Business

Why Sydney’s smart future lies in Asia

The City of Sydney is hosting a Summit to build international connections and attract top talent for the Asian century.

Sydney is perfectly positioned to tap into top 10 global city ranking, but Australian demographer Simon Kuestenmacher warns Sydney can’t afford to lag behind in liveability if it wants to be part of the new Asian economic boom.

Director and co-founder of The Demographics Group with managing director Bernard Salt, Mr Kuestenmacher will deliver the keynote address at the City of Sydney’s Future Asia Business Summit at Sydney Town Hall on Tuesday 23 July 2019.

The theme for 2019’s free event is ‘Sydney thriving in a smart Asian century’.

“In the knowledge-driven global economy, businesses will increasingly choose to establish offices in locations that are considered safe, liveable and well-connected,” Mr Kuestenmacher said.

“Sydney is a prime location for tourists and business professionals alike. It’s the most important English-speaking city in Asia and Oceania – a crucial asset in a world where English is the business language of choice.

“To maintain and build on its Globalization and World Cities Network alpha+ ranking as one of the 10 most important cities in the world, Sydney must strive to become even more liveable.

“Sydney will need to face a decade or two of elevated infrastructure spending. The City of Sydney’s Central Sydney Planning Strategy is bold and could well be the key to unlocking Sydney’s true potential.

“We live in an age of interconnected global cities. Digital infrastructure in Sydney must not lag behind its global competitors. Fast internet, a truly interconnected and smooth transport network and affordable housing will be key to attracting top global talent.

“When hiring you want to hire for intellectual and cultural diversity. Ensuring cross-cultural communication within a firm should now be part of daily office life.”

The Globalization and World Cities Network categorises world cities into alpha, beta and gamma tiers, with Sydney ranked ‘alpha+’ alongside cities such as Dubai, Tokyo and Singapore.

The City’s annual Future Asia Business Summit brings together local and international businesses, government representatives and industry leaders to strengthen business ties and explore opportunities to enhance Sydney’s position in the booming Asian economy.

As Sydney looks to 2050 and develops its next long-term strategic plan to maintain its reputation as a smart global city, Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City can help local businesses connect and be competitive.

“In our current long-term strategic plan, Sustainable Sydney 2030, we outlined our vision for a green, global and connected city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“And since 2008, we have been working on a smart and sustainable transformation, engaging with Asia and other cities around the world and connecting our businesses to these opportunities. Our population is wonderfully diverse, with 22 per cent of our residents born in Asia, and 45 per cent of our workforce born overseas.

“We are currently working with the community on our new plan to take us through to 2050, which will ensure we maintain our high standards as a liveable city, while continuing to grow our economy.

“We are living in the Asian century, and according to the World Economic Forum, Asia will be home to half of the world’s middle class by 2020, and Asian economies will be larger than the rest of the world combined.

“A growing number of Australian jobs depend on the demand from Asia, so it’s imperative that Sydney works together with neighbouring cities to create smart, sustainable, and global economies with a high quality of life.

“Our free Future Asia Business Summit provides local businesses with an opportunity to connect into global supply chains, and trade and investment streams that are transforming major cities, so they can thrive in the smart Asian century.”

With former SBS broadcaster Lee Lin Chin acting as MC and moderator, the event will include panel sessions to discuss:

  • How local businesses can leverage from the smart Asian century to ensure Sydney continues as a thriving and globally competitive city
  • How our SMEs can capitalise on these opportunities to grow and expand their businesses
  • What the City of Sydney is doing to strengthen connections with Asia.

Summit panellists include:

  • Raymond Fan, director of the Sydney Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
  • Kylie Bell, executive director, Industry, Trade and Investment at the NSW Department of Industry
  • Princess Ventura, director at consultancy firm Urbis
  • Mukund Narayanamurti, CEO of Asialink Business
  • Tom Grove, general manager of transport company, Smove Sydney
  • Daniel Fah, managing director of international business advisors, CEO Strategic
  • Pip Harley, City of Sydney Sustainability Engagement Manager

The Future Asia Business Summit is free and includes a networking lunch from 12pm to 1pm.

Source: City of Sydney

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