Perspective even in these tough times
Not unlike many businesses our clients have had a lot to cope with since Christmas. External factors such as bushfires, coronavirus, declining consumer confidence, low interest rates, a volatile stock market and the continued disruption to existing business models are all contributing to one of the most challenging quarters in my advertising career. As we plan to offer a seamless agency offering in the event our staff have to work from home, we remain hopeful that business planning will get back on track sooner, rather than later. Having been through the GFC, the 87 stock market crash and the recession of the early 90’s I feel somewhat qualified to at least address some positives as to why we should be optimistic about our futures .
The big change for me is that the real economic powerhouses are going to be closer to Australia than ever before. China we know, but Indonesia and India offer significant growth for Australian businesses, particularly with agricultural products.
With 14% of the population aged 65 and over, and the most vulnerable to coronavirus , 13% of the over 65’s remain in the work force. Our heart disease, vision impairment and dementia rates are actually declining meaning that the awful period of sharply declining health or ‘end of life morbidity’ is actually decreasing. With any luck this market will be one of the great growth opportunities of the next decade.
Business productivity can significantly increase, with digital technologies the key to many businesses moving to the next stage of growth. Whilst agriculture has lagged in this area there are signs that it is starting to catch up. In 2018 KPMG reported that the Netherlands produced 810 times more export earnings per hectare, and nearly three times more agri-food export earnings than Australia. Much of this is due to their technological superiority in slashing use of agricultural water and pesticides. We can with the use of digital technology and new advances in watering and pasture control significantly increase our yield. Perhaps we are at the dawn of a new era in Australian agriculture.
Australia’s system of dividend imputation is quite unique. Australians only pay tax on corporate profits once. Interest rates are low, and according to the UN Human Development Index our parliaments are competent, despite the continual criticism in the media. The IPSOS 2019 Global Happiness Study showed that 86% of Australians were ‘very’ or ‘rather happy’. This was the highest percentage recorded, equal with Canada, and well above the global average of 64%.
So with everything we have faced, and will face in the second quarter, it’s important that we keep everything in perspective. Stay positive and Stay Healthy.