South Australia’s Strategic Plan is comprised of 100 targets. These targets are specific and measurable and enable us to measure our progress towards achieving the Plan’s visions and goals.

Each target is reported on through this section of the website. Data is analysed and uploaded as it becomes available.


39. Competitive business climate:

Maintain Adelaide’s rating as the least costly place to set up and do business in Australia and continue to improve our position internationally

Key Measure

Note: A lower score on this index indicates a better result.

Explanatory Comments

KPMG’s Competitive Alternatives report is published biennially. The report measures the individual and combined impact of major cost components (such as salaries and wages, benefits, facility costs, utilities and taxes) as they apply to specific industry sectors. The results are expressed as an index, with the United States assigned the baseline index of 100.0.

The 2016 Competitive Alternatives report rates 100 cities, in 10 countries using an overall cost index. A lower index score indicates a more competitive business cost environment (relative to the United States). The report assigns overall competitiveness ratings for countries and cities that are grouped as either ‘mature’ (Canada, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia and Japan) or ‘high growth’ (Mexico).

In 2014, Adelaide received a cost index score of 98.9. Adelaide was ranked second behind Melbourne, which scored 97.6, of the four Australian cities included in the report. In 2016, Adelaide was ranked as the most competitive Australian city with a cost index score of 88.2, ahead of Melbourne (88.8), Sydney (90.1) and Brisbane (90.3).

Adelaide’s relative position was first most competitive city of the Australian cities surveyed in the baseline year of 2004 with a cost index score of 90.4.

Internationally, in 2016 Australia was ranked fourth most competitive of nine mature countries surveyed, with an average cost index score of 89.4. This represents an improvement since 2012, when Australia was ranked eighth of these same nine countries, with an average cost rating of 103.7.  

Lead Agency

Department of the Premier and Cabinet