Is The Lucky Country Moving From A Resource Based Economy To A Services One?

When it comes to the Australian resources and energy economy, the investment and opportunities are abundant. With the country’s vast stores of petroleum and minerals, the state has established itself as a global leader in the critical sector.

According to Geoscience Australia, aside from having an abundance and diverse energy resources that range from coal, crude oil, uranium and conventional gas and coal seam gas resources, the country has affordable domestic power production and energy exports. These realities support a sustainable resources economy for the state.

Based on the assessment of both GA and the Australian Bureau for Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE), Australia has approximately 2.4 precent of the world’s proven resources. Its rich diversity is composed of both non-renewable (coal, uranium and increasingly gas) and renewable energy resources (wind, geothermal, solar and bioenergy).

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The latest Australia Trade Commission (ATC) report reveals that in 2013 to 2014, the country’s resources and energy industry represented 58.6 percent of the country’s total export income which earned A$194.6 billion. With the industry marking 10.4 percent of the nation’s GDP, the workforce stands at about 269,000 strong or 2.3 percent of the total nationwide workforce.

In addition, the Australian government also expects that with technological leaps, by 2035, it’s expected that renewable energy options will make a substantial contribution to the future of Australia’s energy supply. According to experts, it is in about 20 years that while fossil fuels (coal, oil and increasingly gas) – will still dominate the demand; alternative renewables – particularly wind – will become increasingly more significant.

Australia’s Energy and Resources Climate

The world finds itself in a difficult position; as increasing power prices cripple economies and the demand for renewables reaches new heights, there is a need to put more focus and attention on energy efficient practices and technologies. There are significant advancements in mining and energy – both oil and gas – in terms of innovation in sustainable equipment and services.

One of the reasons why Australia remains so competitive in the energy and resources industry is actually founded on its administration and government agenda. These factors outlined above, coupled with the growing energy demands of Asia, have made Australia a leader in the energy and resource market. This is all facilitated by a supported government that makes the resource-rich country attractive for investments.

In order to maintain its dominance, the national government is active in its promotion of discourse and learning on the topic of resources and energy. One particular initiative is the Australian National Conference on Resources and Energy (ANCRE); the only national government sponsored and organized conference that convenes professionals, industry experts and other stakeholders on the topic of global and Australian perspective relating to the sector. It’s through such venues people can showcasing Australia’s competitive advantage on key issues relating to energy efficiency and resource sustainability and management.

The government recognizes the industry’s sizable contribution to the nationwide economy and has made the sector and its subsectors conducive to participation and investment – key points that contribute to the country’s long-term prosperity.

In regions like New South Wales, there is an existing Advanced Energy Strategy, Gas Plan, as well as an Energy Action Annual Report that illustrates the priority placed on the energy industry. Some of the line actions being implemented, not only in NSW but all over the country, include tapping of investors for energy investment, building renewable energy expertise, and ultimately, being a renewable energy advocate.

Australia’s Services Sector

As Australia continues to remain a prime player in the global energy and resources production, over the past few decades, its specialty market has grown to develop, in a parallel manner, all segments of energy, power and resources, including client services for the market. As it stands, the Australian economy is in transition and future growth in this particular field and building its support mechanisms to ensure sustainable, economic growth in the long-run.

According to Australia’s Industry Report of 2015, productivity in general has slowed and remains a challenge. Based on the evaluation of the economy, the country needs diversification and “an effective and competitive enabling services sector,” is one of the key contributors for growth.

Relatedly, according to a study by the Reserve Bank of Australia, the growth in Asia will undoubtedly bring continued benefits for the economy of Australia. While the peak of the market book was roughly in 2011, the trade points remain high, an advantage for Australia. Following the resources investment, increased production and export of the said resources are integral and with this, the development of the tertiary, service sector.

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The study also notes that moving forward, as the development of Asian economies continue to progress, the commodities demand will ease as focus grows from consumption-based towards services. This trend will affect the Australian energy industry and push the market to respond by increasing its respective services subdivision.

While this may seem grim, as it stands, Australia’s service sector has already experienced a spike in some areas and as technology continues to dominate daily transactions, the demand for business and financial services, within and outside of the energy sector, continue to increase. Positively, Australia, being a neighbouring market close in proximity to Asia is at a prime position to fill the enterprise gaps.

To learn more about Australia’s resources and energy industry, ANCRE is convened nationally and features speakers and guests from government, academia as well as the business sector.

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