Demographer Bernard Salt told his audience at Autocare 2018 that Australia is a good place to do business, but we have been complacent

Managing Director of the Demographics Group and author of best-selling book The Big Shift – Welcome to the Third Australian Culture, Bernard Salt, hosted a popular seminar at Autocare 2018 in Sydney.
In an entertaining address, the Demographer told his audience that ‘Middle Australia’ is the customer of the future for small businesses.
“By connecting with Middle Australia you are connecting with the customer of the future,” he said.
“Middle Australia is unlike any other market on earth because of its aspiration and its changeability. This is largely due to immigration, which I think creates the most extraordinary market.”
He noted that Middle Australia has an aspiration of vehicle of ownership, which bodes well for local automotive businesses.
He also pointed out that within a decade China would be the biggest economy in history.
“China is our leading trading partner and our leading source of visitors. This has extraordinary implications for Middle Australia and also for your businesses,” he said.
Salt said that Australia is the 14th largest economy on the planet, but when you divide GDP by population that Australia has the fourth highest GDP per capita, effectively making it the fourth richest country in the world.
“I have hopefully sold you on the stability of the Australian economy,” he said.
However, on the flip side, he believes that Australia has been asleep at the wheel.
He outlined that half of the 10 largest businesses in the United States today were formed within the current generation.
“Here are people that for 400 years have valued the concept of enterprise and entrepreneurship. In fact here are people who admire those in business,” he said.
In contrast the most recently founded big business on the Australian continent is Woolworths, which was created in 1924.
“We have not created anything of substance in nearly 100 years, yet we are the fourth richest people on earth. We have benefited from complacent prosperity,” he declared.
“There is no fire in our belly. Is this because we are agonistic towards business ‘how did those bastards get so rich’, whereas in the US it is more ‘I want to be that rich’.
“You could say, ‘that is terrible, what is the government going to do about it’. I ask, ‘what are you going to do about it?’ I think that we need to shift the way that Australians think about business.”