their FinTech sector which will increase the country’s reach to mobile device users. The advancing of technology, as well as changing buying habits and behaviors of customers, may transform how financial services are applied and used to Australians.
Weaknesses: Poor exporting products unfit for the high cost of living
A major problem for Australians is the cost of living. Much of the population focuses on borrowing money to buy homes. This is how it has to be since the tax system prioritizes people who own homes or invest in property ownership — which ironically further inflates housing prices. Not enough investment is placed in developing new opportunities, businesses, or wealth to cope with these costs.
The Australian education system is flawed as it attempts to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist. The car-making industry is basically dead and gone, and yet students are still learning about this market despite the lack of job opportunities in it.
Australians fear the future as the “gig” economy grows — business owners can pay someone to do a job but not be obligated to pay for any type of benefits. This makes it more difficult for workers to find job security.
Australia offers exports of many common products such as coal, gas, and iron ore. You’ll see these types of products exported often, typically by third world countries. This would be fine for Australians if the cost of living wasn’t so high. Offering third company exports doesn’t translate well towards first world living demands.
Opportunities: Small and medium business growth throughout the country
Western Sydney is one of the highest growth regions in Australia. The population is diverse and steadily growing. Over half of the businesses operating in Western Sydney are self-employed with teams of less than 10 people.
With so many businesses popping up, paired with the diverse community in this area, there’s a significant chance for investment and trade growth. And not just in Western Sydney, although the population of businesses is growing there.
Over 60 percent of the total workforce in Australia is comprised of small to medium enterprises. These enterprises can prosper so long as they have the appropriate policies for growth and innovation. But at the moment, they don’t. This is something the government needs to focus on, as the citizens can’t manage this on their own.
Threats: The death of the mining boom and encryption
Years ago, Australia enjoyed the benefits of the mining boom. Initially, the products from mining were doubling, even quadrupling in price. This quickly led to an increase in physical investments. Mining, and other resource investments, compromise a tiny percentage of the GDP. However, any shift in the process, price, or value of mining goods can significantly change this.
And unfortunately… the mining boom is over. Although it’s officially dead, and many Australians were left feeling lost thereafter, there’s a chance the boom may return. Still, relying so heavily on one industry isn’t the smartest move economically. At least now the citizens are focusing on other sectors — like the financial sector as mentioned in the “strengths” section above.
Australians fear the future of technology and security in their country. The Australian government is focusing on removing encryption services from documentation, texts, and messages. Meaning, all messages will be viewable by whoever, whenever, rather than authorized personnel.
The government claims this is a move to protect civilians. Encrypted messages can be impossible to decrypt, and in the eyes of the government, this is a problem. What if the police or government need access to sensitive information shared by criminals? Well, they won’t have it. This is why the government wishes to put “back doors” in technology devices, allowing them to get access to messages and data on a whim.
The problem is, once a back door is created, anyone with the knowledge, tools, or skill set can also access the back door. This makes information far less safe, according to cybersecurity specialists. And yet, the government refuses to listen to any experts. Instead, they’re sticking their shoes in the mud and going ahead with these changes.
This change and deletion of encryption affect companies who use these services to protect sensitive files and documentation. It also affects the companies offering encryption services to companies and individuals. And finally, this change may affect the rest of the world — with Australia accepting these technological changes, other countries may follow along.
SWOT Analysis of Australia: Conclusion
Australia is an expensive country to live in. Most people are forced to take out loans to pay for homes, and suffer from slowly dying industries. Now that the mining boom is over, more people are becoming self-employed and building businesses to create opportunities for themselves.
But we’re also seeing problems related to the government’s stances on technology, which could greatly stifle the rising FinTech industry. The government wishes to remove privacy of documentation and messages for the “greater good”, even though security experts say there’s no “good” to be had with these decisions. In the coming years, we’ll see how these changes — with technology, products, and businesses — affects the growth of the country.
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