Australia's IT industry is among the most competitive in the world, according to a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The report, The means to compete: Benchmarking IT industry competitiveness, ranks Australia 5th in the world and third in the Asia-Pacific in terms of the overall competitiveness of its IT industry.
"Australia is ranked well ahead of countries including Taiwan, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and Switzerland. In terms of regional players, Australia is ahead of Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, India and China," said Nicola Watkinson, Senior Investment Commissioner for Europe, Invest Australia.
Australia also performed extremely well in terms of a strong IT infrastructure. It was ranked fourth in the world, preceded only by US, Canada and Switzerland, and first in the Asia-Pacific. Australia's infrastructure – built on extensive PC ownership, high broadband penetration, good internet security and substantial spending on IT – is a key factor in its robust IT sector.
"The report noted for example that broadband penetration is 20% or more in most OECD countries. But Australia has 33% broadband penetration, which is topped only by the Netherlands and South Korea. Australia's mobile phone penetration is also high at 94.5%."
In addition, the time difference between Australia and much of Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia is only two to three hours. The ability of companies to service their Asian clients in 'real time' is an attractive competitive advantage. As the first major financial centre to open each day, Australia also provides a time zone which bridges the closing of the US and the opening of the European markets.