It's a wonderful life in Australia

As one of the economies least affected by the global financial crisis, Australia makes for an ideal destination for business.

It's a wonderful life in Australia

Australia's stable government, economy and highly educated work- force make the country an easy draw for businesses. And ranking among the top countries in various areas of the OECD's Better Life Index in 2013, as well as being named one of the top three countries in the world to be born in, according to a study done by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in 2013, is proof that Australia is a great place to be.

Two decades of growth, along with a prudently regulated banking industry, helped Australia emerge as one of the economies least affected by the global financial crisis. Straddling the Indian and Pacific oceans, the country also benefits from partnerships within the Indo-Pacific markets.

Sydney is hailed as the City of Villages for its diversity and cosmopolitanism. The view of the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House are natural first attractions for any visitor to the city. Sydney's temperate weather, outdoor culture and beautiful tropical flora and fauna make it one of the most desirable places to live, which explains why it has been ranked as one of the top 10 most livable cities in the world by the EIU.

Etiquette

  1. Be punctual; meetings tend to start with few preliminaries.
  2. Conversation tends to be friendly and informal; brevity and directness are valued.
  3. Using first names is common, and developing a quick and easy relationship is the norm — even for first-time meetings.
  4. Be sure to follow through on promises; relationships will break down fast if you don't.

Travel tips from an ex-pat:

  1. Language You may think English is a common language, but beware of local differences; some words take on an entirely different meaning. Thongs, for example, are footwear, not underwear and "being pissed" denotes too much to drink rather than annoyance.
  2. Culture Sydney, and Australia in general, is fairly casual and relaxed. People routinely sit next to the driver in taxis, it's common to call a stranger "mate" and the dress code can be informal in surprising locations, such as up-market restaurants and the theatre. Aussies, like Canadians, suffer from "tall poppy syndrome" and the tendency is toward modesty and downplaying achievements.
  3. Humour Australians' sense of humour can be puzzling for Canadians as it can be confrontational, sardonic and teasing.
  4. Tipping Although not expected, tipping is becoming more common. Anything up to 10% is acceptable; if you leave more than that, you're a big spender.
  5. Taxis All taxis carry GPS. If you require a taxi for more than just the trip between the airport and your hotel, it is wise to instruct the driver to use the GPS, unless you don't mind the scenic route.
  6. WI-FI There is limited free public Wi-Fi in Sydney, although network coverage is excellent. For regular Internet access, it is best to arrange for a package with your provider before leaving home, obtain a SIM card and pay-as-you- go package or rent an Australian phone at the airport
  7. Weather Sydney's weather is temperate but changeable, with very warm temperatures in winter and cold snaps in summer. Rain falls unpredictably throughout the year. Bring clothes that can be layered and adapted according to changes throughout the day.

Australia chart

Australia

Country Population: 23,130,000 (June 2013 est.)

Capital: Canberra Australian Capital Territory

Canberra Population: 379,600 (2012 est.)

Unemployment Rate: 5.7%

About the Author

Louisa Kalimeris


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