FACTBase Bulletin 60 - Perth's Global Connectivity

This FACTBase Bulletin concentrates on identifying the global connections of firms across Australia's major cities, with a specific focus on Perth's global connectivity.

Key Findings
  • This FACTBase Bulletin concentrates on identifying the global connections of Australian firms across the major Australian cities.
  • It provides an overview of Australia’s major cities with a specific focus on Perth’s global connectivity and compares Perth to these other cities. ASX-listed Perth-based firms are found to have 195 overseas branch offices in 58 countries.
  • Perth’s economy is globally connected through its firm activity, primarily through the resources and energy sectors as it links to other nations worldwide. Perth-based firms are particularly active in Africa, especially in countries with strong mining economies.
  • There are a total of 652 Perth-headquartered firms listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Of these, 391 are materials sector firms and 110 are energy sector firms, showing the significant presence of resources and energy in Greater Perth’s firm distribution.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, Perth lost more ASX-listed firm headquarters than any other Australian city (Sigler et al., 2018). Of the 98 net headquarters losses, 78 were in the materials sector and 19 were in the energy sector. However, these losses were counteracted by gains in other sectors, like listed firms in information technology and healthcare.
  • Whilst Sydney and Melbourne are Australia’s biggest cities, the notion that they are the most well-connected and globalised is not entirely the case. A major finding of this Bulletin is that it matters less if a city is global than how it is global. The data indicates that Perth is no longer a ‘branch office’ economy, as previous accounts may have suggested.
  • This paper suggests that Perth-based firms have the capacity to leverage corporate networks to add value to overseas operations, and to create new markets deploying the city’s expertise. As other FACTBase publications indicate, this is likely to be most effective with mining-related services (FB59).
Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.