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Release of Ai Group CEO Business Strategy Report

"Ai Group's latest CEO report released today has identified areas where Australian businesses can improve their strategic planning to lift competitiveness," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"The survey highlighted that the key to better business planning is a greater focus on innovation and global engagement.

"The survey found that businesses focusing more narrowly on increasing sales or developing domestic markets actually saw declining revenues. In contrast, those businesses that focused on developing new products or services or on developing new overseas markets generally saw higher increases in revenue.

"This highlights the importance of going beyond simply planning for growth and adopting more expansive dimensions by planning for the development of the business.

"The Ai Group report echoes the findings of the Federal Government's Australian Innovation System Report which was released yesterday. That report confirmed previous findings that innovation-active businesses perform better on a range of measures than do non-innovation-active businesses.

"Many Australian businesses currently lag their developed-nation peers in measures of innovation and sophistication. Further, the pace of innovation growth in Australian business is not strong. Strategic initiatives need to focus on how to leverage digital technologies; how to develop higher value products and services; and how to become more engaged across industries – with research organisations and with supply and distribution networks globally.

"Developing overseas markets is also a key source of business development, especially with the relatively lower Australian dollar and a number of Free Trade Agreements opening up opportunities with key Asian trading partners.

"Yet, these areas do not feature as a prominent strategic initiative for many businesses," Mr Willox said.

The full report based on responses from the CEOs of 248 businesses across Australia is available here: http://cdn.aigroup.com.au/Reports/2016/Business_strategy_Nov2016.pdf

Media Enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347