UNLESS AUSTRALIA arrests its flagging productivity, the economy will continue to decline, putting our standard of living at risk for generations to come, according to the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), which is staging a special forum to tackle the issue.
“Productivity growth has continued to decline over the past 15 years,” IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway said.
“While we have had some successes through our Australian Small Business White Paper, the nation must make a much more concerted effort to boost SME productivity.
“We will hold a special forum through the IPA Deakin SME Research Centre to focus on addressing this dire economic predicament," Mr Cponway said.
“In doing so we will be calling on Australian and international expertise, particularly from the US, to explore the creation of a sustainable ecosystem for SMEs. This will be based on the five integral pillars of: financial capital; innovation; regulation; trade and internationalisation; and human capital.
“While some say that small business is the engine room of the economy, we believe that is an understatement; we believe that small business is the whole factory, plant and equipment. Unless we stoke the fire beneath it, our future generations will suffer the consequences,” Mr Conway said..
The Small Business: Big Vision event will take place on September 4 and 5. Keynote speakers include Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, Michael Sukkar, and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, .
International speakers include Eugene Cornelius Jnr, senior adviser to the USA’s Office of International Trade at the Small Business Administration; and Dr Winslow Sargeant, managing director of S&T and former Chief Counsel for Advocacy appointed by and reporting direct to US President Barack Obama, who is now the senior vice president of the International Council for Small Business.