CEDA CEO update: 20 April 2020

As we pass the one month mark of official social distancing measures, recent comments from the Prime Minister on the slowing of transmission of the virus have been encouraging. It now feels as if we are in a moment of pause as we wait to see whether we have succeeded in ‘flattening the curve’ and what comes next.

Not surprisingly, many are keen to understand what the success of Australia’s health response to date means for business. As thought turns to the eventual, gradual resumption of activity, there is increasing focus on the longer term growth agenda. 

Over the past week the International Monetary Fund released its latest projections for global economic growth. In short, their predictions present a collapse in economic activity the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since the Great Depression. 

For Australia, the IMF sees a very sharp drop in economic growth this year, but an equally sharp pick up next year – among the strongest of all developed economies. The strength of China’s recovery is a key factor here and is a focus of CEDA’s attention as you can read below.

At CEDA our program of content continues as we shift our focus to what recovery will look like for our economy. I would like to thank everyone who has provided feedback on our program so far – it is greatly appreciated and we are endeavouring to respond to your interests and needs.

Last week’s program of livestream events, blogs and podcasts examined issues as diverse as ethical decision-making during a crisis; what COVID-19 has revealed about our rental housing market; and the interdependencies between Australia and China.

Our livestream on The economic implications of COVID-19, which attracted almost 2000 viewers, explored how the COVID-19 crisis is reshaping the macroeconomic outlook, the implications for Australia’s domestic economy, including the outlook for business investment, as well as exploring the likely impact of recent government stimulus packages. If you missed it, I strongly encourage you to take the opportunity to watch it on the video archive page of our website when you get the chance. You can also read highlights from that discussion here.

Watch: this week’s livestream, What China’s rebound means for Australian business, will be on Wednesday from 12.30pm-1.30pm (AEST). Join me and a panel of experts to hear how Australia can best engage with China following the crisis and the opportunities that China’s recovery could present for our own economic recovery.

Joining me on the day will be:
  • Doug Ferguson, NSW Chairman and Head of Asia and International Markets, KPMG
  • Professor Jane Golley, Director, Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University
You can register here.

Registrations are also open for our livestream with former Prime Minister the Hon. Julia Gillard who will be speaking on Tuesday 12 May on the early mental health learnings from the pandemic for the community, employers and policymakers. You can register for that interactive livestream here.

Please remember while you need to register, CEDA’s livestreams are free for CEDA members and low-cost tickets are available to non-members.

Read: the CEDA blog continues to explore issues through the lens of COVID-19.

New out today we have a piece on how the crisis is particularly challenging for the 2.5 million Australians without internet access. Read Swinburne’s Centre for Social Impact Director, Professor Jo Barraket, and Research Fellow, Dr Chris Wilson, discuss their research on digital inequality and how the COVID-19 crisis is worsening the digital divide.

Also in the digital space, Asialink Business China Practice Director, Nick Henderson, explores how China’s digital economy has helped Chinese business weather the crisis and the lessons this has for Australian businesses. Read more here.

In What COVID-19 has revealed about our rental housing market, CEDA Senior Economist, Gabriela D'Souza, discusses the effect that COVID-19 has had on Australia's rental market and the pre-existing issues the crisis has highlighted. Read more here.

And finally on the blog, EY Fellow for Trust and Ethics, and University of Melbourne Honorary Fellow, Clare Payne, discusses how ethical frameworks can help leaders make decision in times of crisis in, Making good decisions during COVID-19. You can find out more here.

Listen: on our podcast CEDA Chief Economist Jarrod Ball caught up with CoreLogic Asia Pacific, Head of Research, Tim Lawless, who provides valuable insights into how the market might look on the other side of COVID-19. You can listen in here.

You can also catch Jarrod’s interview last week for ABC Canberra Radio Drive program on the ACT labour market’s prospects here. We were all particularly impressed with his Spice Girls reference.

Finally, I’d like to extend a warm CEDA socially distant welcome to our newest member:
  • Central Coast Council (NSW) 
As always, thank you to all our members and the wider CEDA community for your ongoing support. We will continue to bring you the latest insights from Australia’s finest policy minds as we try to make sense of the ever-evolving situation.

Regards for now,

Melinda Cilento

About CEDA

CEDA – the Committee for Economic Development of Australia – is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation.

We identify policy issues that matter for Australia’s future. We work to drive policies that deliver better economic, social and environmental outcomes for Australia. We deliver on our purpose by: Leveraging insights from our members to identify and understand the most important issues Australia faces. Facilitating collaboration and idea sharing to invoke imaginative, innovative and progressive policy solutions. Providing a platform to stimulate thinking, raise new ideas and debate critical and challenging issues. Influencing decision makers in government, business and the community by delivering objective information and expert analysis and advocating in support of our positions. CEDA's membership spans every state and territory and includes Australia's leading businesses, community organisations, government departments and academic institutions. The organisation was founded in 1960 by leading economist Sir Douglas Copland, and his legacy of applying economic analysis to practical problems to aid the development of Australia continues as we celebrate 60 years of influence, reform and impact across the nation.;