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Creating opportunities

Author: Jacinta Collins; Australia. Parliament. Senate. Economics References Committee.
Publisher: [Canberra] : Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1998.
Edition/Format:   Print book : National government publication : English
Summary:
Recommendations: 1. A fundamental problem facing Australia today is the continuing high level of unemployment, including structural and regional unemployment. For Australia to address this issue effectively requires us to adopt a successful high growth strategy, based on improving the productive performance of all Australian enterprises, especially those which export or compete against imports. 2. Such a strategy  Read more...
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Material Type: Government publication, National government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jacinta Collins; Australia. Parliament. Senate. Economics References Committee.
ISBN: 0642251916 9780642251916
OCLC Number: 39838698
Notes: Chair: Senator J.M.A. Collins.
At head of title: Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.
"July 1998."
Description: xx, 200 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Ch. 1. Overview --
Introduction --
Trends in Australian industry --
Industry structure --
Trading performance --
Industry shares --
Employment and wage levels --
ch. 2. The wine industry --
ch. 3. the Information technology industry --
ch. 4. The processed food and beverages industry --
ch. 5. The pharmaceutical industry --
ch. 6. the automotive industry --
ch. 7. International experience --
ch. 8. the case for a national approach --
ch. 9. Implementation and review --
ch. 10. Enhancing the investment environment --
ch. 11. The industry policy environment --
Statement by Government Senators --
Appendices.
Responsibility: a report by the Senate Economic References Committee on promoting Australian industry.

Abstract:

Recommendations: 1. A fundamental problem facing Australia today is the continuing high level of unemployment, including structural and regional unemployment. For Australia to address this issue effectively requires us to adopt a successful high growth strategy, based on improving the productive performance of all Australian enterprises, especially those which export or compete against imports. 2. Such a strategy should be based upon the Government developing a long-term (5 to 10 years) industry policy framework with a clear definition of its economic and social objectives. 3. Within the context of a consensual national policy framework, government should accept a role, within and across key industry sectors, where intervention is deemed appropriate. This may include government, in conjunction with industry, developing action agendas and formulating specific goals at industry sector level, under which both parties can clearly identify their obligations. 4. Possible models could include the Wine 2025 plan, the Supermarket to Asia plan, the TCF and Auto industry plans and the forthcoming plans for the Information and Tourism Industries. Particular focus should be given to industries that provide the greatest potential for growth in high skilled jobs and in employment opportunities. 5. The key objectives of such a national approach to industry development must be to improve the ability of firms in Australia to compete in the domestic and global marketplace, as well as providing Australians with high skilled, secured jobs and employment opportunities. To achieve these objectives Australia must become an attractive investment location where: a) the operation of Australia's Venture Capital Industry must be kept under constant review, and new initiatives taken to continually expand our Venture Capital Market. In that context, an evaluation of the small business innovation investment funds (IIF) should be undertaken prior to the May 2000 Budget in order to evaluate its effectiveness and to allow any new initiatives to be implemented at that time. b) a major element in our ability to foster growth opportunities among Australian business will be our capacity to attract investment funds that are focussed on the longer term as opposed to short term profit taking investments. Therefore, Australia needs to adopt policies, including a capital gains tax regime, that are distinctly biased towards long term investment. c) attracting investment should be a key element of any tax reform package. The Committee considers that any comprehensive review of the taxation system should include a focus on its ability to attract investment as well as its broader impact on business (i.e. Capital Gains Tax could be applied on a sliding scale, reducing over a set time period; arrangements for limited Partnerships could be reintroduced to encourage investment from offshore). The system should not unfairly penalise business and deter innovation. 6. In considering the future development of Australian industry, the focus should be on industries which add substantial Australian value to products and services; have a high degree on income and market elasticity of demand; have to capacity to provide substantial employment in medium/highly skilled occupations; and where industry programs are established they should have to meet clearly established goals. In working toward those goals the results must be regularly reviewed and benchmarked against agreed and soundly based performance criteria, including job creation goals and other commitments entered into by both government and industry. 7. Promotion of Australian industrial products be given a high priority. This could be achieved by diversification of promotion targets and export markets and by identification of growth markets for Australian products. The Export Facilitation Scheme should be retained in a form acceptable to the WTO, with consideration to be given to improved flexibility, eligibility and limits. Duplication in the regulations applied to industry at the various levels of government should be eliminated. A central source of information should be established which will give Australian industry access to current information about the policies of Australia's trading partners which could affect the export potential of Australian products. 8. An independent body should be established at arms length from the Government (but reporting directly to Government) for the purpose of advising on and evaluating the effectiveness of the national industry policy framework in achieving its economic and social objectives. Such a body, in evaluating the effectiveness of the national approach would be required to examine and advise on alternative policy options which may be desirable and which could lead to more effective outcomes. 9. The adoption of a consensus approach to industry development, which clearly defines national goals and objectives, would provide a solid foundation for long-term planning by individual companies and a stable policy environment, within which long-term investment decisions can be made. 10. The Committee believes that a significant feature that defines successful companies in both the domestic and global markets is the quality of management and managerial processes. The Government needs to ensure that effective resources are targeted at the development of human capital, with particular emphasis on managerial capabilities. 11. Consideration to be given to the establishment of a process to oversee government procurement and outsourcing practices in key industries, which can lay the basis for developing industries to compete in the global economy. Due consideration should be given to the effect of those practices on local industries (particularly in regional Australia) to ensure that the local industries are not disadvantaged. To the extent permitted by the WTO, and consistent with cost effectiveness, the Government should use government procurement and outsourcing policy as a tool of industry policy. 12. The Committee urges rapid legislative implementation of the Government's decision to adopt the recommendations of the Willett report on anti-dumping and countervailing duties. 13. A major factor in the ability of firms to compete in the domestic and global market place is their ability to be innovative in all aspects of the business, including production methods, new products, marketing and provision of services. Therefore, the promotion of research and development must be a key priority for government. Government initiatives in this area should include: a) policies that maximise expenditure on research and development not only by government but by individual companies and institutions. This may require linking the level of government support for research and development to the level of commitment to research and development expenditure by individual companies. b) i) establishing or maintaining appropriate tax concessions for expenditure on industrial research and development; ii) introducing policies which maximise the opportunities for, and the likelihood of, the commercialisation in Australia of the outcomes of government-supported research and development; iii) the formation of industry/research consortia; and iv) continuation of technology transfer programs, such as the Partnerships for Development Program. The Committee notes that the Government has acted to remove the duty differential between imported computer components and pre-assembled computers.ppendix A. List.

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