Coast firms calm amid upheaval
GOLD Coast business leaders say their operations are proving resilient in the face of ongoing stockmarket volatility, a falling Australian dollar, and trade tensions between the US and China.
The Australian stockmarket has gone through its worst week since January 2016, with $50 billion wiped off the bourse in a global rout on Thursday.
Meanwhile, trade tensions between China and the US have seen Gold Coast companies that indirectly export to the US via China hit by stiff tariffs.
However, Alan Wade, who heads up Yatala-based exporter Digga, said the company’s expansive operation meant it could ride out economic peaks and troughs.
Digga, which exports machinery parts such as buckets for earthmoving vehicles and gearboxes, has a factory at Yatala with 155 staff and another in Iowa in the US with 22 staff.
“The US operation is down because they are headed into their winter but that means we increase our production locally,” Mr Wade said.
Tariffs have hit the company due to its exports to China for casting, which is then sent back to Yatala for machine work, then sent back to China and on to the US.
However, Mr Wade did not believe the impact would last.
Laser-cutting company GCI Group, also based at Yatala, is heading into an expansion phase despite the turmoil.
General manager Cameron Lawn said the business-tobusiness operation, which services exporters and local businesses, grew by 25 per cent in the past financial year and had 150 staff.