Creating competitive advantage

Almost every business school in the world teaches the work of Harvard Professor Michael Porter.

Originally the work of Professor Porter focused on companies and their strategy.

In recent years, his work has expanded to include the question of how to create competitive advantage for our cities and regions.

The idea of clusters is not new – but the inter-relationship of our natural resources, our people, infrastructure, suppliers and related industries can turn a desert into Las Vegas or turn the location of a US navy facility into Silicon Valley.

For cities, new trajectories are always built on existing foundations – and they work best at the intersection of existing business networks and infrastructure.

This is the reason why we are so passionate about City Deals and major infrastructure projects. They offer the opportunity to create the right settings for new jobs, investment and growth.

In Sydney, the early work is underway getting ready for the Western Sydney Airport. With roads, rail, and funding from government and the private sector, we will see a new driver for jobs growth in a region which is Australia’s third largest economy.

The best thing about this project is that unlike other infrastructure projects, airports create more jobs in their operations than during their construction.

This week, we report on progress for the Western Sydney Airport. So far it is going to plan.

The Federal Government has also learned the lessons of the past – with the roads and transport linkages to be completed before the opening. This means Western Sydney will be ready to go as a transport and logistics hub even before the first plane taxies down the runway.