The NSW Treasurer has made the claims that Sydney is Australia’s most exceptional city in a bid to make economics a key talking point of next year’s election.
Treasurer Dominic Perottet told the Business Council of Australia that Sydney was the only city to make it into the McKinsey 50 superstar cities of the world list.
“But only one Australian city made the cut – Sydney. Sydney is our most exceptional city and NSW our most exceptional state,” he said.
Mr Perottet said that NSW was the only state to have had a remarkable 200 years and was the home of the biggest and best world-beating businesses like Macquarie Bank.
“If you want your business to be on the global stage, Sydney is the place to be. As an aside: If NSW is the head office of Australia, South Australia is the call centre, Victoria the maintenance department and Queensland the lunch room,” he said.
Mr Perrott said NSW would also have to think big to keep its head position and one of the sectors which he wanted to focus on was the finance sector.
“While Sydney is already ranked a top-10 global financial centre, we must consolidate our position as a financial hub. And we must set out boldly for the next frontier in finance: fintech. Almost two-thirds of Australia’s fintech companies are headquartered here.
“We’re ranked the eighth strongest fintech hub in the world by Deloitte. But there is more to do,” he said.
He stressed that NSW must remain the dominant fintech force but also create a culture of innovation that expanded further.
“That culture extends beyond fintech and into the broader ICT industry. Deloitte has estimated that by 2020, the ICT sector will contribute $139 billion to the Australian economy each year – a 75 per cent increase from 2014.
“Here in NSW, around 260,000 people were employed in ICT in 2017 – and that number is predicted to grow to 300,000 over the next four years,” he said.
The Treasurer announced that the regulatory environment needed to improve in order to make doing business easy and to do so he had appointed a productivity commissioner.
“I appointed our first ever NSW Productivity Commissioner this year. He’s already produced a plan to simplify payroll tax administration that will save business $10 million in compliance cost a year,” he said.
Mr Perottet attributed much of the state’s success so far to government initiatives that have seen low unemployment and a triple-A credit rating being secured.
“The NSW economy has been growing at an above-trend rate for three of the last four years. We’re using our financial strength to help with the cost of living and cut taxes for business,” he said.
The Treasurer finished his speech with an announcement to look ahead so that NSW could remain a leading state.
“So today I can announce that I have asked the NSW chief economist, Stephen Walters, to work with industry stakeholders to develop a detailed economic vision for NSW 2050.
“Much of groundwork has already been started, and I have asked the chief economist to deliver the strategy next year,” he said.
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