Australia was 5.7 per cent in October 2013.

Australia is
the world’s sixth largest country, comprising an area of approximately 7.7
million square kilometres. It is a vast continent covering a distance of
approximately 3,700 kilometres from its most northerly point to its most
southerly point and is almost 4,000 kilometres wide from east to west. Australia
has one of the strongest, most competitive, open and flexible economies in the
world. In 2009, the standard of living in Australia surpassed that of France,
Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. Australia’s economy has
grown (on average) by approximately 3.3 per cent per annum since 1990. In 2012
– 2013, the Gross Domestic Product of Australia was approximately AU$1,525
million. Australia’s strong economic growth has been coupled with low inflation.
Over the last 15 years, the inflation rate has been stable, at an average of
2.5 per cent over the period. The unemployment rate in Australia was 5.7 per
cent in October 2013. Australia is one of the largest economies in the Asia
Pacific region after Japan, China and Korea. China is Australia’s largest
trading partner. Australia’s time zone spans the close of business in the USA
and the opening of business in Europe. Multinational companies view Australia
as presenting the best business case for regional headquarters to target the
dynamic Asia Pacific region. The Australian legal system is a mixture of
common law and statute, similar to the legal systems in the United Kingdom,
other Commonwealth countries and some European countries. The common law
tradition which applies in Australia expects and values judicial independence.
Decisions of the courts conform to due process and are made in the context of
prevailing law. Contractual arrangements are therefore protected by the rule of
law and the independence of the judiciary. Domestic companies, foreign
companies and individuals have the same standing before the law. The Australian
government recognises the need for a regulatory framework to keep pace with
financial market developments. In 2001 the Government completed a major reform
of Australia’s Corporations law aimed at streamlining regulation while
maintaining market integrity and investor protection. Exchange rate control has
effectively been abolished. The Reserve Bank of Australia (Reserve Bank) has
effectively suspended most of the provisions of the Banking (Foreign Exchange)
Regulations 1959 (Regulations) (in force under the Banking Act 1959) through
granting general authority and exemptions. While the terms of the Regulations
ought to still be considered on a case by case basis to avoid potential
exposure, they apply in very few cases.

1.     
Political: Political factors of a
country include the government’s intervention in the economy. Some of the most
important regulatory and legal factors include employment laws, tariff and
trade restrictions, consumer protection laws, tax policies, labour laws and
consumer protection. The foreign policy of the country plays an imperative role
in determining the trade regulations of the state. This may result in a variety
of trade restrictions or may offer various trade incentives. The government
offers a number of incentives to promote foreign investment in Australia. These
incentives range from taxable grants and tax relief to the provision of
infrastructure services at discounted rates. The primary Government body
established to promote and encourage foreign investment in Australia, is
Austrade. Austrade’s mission is to increase national prosperity by assisting
Australians to succeed in export and international business, as well as
promoting and supporting productive foreign investment in Australia. Austrade
is a government agency dedicated to providing export and investment services to
Australian companies engaging in business outside Australia and to
international buyers and investors. In relation to international buyers and
investors, Austrade can provide: information on the Australian business and
regulatory environment, market intelligence and investment opportunities,
advice on Australian government programs and approval processes, identification
of suitable investment locations and partners, assistance and introductions for
establishing operations in Australia.

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2.     
Economic: This factor examines the
outside economic issues that can play a role in a company’s success. Items to
consider include economic growth, exchange, inflation and interest rates,
economic stability, anticipated shifts in commodity and resource costs,
unemployment policies, credit availability and unemployment policies. An
Australian company is liable to pay Australian tax on all of its worldwide
assessable income at the general corporate tax rate of 30 per cent. A company
is a resident of Australia for income tax purposes if it is: incorporated in
Australia, not incorporated in Australia, however, it carries on business in
Australia and either its: central management and control are in Australia, voting
power is controlled by shareholders who are residents of Australia.

3.     
Social: The social factor analyses
the demographic and cultural aspects of the company’s market. These factors
help businesses examine consumer needs and determine what pushes them to make
purchases.

4.     
Technology: Technology issues affect how
an organisation delivers its product or service to the marketplace. Specific
items that need to be examined include, but are not limited to, government
spending on technological research, the life cycle of current technology, the
role of the internet and how any changes to it may play out, and the impact of
potential information technology changes. Just like the other factors,
companies should consider generational shifts and their related technological
expectation to figure out how they will affect who will use their product and
how it’s delivered.

5.     
Environmental: Environmental factors relates
to the ecological and environmental aspects that will affect the demand for a
company’s products and how that business operates.

6.     
Legal: Legal factors relates to the laws,
regulation and legislation that will affect the way the business operates.
Apple’s legal structure is that it’s a corporation. A corporation is a legal
entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. Australia’s
corporate tax rate of 30 per cent is very competitive when compared with other
major economies, with higher company income tax rates applying in the United
States, China, Japan, Germany, France and India. Australia is a leading
financial centre in the Asia Pacific region. The Australian Securities Exchange
is among the 10 largest listed exchanges in the world with a market
capitalisation of AU$1.5 trillion. Australia’s alliance with markets throughout
the region is increasingly providing business people with a comprehensive range
of financial services in the Asia Pacific region. Australia continues to offer
a multilingual, highly educated and skilled workforce. Australia has a
comprehensive education and training system with around 50 per cent of
Australia’s work force having some form of tertiary qualification. Australians
also possess a diversity of language skills with approximately 15 per cent of
the population speaking a language other than English. The common law is a
primary source of obligations in employment in Australia. The most obvious
source of common law obligations is the contract of employment. A contract of
employment (whether written or oral) governs every employment relationship in
Australia. An employment contract need not be in writing, although it is highly
recommended. A written employment contract ought to address a range of issues
which will vary depending on a range of factors, including but not limited to: commencement
and duration of the employment; remuneration; the employee’s role and
seniority; the manner which the relationship can be terminated; and any
specific requirements, including confidentiality, intellectual property and
post-termination restraints.