South Australia is currently facing one of its most challenging economic and social transformations in its history. For a small developed economy that is (and has been), largely dependent on its natural resources as its primary source of income, growth and prosperity, it now needs to adapt more quickly and effectively to ever increasing challenges of globalisation, the rise of low cost developing economies, and technological advancements.
Over recent decades South Australia’s decreased ability to compete globally has meant that the State has been forced to play catch-up in international markets. Export growth and diversification is critical for the State’s growth, and whilst South Australia’s exports have increased in absolute terms over the last two decades, it has lost a significant proportion of market share. Continued reliance on commodities exports only, will see further declines in the State’s global competitiveness and increase exposure to volatile commodity prices.
The findings and policy implications in this report provide a future direction, based on empirical evidence, that builds on South Australia’s strengths.