Corporate Australia has failed to leverage its “forgotten army” of talent which might help it to engage, rather than merely trade, with Asia’s economies which are still growing faster than any others in the world.
That is the core finding of a new PricewaterhouseCoopers report released today: “Our diaspora’s got talent: Australia’s advantage in Asia.”
At present, the report estimates, Australians working in Asia comprise about 20 per cent of all Australians overseas. But it forecasts this will surge to 33 per cent or more than 450,000 Australians in Asia by 3030.
Its recommendations for the corporate sector have been developed with Australians who have worked in Asia or continue do so, including Rod Eddington, non-executive chairman of JPMorgan and Lion; Christine Holgate, chief executive of Blackmores; Melanie Brock, director of business development at Crown Resorts; Matt Godfrey, Asia president of Young & Rubicam; and Grant Dooley, head of Asia, Hastings Fund Management.
Sir Rod says: “Some Australian businesses sell to Asia. Very few produce and manufacture in Asia. Many of our companies are basically domestic companies.
“I would argue, if you are 25 to 30 today and you hope to have a successful executive career, it is absolutely essential that you’ve worked in Asia at some stage.”