Global city, local action

Sydney is recognised as Australia’s only global city and the leading knowledge-based economy in the nation.

In 2018/19, around $140 billion was generated within the City of Sydney local area representing over 7% of Australia's economy. This in turn provided over half a million jobs across all skills levels that offer diverse opportunities for diverse communities.

Despite the growth of business districts such as North Sydney, Parramatta, Macquarie Park, Olympic Park and the growth corridor to the north-west, the City of Sydney has maintained its pre-eminent role. This is due to its large economic base including a dense network of globally competitive industries, well-developed infrastructure, good governance, and outstanding amenities and living environment.

Over the past decade our economy has proven its resilience by withstanding both internal and external economic shocks such as the global financial crisis. The number of businesses in the city grew by nearly 4,000 between 2007 and 2017. However, this does not mean the City’s economy is not faced with challenges that need to be addressed to maintain continued growth and Sydney’s global reputation for liveability.

The City's 10-year economic development strategy will help deliver our vision for a dynamic, environmentally sustainable economy and a liveable city that works for residents, workers, visitors and students.

Our role

The strategic planning of a city involves all levels of government – federal, state and local – working in different but critical spheres.

The City is charged with a responsibility to engage in long-term strategic planning on behalf of the local community, workers, visitors and businesses. Part of our role is to address economic, social, environmental, cultural, civic leadership and land issues in an integrated manner.

Our strategy

The overarching aim of our 10-year strategy is to strengthen the City economy and to support business. It centres on further improving the solid foundations for success. We will achieve this by creating opportunities for individuals, businesses, the community and future generations. We will also address the challenges that might otherwise limit Sydney’s potential growth as a global city.

This strategy builds upon the broad economic themes in Sustainable Sydney 2030 and takes into account contemporary economic challenges. It provides an overview of the City of Sydney’s economy today and identifies the future directions it may take.

The strategy takes an integrated approach on the basis of the city's economy being influenced by a range of factors. These include liveability and amenities, access to affordable housing for key workers, child care for parents, and a diverse and well educated community. Other factors include those more commonly associated with the economy such as market access, sector specialisation, innovation and productivity.

The strategy sets out the City’s vision for the local economy and the strategies and actions to achieve that vision. It provides the rationale for engaging with priority industry sectors and delivering outcomes through detailed action plans such as retail, tourism, tech startups and the Eora Journey economic development plan.

Council adopted the City's economic development strategy on 9 December 2013.


Manager, Economic Strategy
Research, Strategy and Corporate Planning Unit
02 9265 9333

Last updated: Thursday, 9 April 2020