The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland says 2014 will be a year defined by the state’s ability to capitalise on the confidence resurgence witnessed during the latter part of 2013.
CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy Nick Behrens said increased confidence was generally a pre-cursor to improved performance across indicators such as employment and business investment but businesses must capitalise on opportunities to see the benefit.
“We saw a significant jump in confidence during the September quarter to recover from the uncertainty of the unusually long election campaign and we are currently running a survey for the December quarter to see whether that confidence was realised,” Mr Behrens said.
“From all reports Queensland retailers and tourism operators have had a very strong summer and all signs point towards improved business performance in those industries.
“If total sales/revenue and profitability continue to improve, businesses really need to be looking at ways to further invest and create jobs within the economy, resulting in better financial and societal outcomes for the state.”
Mr Behrens said the transition from build to production in the mining sector would see other industry sectors take some of the responsibility for growth from resource-intensive industries.
“Mining will always play a major role in Queensland’s economy and its importance should never be underestimated. However, the landscape will change this year as we become less-reliant on the mining sector,” he said.
“As a result, we will see other industries filling that void and the surge in confidence expressed by businesses late last year should hold us in good stead.”
Another major player in the ultimate success of 2014 is government and both the State and Federal Governments have made commitments that must be honoured if Queensland business is to reach its full potential this year.
“The State Government will inevitably be moving into election mode and businesses will be eager to see how they are catered for in the State Budget and policy-making decisions,” Mr Behrens said.
“The Government has reinforced its pledge to cut red tape by 20 percent and we would hope to see these efforts really ramped up this year now that the rate of increase has been arrested.
“The Federal Government went to last year’s election with a number of key reforms for the business community and ultimately won over many voters with promises of cuts to the company tax, the Bruce Highway upgrade and a second range crossing.
“Each of these reforms would provide a significant advantage to Queensland businesses looking to further invest in the state’s economy and the Government will ultimately be judged on its ability to deliver them.”
Mr Behrens said the Federal Senate would also be a key player in Queensland’s potential growth and it must respect the Government’s mandate and vote to remove the carbon tax and the MRRT.
“These two taxes have worked against the Queensland economy as it tried to bounce back from the aftermath of the GFC and businesses welcomed the Coalition’s commitment to repeal them once in power.
“If the Senate votes in favour of repealing those pieces of legislation, Queensland businesses stand to benefit significantly.”