THE IMPACT of foreign investors in Australian residential property is the subject of a special report by Propell National Valuers – and the results are in contrast to recent reports in the popular media.

Prepared by Propell National Valuers head of research, Linda Phillips, the report found the impact of foreign investors is in defined markets and is here to stay. But canny domestic investors are seeing the trends and joining these markets for greater price growth. 

“Foreign buyers are here to stay,” Ms Phillips said. “Their impact is in defined markets.

“Rather than complaining about them, domestic buyers might do better to deal into the game and buy into the same market on the assumption that price growth will be stronger in those markets that attract foreign buyers.”

The Propell report found overseas buyers mostly came from China, Canada and the US.

She said “media hype” about foreign buyers pushing up housing prices had been way overstated, based on a recent House of Representatives report and submissions.

“Australia already has tighter restrictions on foreign buyers than most countries,” Ms Phillips said. “Foreign buyers account for less than 2 percent of all purchases.

“Although the Sydney market gets the headlines, Melbourne approvals were double those of Sydney (over the past year).”

Ms Phillips said the important factor in residential property was that foreign buyers targeted specific property ranges, mostly inner city apartments and expensive properties in Sydney and Melbourne, with Brisbane starting to attract interest.

“In those specific markets, the impact on prices is likely to be measurable,” Ms Phillips said.”

A factor into the future was that that fall in the Australian dollar is making Australian property more affordable for overseas buyers and interest is likely to increase.

“Australian property prices are cheap compared to most cities in Asia,” Ms Phillips said.

“Melbourne core CBD prices are on par with Kuala Lumpur, 50 percent cheaper than Sydney, 200 percent cheaper than Singapore, 350 percent cheaper than Hong Kong, and a staggering 550 percent cheaper than London.”

The Propell National Valuers report determined that house prices were likely to continue to increase in the next year, regardless, by 10 percent in Sydney, and 7 percent in Melbourne.

Ms Phillips said the House of Representatives report that the Propell research also looked at stated: “Foreign investors are vital to the property market, are not to blame for making prices unaffordable for Australians, and if banned would curb the construction of new homes.”

However, Ms Phillips said the report also proposed better compliance measures by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and the law should be enforced – but these measures would not affect the demand from foreign investors.

Click here to download the report in full

www.propell.com.au

ends

EXTRA >> A Report by Digital Business insights.

THE not-for-profit sector in Australia includes over 700,000 not-for-profit organisations, 100,000 incorporated associations and 10,000 companies limited by guarantee.

The sector can be broadly divided into public-serving or member-serving organisations.

Public-serving organisations typically deliver health, education or community services.

Member-serving organisations exist for the benefit of their members, in the areas of sport and recreation and common interest. Interest organisations include peak bodies, religious organisations, political parties, lobby groups and unions and professional and business associations. 

Not-for-profit organisations are increasingly adopting and using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve their productivity, service delivery and enhance the many ways they interact with government, businesses and the community.

The value of ICT to an organisation varies depending on the organisation size, type, location and services delivered. Some business processes are common to all not-for-profits and some are specific to public serving or member serving organisations.

 

Public serving

 

Member serving

 

Accounting, database, security, backup/storage, telecommunication, internet, website, compliance, ordering, buying,

 

Reporting, tenders, volunteers, rostering, client management

 

Fundraising, member management, collaboration

         

It also helps to understand the value ICT can deliver by looking at the relationships the organisation has. All organisations have internal relationships and activities, as well as external relationships with customers or clients, suppliers, competitors and complementary organisations.

INTERNAL

ICT enhances various internal administrative business activities for the not-for-profit sector – accounting, payroll, records and information (database), rostering, internal communication and so on.

Accounting – MYOB, Quickbooks, Xero, Arrow, Attache, SAP etc

Database – Access, Excel, SQL, Filemaker etc

Rostering – None, Excel, Time Target etc

Security – Norton, AVG, NetboxBlue, Interactive etc

Backup/Storage – Hard Drive, NAS, SAN, DVD, CD, Tape

Intranet – web developer

Mobility – Airwatch, GBM, Blink, VmWare etc

 

CUSTOMER

Customer relationships will vary depending on the type of not-for-profit organisation. ICT can enhance communication through telephone, SMS, email, email newsletter and web site, and also help with the active management of relationships through client and customer relationship software.

Phone – Telstra, Optus, Vodaphone etc

Internet – Telstra, Optus, iiNet, TPG, Pacific Internet etc

VoIP – Skype, Broadsoft, Asterisk, Avaya, Cisco etc

Website – web developer

CRM & membership – MS CRM, IMIS, ACT, SDG, Salesforce, Access, Outlook, EventPro, Frontdesk, Aspedia etc

Client Management – CareManager, Pivotol, Tectura, XaptCare, iCare, QuickKids, ionmycare etc

 

SUPPLIER

Supplier relationships will also vary depending on the type of organisation. For public serving organisations funded by government, there is an ongoing cycle of tendering for funding and reporting on services delivered. Member-serving organisations manage member fees.

Both types of organisations may raise funds and sign up and manage volunteers. All organisations may buy general goods and services. ICT can support all these activities through fundraising software, telemarketing, Government tender and reporting portals, and general supplier websites and portals.

Reporting – Excel, Calxa, Datacare, Arrow etc

Volunteers – Outlook, Vision6, etc

Fundraising – Blackbaud, ThankQ, Donor Management, Open Alms etc

Ordering/Buying – Supply/Buy website, portal

 

COMPETITOR

All public serving organisations compete for funding. Members-serving organisations compete for members. The internet provides a simple, quick research platform for competitive intelligence gathering as well as a research resource for proposals and reports.

            Tenders – Government portal

            Research – Web browser

 

COMPLEMENTARY

Not-for-profit organisations often collaborate in service delivery, lobbying, promotion and education. ICT provides a number of collaborative platforms including weblogs, wikis and portals.

            Information portal – InfoXchange, Our Community, Connecting Up, DoC

 

ICT satisfaction and concerns

Respondents to the last four surveys over 8 years raised specific issues with ICT products and services. The main issues were – lack of software designed and customised to the sector needs, software not fully integrated or able to be easily integrated with other software, affordability, training and support, not intuitive and not easy to use.

Organisations need the right client management software, staff management software, customer relationship management software, membership and fundraising software to operate effectively.

Overall problems with IT & software

Integration, compatibility, software bugs, not focused on non-profit

33%

Old software, can’t afford to upgrade

32%

Can’t get training, can’t afford training, need support, can’t afford it

28%

Want to analyse data and generate better reports

5%

Want open system solutions

2%

“Need to provide software that is everywhere and everywhen” Church, NSW

The cost of hardware and software, and cost and availability of training required to use it effectively are two other major issues holding non-profits back from increased productivity and effectiveness.

It is only the enthusiasm, flexibility and commitment of the sector to service delivery that compensates for flaws in the tools that are available to them.

“Prices are prohibitive for small non-profits” Creative & performing arts, Victoria

Many issues are common to all organisations regardless of their size – integration, reporting tools and CRM. Larger organisations manage their own training needs effectively.

Issues by size of organisation

1-2

Training, need database and reporting tools, cost

3-4

Upgrades expensive, need CRM, Adobe products expensive, training

5-9

Integration, no funds for training, compatibility, reporting, need upgrades

10-19

Integration, training, support, Adobe costs, need CRM

20-49

Integration, need CRM, support, training

50-99

Integration, reporting, need custom CRM

100-499

Integration, reporting, support, inflexible vendors, CRM essential

500+

Integration and support

There are signs of improvement in this area as a result of the overall trend towards open systems, web based solutions and managed services. But not all software developers are moving in this direction fast enough for the sector.

INTEGRATION

Effective analysis and reporting demands an integrated operational platform and many non-profits wrestle with hardware and software that is not fully integrated, open system, up to date, supported and funded, often using a mixture of hardware and differing versions of software.

This situation is further compounded by government and peak bodies developing and providing reporting databases and portals that are clunky, slow, non intuitive and not well supported, and then expecting non-profits to use them as the primary reporting tool for their funding.

Legacy hardware and software increasingly causes problems. Many organisations can’t afford to upgrade their hardware and software, and can’t afford to train staff (especially volunteers) and maintain new ICT products even if they could afford them. This reinforces the requirement for all non-profit software to be intuitive, easy to learn and use.

AFFORDABILITY

The DonorTec program and the annual Connecting Up events are two programs that lead the way in trying to improve the affordability and information issues.

Connecting Up, Our Community, Infoxchange and Church Resources also work individually and together to lobby State and Federal Government for more and better directed initiatives to improve capability across the sector.

As a result of this lobbying there are signs that hardware and software vendors in Australia are developing, updating and providing more solutions that are valuable to the sector. But it is slow and the current financial environment is clearly affecting many smaller ICT developers.

Cisco and Microsoft have supported the DonorTec program from the beginning. Existing CRM products are now being repurposed and configured to reflect the needs of non-profit organisations. Other software products have been customised for the sector. But these efforts only go so far and none of them address the major integration issue. In many ways they make it worse.

LACK OF APPROPRIATE SOFTWARE

One issue raised by non-profit organisations was the lack of off the shelf software developed with their needs in mind, specifically Customer Relationship Management software (CRM). Many products address only part of an organisations needs. There is a perception that software is developed for business … not the non-profit sector. This is especially true with CRM software.

“Can’t find good CRM for a small organisation” Youth Services, Victoria

"We need a CRM with integrated fundraising” Multiple Services, Tasmania

 “We need a CRM system”Law & Advocacy, Victoria

 “We have outgrown our custom-built CRM" Philanthropy, Vic

Another perception is that State and Federal GovernmentS are not software developers, and when they build web-based tools and portals for reporting or other reasons … they don’t do a good job. Software has bugs, is slow, isn’t intuitive or user friendly, is not supported … and users inherit the blame.

Dissatisfaction is wide ranging – “Transport Access  – slow and limited; CLSIS legal database – poor and out of date; Health Network – slow and frustrating; CAIS – flawed and doesn’t meet our needs, prescribed by DHS so meets their needs and can't be modified to meet internal needs; VPAD - Government provided and very poor."

“Government provided software is difficult to use and has reliability issues.” - Disability Service, NSW

Compounding this problem is the growing operational desire to integrate and share data across a range of applications. Funded non-profits have to report to funding bodies regularly and this requires software integration to avoid multiple data entry, and to be able to create tailored reports effectively. And indeed for the CEOs across the sector to be able to manage their organisations with clarity, oversight and access to information.

Some larger organisations have addressed this issue by using external integrators and software developers to create solutions, or implementing fully integrated (ERP) systems. This option isn’t realistic for smaller organisations because of the initial cost and ongoing support requirement for the system.

“The biggest concern is the lack of system integration across our organisation and the huge loss in productive hours resulting from this.”  Peak Body, Queensland

Even when existing solutions are available, many organisations are not aware of them. Many non-profits are still unaware of the DonorTec program.

COST AND LICENSING

Non-profit organisations don’t have money to waste and often don’t have money to spend on ICT at all. The structure of funding provision (lump sum) and timing (one-off, for program or for fixed period) also doesn’t usually match the new payment options now available for managed services (cloud computing services) delivered online for a monthly fee.

Organisations are often forced to wait to buy new technology, and upgrading equipment and software is something that only large organisations do to a planned schedule. Most others upgrade only when systems fail and they are forced to.

The result is often a mixed bag of hardware, software and operating systems, making it even more difficult to manage training, support and licences. There is also concern about the legality and currency of licences because of the inclusion of donated equipment.

The DonorTec program has had, and continues to have, a positive influence in helping non-profits upgrade software and is one of the most valuable strategies for building capability in the sector. But support for the DonorTec program by Microsoft and Cisco is likely to finish in the near future, not just in Australia, but also internationally where the program is managed by TechSoup Global.

Cost, training and support are linked by many organisations. There is concern about the expense of purchasing software and then getting the most productive value from it, especially if the software is not intuitive and easy to use.

“Not able to keep up to date (no money)” Disability Service, NSW

Non-profits are expressing a desire for the DonorTec program to include Adobe products and MYOB.

“Would love Adobe products through DonorTec”Education & Training, NSW

 “Wish MYOB was available through DonorTec”  - Creative & Performing Arts, Victoria

TRAINING, SUPPORT AND ADVICE

Training (or the lack of it) to get the most out of the investment in technology is an issue raised by many organisations. Most training is on the job and many organisations can’t afford external training, especially for their volunteers and part time workforce. Most “pick things up as they go along”.

“Expense of purchasing software and training staff how to use it effectively” - Seniors Organisation, South Australia

“We need access to local, low cost and tailored training” - Industry Association, Victoria

The main currents of the digital revolution – more connection, more collaboration and more integration, impact non-profits just as much as businesses and households.

Convergence between telecommunication and data is creating new opportunities for cost saving and improved communication though VoIP and unified communications. Low cost mobile devices offer new opportunities to manage service delivery more effectively.

Cloud computing offers the potential for lower cost software services and new payment regimes. But VoIP, mobility and cloud computing all carry new issues and problems that need clarification and understanding. Governance, legislation and regulation impact the funded sector to varying degrees.

Added to this, the pressure from other quarters continues to grow with changing expectations and increasing demands from clients, customers, government legislation, auditing and funding bodies.

Government is expecting “more for less” – more and better service delivery for less funding, whilst investing little or nothing to help the sector meet its obligations or help the sector better leverage the opportunities delivered by technology.

It is assumed that these things will take care of themselves through market supply and demand. From the consistency of the issues raised and comments made over the course of four national non-profit surveys over 8 years from 2006 to 2013, it is evident that this is not the case.

SOLUTION

It is possible to address many of these issues, but to do this effectively requires:

  • knowledge of ICT demand and use across the sector – which DBi has accumulated over the past 10 years through its surveys across the sector 
  • the ability and knowledge to bring together the key ICT vendors and manage the collaborative effort required to address the demand issues – which DBi can manage because of its industry networks, knowledge, experience and neutrality in the sector 
  • the ability to bring together the Data Centres and Hosting,  Systems Integrators and Software solutions to create “total solution” options for the sector – still leaving competitive options and choices in place, but moving those competitive options from single point solutions to total solutions. The solution mix can be modularised so buyers can select options that suit them best – by cost, preference, industry category etc. 
  • the ability to provide training and support to meet the demands of the sector relative to this solution mix – which DBi can deliver through its digital toolkit platforms and learning management system. 
  • the ability to manage both the provision of higher cost options delivered by Telstra, Optus and Macquarie Telecom and lower cost options delivered by the tier 2 and 3 data centres – to meet existing comfort levels, existing relationships, budgets, preferences and other issues that affect a buying decision. 

Getting this “right” will go a long way to increasing efficiency, productivity, affordability, capability and collaboration across a sector that delivers many government funded health and community services programs as well as supporting the membership based organisations important for community vitality and health.

www.db-insights.com

 

#ends

 

ITS MAIN title is Grow Your Business FAST – but the subtitle tells it like it is: 'The Quick, Dirty, and Uncensored Secrets to Extraordinary Small Business Success Despite Recession, Crap Governments and Tight-arsed Banks’.

It is the work of UK-based copywriter and web marketeer Jon McCulloch, who happily admits he is “an unlikely genius and small business advocate who stops at nothing to make sure savvy and open-minded business owners know the truth”. 

Mr McCulloch’s goal is to help readers work less, earn more and build their own empires – but those stepping up to the plate must have a hard exterior. Mr McCulloch is as intense and unorthodox as they come.

The information his publishing company has released on this book gives a fair indication of what the prospective reader is in for.

“Those engaging with a business growth consultant would likely imagine a suit-clad gentleman with the perfect side parting and lack of social skills to match. Stop right there; Jon McCulloch is a celebrated and renowned consultant, but he’s so unconventional in appearance and approach that he’s come to be known as the Evil Bald Genius.”

Grow Your Business FAST: The Quick, Dirty, and Uncensored Secrets to Extraordinary Small Business Success Despite Recession Crap Governments and Tight-arsed Banks will make readers very uncomfortable, but for good reason. Mr McCulloch knows the truth about growing any business, and the truth hurts.

Jon McCulloch’s scathing and uncompromising style and language are for neither the sensitive nor the faint-hearted. He claims that in Grow Your Business FAST there’s something guaranteed to offend everyone.

But that’s okay, he asserts, because he is not in the business of winning friends and influencing people – and certainly not if it comes at the expense of hiding or obfuscating the truth about what it takes to succeed legally, morally, ethically, and entirely above board in business in today’s dire economy, “despite recession, crap government, and tight-arsed banks”.

“So if you're looking to have your hand held and your fevered brow mopped with gentle, loving hands, you’d be best advised not to read this book, because you won’t like it,” Mr McCulloch said.

“I can be your best business friend, but your worst personal nightmare.

“Each of my strategies is proven and ‘battle-tested’ in the real world, but I’m not going to tread on eggshells just to make you feel good while delivering them. Look, your business skills likely suck and you have a growth strategy as useful as a one-legged man in an arse kicking competition. But it’s okay, I’ll help you change it.”

 “It is possible to make more money with less work and fewer headaches; just don’t expect it to be easy. This is the complete blueprint that will see your bottom-line skyrocket in just three months. But, damn, I don’t even know why I wrote it sometimes – 99 percent of business owners I meet are too lazy to even deserve this kind of information.”

Evil Bald Genius Jon McCulloch may live in West Cork, Ireland – “with Mrs EBG, his Jack Russell Terrier, Haggis, and an assortment of other dogs and cats” – but he has a global client base for his primary business as a copywriter and marketing consultant. In fact, he calls himself  “the most expensive copywriter and marketing consultant in Europe, as far as I know”.

He is regarded as one of Europe’s leading educators in direct response marketing and meets the needs of a fixed private client list, claiming to rarely open up to new clients because the ones on his list “never leave”.

When not busy writing inflammatory business books to assist business owners find their way, he claims to spend most of his time reading, writing, riding his bike, pumping iron, and growing the businesses of his 26, £997-a-month Elite Mastermind Members.

Sounds like he does not need those tight-arsed banks himself these days.

http://amzn.to/1E92uQF

http://www.jonmcculloch.com

 

ends

 

CORPORATE advisory and stockbroking firm Morgans has identified that the Australian economy is in the early stages of recovering from what it calls a ‘growth recession’.

Morgans’ research suggests this means economic growth without employment growth indicating business is working through productivity gains – but is also negatively impacted by Australia’s relatively inflexible labour markets. 

“What this means is that although the Australian economy has been growing it has been growing below the historical trend growth rate, of circa 3.2 percent, needed to generate net employment,” executive director for Morgans Corporate Advisory division, Philip Lee said.

“Hence, unemployment has been increasing despite economic growth in absolute terms. We forecast economic growth should accelerate to around 3.0 percent this calendar year.”

Mr Lee said this would be up from the 2.7 percent growth mark of 2013.

“Which suggests that the recovery in Australia will be what other countries call ‘a jobless recovery,” he said.

Mr Le said any recovery “will inevitably create opportunities and threats for Australian businesses” however a jobless recovery effectively suggests improved productivity.

“Businesses continue to suggest to us that one of the biggest challenges to Australian growth at present is its relatively inflexible labour markets,” Mr Lee said.

“In time this will likely lead to some form of Government intervention but in the meantime businesses will need to adapt and focus on productivity initiatives and innovation.

“Business confidence is key to support and accelerate growth. As the saying goes, success breeds success.”

What may positively surprise Australian economic forecasters is better than expected growth from its key international trading partners, Mr Lee indicated.

“The United States economic growth is being driven by improved consumer spending, a better market for housing, and stronger export growth,” he said.

“China purposefully continues to transition from export driven growth to domestically driven growth, which is forecast to remain well above 7 percent.

“Europe appears to be at the beginning of a modest recovery following its sovereign debt crisis, and the UK is coming off a low base but is expected to grow faster than Germany over the next two years,” Mr Lee said.

“As a result, opportunities will arise for Australian companies directly and indirectly leveraged to these key trading partners.

“A collateral benefit of stronger trading partners is a likely depreciation in the Australian dollar improving the global competitiveness of Australian businesses but likely impacting our importing companies.”

Mr Lee said Morgans analysts were expecting 2014 to present businesses with a plethora of productivity and growth opportunities.

“However, typically the pursuit of these growth opportunities, particularly if being driven by international demand, can be expensive and capital hungry,” he said.

“Access to debt markets remains a challenge for most emerging companies and ‘merger and acquisition’ opportunities are becoming more complex and expensive,” Mr Lee warned.

“Equity markets typically lead economic improvement by 12 to 18 months and as such will, in our view, become a more readily available and cost effective source of funding for emerging companies in 2014.”

Morgans, a long-term Industry Expert member of Queensland Leaders, recently struck a strategic alliance with CIMB Securities International Australia for research and cooperation on corporate advisory and capital markets in Australia. The alliance initially gives Morgans customers access to highly ranked research of CIMB Australia provides CIMB Australia with Morgans’ distribution platform of more than 300,000 customers for equity capital market transactions.

www.morgans.com.au

ends

 

AUSTRALIA continues to be the most favoured foreign direct investment (FDI) destination among Asian investors of all Asia Pacific countries – and it is ranked the eighth most popular investment destination globally. That is according to the 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index (FDICI) results released this month by global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney from Washington DC.

In a report that is well regarded internationally for providing an in-depth view of forward-looking investment sentiment, A.T. Kearney also found the US has not only maintained its first place position from last year, but also increased the lead it had in the 2013 study, which was referenced in the recent White House report, Winning Business Investment in the United States. 

According to A.T Kearney’s notes on the report, the findings bode well not only for the US, but for the global economy as a whole – almost four out of five respondents are more optimistic about the global economy than they were a year ago.

Since its inception, the A.T. Kearney study has consistently pointed toward top global choices for foreign direct investment, with the top 10 most attractive FDI destinations receiving a majority share of global FDI inflows roughly one year after the survey.

Asia, which attracts roughly a third of all foreign direct investment, has shown particular resilience.

A.T. Kearney's Asia Pacific leader, John Kurtz said, “With investment still pouring into China and with India now on the rise, we notice too the collective strength of ASEAN as an investment destination of choice especially with the coming of the AEC.

“Last year ASEAN total investment outstripped even China and this year's FDICI seems to presage more of the same.”

China is at number two on the index, attracting higher-end manufacturing from overseas and increased inland investments.

India has dropped two notches in the Top 10 to seventh since 2013, the result of a cooling off in investor sentiment in such sectors as multi-brand retail and mining. However, the A.T. Kearney report indicated India’s new government and its Look East policy were expected to further buoy outbound FDI in South East Asia as well as inbound FDI sentiment.

Singapore, with its famously predictable regulations and low corporate tax rate, strengthened its standing in the Top 10 to ninth.

The strongest individual performance on the 2014 study came from Malaysia, which surged 10 points to 15th, benefitting from strong inbound regional FDI flows and good performance in financial services, heavy industry and primary industry.

Founder of the FDI Confidence Index and A.T. Kearney chairman emeritus, Paul A. Laudicina said, “Despite racking volatility and economic uncertainty on a global scale, the findings from the 2014 FDICI suggest that a corner is being turned. Corporations sitting on massive cash reserves are increasingly confident that they can parlay these into productive investments with attractive returns.” 

Other key survey highlights included:

  • Despite unresolved deficits in the Eurozone, 11 European countries still rank in the top 25, some entering the ranking for the first time;
  • Canada moved into the third spot;
  • 39 percent of respondents voiced a more positive sentiment than last year for second-ranked China; and
  • Russia, at number 11 last year, fell out of the top 25 rankings, even despite the fact that the survey was fielded prior to the current political problems in Ukraine.

“We feel confident that despite a slow and uneven economic recovery, executives who make FDI decisions are regaining a sense of measured confidence,” said Erik Peterson, A.T. Kearney partner and a co-author of the study.

“The 2014 FDICI is not only an indicator of FDI flows, but an excellent telescope into specific economic stories around the globe. We’re pleased that this year’s study portrays a more optimistic picture globally.”

Mr Peterson said each region has an interesting unfolding story seen through the lens of the FDI Confidence Index, with many of the winners riding on stability after the ongoing post-recession economic turbulence.

In the Americas, Brazil ranked among the top five most preferred FDI destinations for the fourth consecutive year, incentivised by new industrial policy measures.

Mexico, ranked 12th, is a quiet beneficiary of the wave of US reshoring, due to its integration with US supply chains. Chile’s stable economy and investment climate translated to a five-notch climb in the index, to 17th.

The index shows Europe attracts more than a quarter of the world’s total FDI inflows, due to its highly qualified labour force, sophisticated, well-heeled consumers, and world-class infrastructure.

Northern European nations Sweden and Denmark make it to the top 25 for the first time this year, while Belgium and the Netherlands return to the index after some time off investors’ radars.

The UK, amid discussions of a potential opt-out from the EU, rose four positions to fourth.

France, currently under President François Hollande’s efforts to increase the country's competitiveness, has reclaimed a place in the top 10.

 

BACKGROUND

THE 2014 FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT CONFIDENCE INDEX

The FDI Confidence Index is constructed using primary data from a proprietary survey administered to senior executives of the world’s leading corporations by A.T.Kearney.

Respondents include C-level executives and regional and business heads. The 300 participating companies represent 26 countries and span all industry sectors.

All companies report global revenue of more than $500 million. Companies surveyed are evenly distributed across the globe, with roughly one-third headquartered in Europe, a third in the Asia-Pacific region and a third in the Americas.

The survey was conducted in January and February 2014. While the FDI Confidence Index provides readers with a sense of investor attitudes about the future, it is not designed to reveal specific reasons for the results. This study reflects upon likely causes for upward or downward changes, but the conclusions must be regarded only as considered judgment on the part of A.T. Kearney’s Global Business Policy Council.

The index is calculated as a weighted average of the number of high, medium, and low responses to questions about the likelihood of direct investment in a market over the next three years. Index values are based on non-source-country responses. For example, the index value for the US was calculated without responses from US-based investors. Higher index values indicate more attractive investment targets.

FDI flow figures are the latest statistics available from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Other secondary sources include investment promotion agencies, central banks, ministries of finance and trade, and major periodicals.

For past editions of the FDICI: www.atkearney.com/gbpc/foreign-direct-investment-confidence-index

A.T. Kearney is a global partnership organisation that focuses on problem solving for international businesses by assisting with collaboration across borders to co-create sustainable results. Operating since 1926, A.T. Kearney has worked as trusted advisors on what it calls “most mission-critical issues” to the world’s leading organisations across all major industries and service sectors, and today has 59 across 40 countries.

www.atkearney.com

ends

TECHNOLOGY entrepreneur Yvette Adams has written a book to assist parents in understanding and adapting to the digital world of their children.

Last year’s Australian ICT Woman of the Year at the National iAwards, Ms Adams is a serial entrepreneur who operates The Creative Collective, a creative services and training agency, out of her commercial warehouse at seaside Maroochydore, Queensland. 

Today's kids are intuitively able to use every device, app, game and social network handed to them. Just give a tablet or a smart phone to a toddler and watch what happens.

Ms Adams, a mother of  children aged seven and 10, said children desperately needed their parents to understand the technology they are using right now, and to embrace the technology themselves. Her book, being released steadily across Australia, is titled No Kidding – Why Our Kids Know More About Technology Than Us (and What We Can Do About It!) in an effort to help parents adapt to this digital world.

“There is no point in fighting technology or ignoring it. It’s not going away, and the sooner you embrace it, the better off you and your family will be,” Ms Adams said.

She has aimed the book at assisting parents to get started with technology and to understand how it can actually help, and not hinder family life through many practical applications. She outlines these benefits as technology to save time, technology to save money, technology to stay fit and health through to technology to be a creative family.

More than 500 websites and apps are showcased throughout the book. Industry leaders such as David Bartlett, who has been named one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Technology in Australia, Andy Lark and Vanessa Garrard have contributed to the book.

Mr Lark is the former chief marketing and online officer at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, who sits on the board of New Zealand technology venture capital firm No.8 Ventures. Ms Garrard leads E3 Style, the largest licensed youth electronics supplier in Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Adams is hopeful the book will become a valuable resource to influencers of children across the globe, such as government leaders, teachers, career advisors and grandparents.

“Even if you’re not convinced that technology is your thing, I’m hoping that you care as much about your child and their future as I do, and that you’ll give this technology thing your best shot for their sake,” Ms Adams said. 

“You see, for the first time in history, our children know more than us about something: technology. Just stop and think about that for a moment. It’s a crazy phenomenon.

“Since the dawn of time, cavemen and cavewomen have taught their children everything they needed to know to survive. Firstly, to hunt and gather and later to farm. Then, to cook, clean, sew, build and study, and, of course, to love and share.

“But then technology came along and turned every aspect of our lives on its head. Our kids just pick up devices and naturally know what to do with them,” she said.

“Love it or hate it, life is not the same as it once was. And it will keep on changing. So it’s time to get up to speed with technology and what it means to be a parent in the digital age.”

Ms Adams said the challenge before parents and influencers of children today was immense, dealing with information overload, rapid change and safety and privacy concerns.

“The fact that we are preparing them for jobs that don’t exist yet. Not to mention the giant digital footprints they are creating,” Ms Adams said.

But Adams said the book was most definitely not another negative tirade about the evils of social media or cyber safety issues, which though she does touch on, are only a minor aspect of the book. Instead, through it she hopes to introduce readers to the many positive benefits of technology.

“The short of it is, the kids need us to step up,” Ms Adams said. “You see, at the moment, we expect the education system and the government to do something about it, but the curriculum can’t keep up with the speed at which the world is changing.

"So kids desperately need their parents to understand the technology they are using right now and how the future is changing because of it. In the book I also explain the massive skills shortages going on right now in the ICT industry and how you can get your kids into coding and ICT for a guaranteed career.”

Ms Adams said she “never thought in a thousand years I’d work with computers”. She neither studied computers or even touched a typewriter at school, and never went to university.

Yet using technology to her advantage, she has started five businesses, two of which she has since sold, and she now actively champions the ICT industry and the use of technology in daily life and business.

Simply, she gets “a real kick out of helping people fall in love with technology too”.

Ms Adams won ICT Woman of the Year for Australia at the National iAwards in 2013, is a public speaker including recently compering EduTech, Australasia’s largest education and technology event with over 4000 delegates, and is a regular media commentator on topics related to trends, technology and social media.

Ms Adams won the Commonwealth Business Owner of the Year at the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in 2010 for Queensland and the Employer of Choice and the Entrepreneurial Award at the Women in Technology Awards 2012.

The Creative Collective operates as an innovative and versatile agency that helps people achieve online success through the building of websites and digital marketing strategies as well as through an extensive array of online and offline training.

Ms Adams said the business had already assisted thousands of small businesses across Australia and her motivation for writing the book was to help parents and people who potiively influence children to understand the impact technology is having on their families’ lives, and how to embrace it, not fear it.

www.nokidding.com.au

www.thecreativecollective.com.au

 

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LOOK hard enough and you will identify four key factors that drive all entrepreneurs to success. That is the basis of research by Australian author Allan Bonsall, outlined in his new book Entrepreneurial Intelligence, which draws on the approach of Australian coffee trailblazer, Phillip Di Bella.

While the book looks at the some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs – such as Richard Branson, Gerry Harvey and Steve Jobs, who largely attribute their own success to perseverance, commitment and hard work – Mr Bonsall outlines the ultimate formula for entrepreneurial success by identifying four key principles of vision, passion, brand and emotional intelligence.

Mr Bonsall said Entrepreneurial Intelligence was inspired by the philosophies of Queensland coffee entrepreneur Phillip Di Bella, and aims to present a new and enlightened way of looking at entrepreneurship that is immediately relevant to Australians. 

“Many people associate entrepreneurial success with commitment and preparedness to work hard, though if we delve deeper it becomes clear all successful entrepreneurs share several other distinct traits,” Mr Bonsall said.

“Vision for instance is a key driver for any entrepreneur. It is the ability of an individual to define a purpose, a goal or personal agenda and share that vision with others so it grows into the future place every successful entrepreneur can see clearly in their head.

“Passion is another key characteristic that envelops us all and fuels us to achieve our goals. Passion is the life-force of ambition, it propels entrepreneurs to the top and sets them apart from the rest.”

Mr Bonsall said the third part of the formula was more tangible than vision or passion and is the key to building loyalty and generating repeat purchase and referral.

He said the most fundamental of business principles is to place the customer at the very heart and core of a venture, this is done by harnessing the power of a brand.

“Successful entrepreneurs intuitively know that understanding their brand is the most powerful link they have with their customers,” Mr Bonsall said.

Mr Di Bella, who created the highly successful Di Bella coffee brand out of a sense of purpose in elevating the Australian coffee scene, said from his experience the final principle in the formula is perhaps the most complex: it grows from the combination of vision, passion and brand and is truly what sets successful entrepreneurs apart.

“It is the individual’s ability to be both aware of their own emotions and the emotions of those around them,” Mr Di Bella said.

 “Great entrepreneurs know how to effectively engage with people and recognise and prioritise the needs of others, often subjugating their own ambitions in the process.”

Di Bella established Di Bella Coffee in 2002 by leasing a roaster part-time. He roasted coffee at night and went door-to-door to attract clients by day.

His story fascinated Mr Bonsall, who had previously co-authored a book with Dr John Harrison from The University of Queensland, BRANDAID, Brand Power at the heart of your business.

Mr Bonsall spent two and half decades in advertising, delivering branding and marketing solutions to a line-up of top Australian and international companies and has since developed a strategic planning tool based around the principles of branding.

Entrepreneurial Intelligence is available online at MyDiBellaCoffee.com, Di Bella Coffee retail outlets, all online book sellers and Estee Media’s website.

Entrepreneurial Intelligence is also available as an eBook from Amazon, Kobo, Google and Apple as well as the Australian eBook Publisher.

www.mydibellacoffee.com

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