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New report highlights opportunities for Australian industry in transition

10 December 2014

Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane welcomed today’s inaugural Australian Industry Report 2014, which provides a snapshot of the changing face of industry and reinforces the need for Australia to refocus its economy on new growth in areas of competitive strength.

“This ground-breaking report from the Chief Economist in the Department of Industry reinforces that Australia is in the box seat to grasp new economic opportunities as industry continues its transition to higher value-added manufacturing and professional services, so long as we recognise the changes that are occurring and act to capitalise on them,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The Australian Government is working with industry and the research and science community through our Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda to identify and pursue opportunities to expand our economy and boost our productivity, including through greater collaboration between science and research.

“The Australian Industry Report 2014 shows why this strategy is essential if Australia is to embrace new opportunities and remain globally competitive.

“The report also provides further evidence that Australia is now entering a third wave of economic development, based around higher value-added manufacturing, niche product development and growth in professional services.

“The resources sector continues to be a vital economic contributor, but we can’t continue to rely on it to do all of the heavy lifting as our economy undergoes further transition.

“Australia is not alone in meeting this challenge. All major developed countries are experiencing this transformation, therefore we must act quickly and decisively to carve our place in changing global markets.

“The report also examines prospects for the five growth sectors identified in the Competitiveness Agenda.

“The five Industry Growth Centres in Food and Agribusiness, Mining Equipment, Technology and Services, Oil, Gas and Energy Resources, Advanced Manufacturing and Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals reflect Australia’s advantages in natural resources and our strengths in human capital and innovation.

“Continued growth will depend on the ability of these and other sectors to be globally competitive. The Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, supported by the economic analysis in this report, will help to make this a reality.

“Australia has a dynamic and resilient economy.  As the report makes clear, each year around one million workers change their jobs. While industry changes are significant and will require ongoing co-operation between Government and local communities, they present new opportunities for Australia and for Australian workers.

“The Government will work with the business and research communities to make full use of our evolving global opportunities and to maximise economic returns and jobs growth.”

The Australian Government is hosting a series of roundtables to develop six major initiatives from the Competitiveness Agenda:

  • encouraging employee share ownership;
  • reforming the vocational education and training sector;
  • promoting science, technology and mathematics skills in schools;
  • accepting international standards and risk assessments for certain product approvals;
  • enhancing the 457 and investor visa programmes;  and
  • establishing Industry Growth Centres.

The Australian Industry Report 2014 can be found at www.industry.gov.au/oce

Media contacts: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070