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Australia should take manufacturing overseas: Emerson
09/07/2012 - Australian companies need to consider taking manufacturing and production overseas where costs are cheaper, Trade Minister Craig Emerson says.
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Speaking in Sydney on Friday at an industry forum on innovation and trade, Dr Emerson said Australia's recent economic success was only because of the mining boom and was masking "a disturbing slowdown" in overall productivity growth.
Dr Emerson said if Australia was to continue to thrive regionally, companies would have to tap into global supply chains.
"With the (system) of producing all the parts of a product in one country outdated, Australia has a lot of catching-up to do," he said.
"Why is it important to further integrate into global or regional supply chains? Well, these systems ensure that specific components of production takes place in areas where it has the lowest marginal cost."
Dr Emerson said Asia's rapidly expanding middle class was hungry for consumer goods that Australia could provide.
"If Australia can gain access to just one per cent of the growing Asian middle class over the next 20 years, it will be the equivalent of tapping into a new market the size of Australia itself," he said.
Dr Emerson said the government had completed the consultation phase on its white paper on the Asian Century and would be focusing on a number of ways to boost links with Asia.
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Pat | 9/07/2012 12:06 1
Politicians,,,,,,, Sheesh. So much for long term strategic leadership. Export more of our jobs and increase our imports when we have to buy those products back in. Perfect solution, for a low brow industrial/technological future. Sell it now, rape n pillage. And damn to the future for our kids ever having a job or career paths. Plus we need more population, where are the jobs going to come from if we keep exporting our manufacturing needs. What a bloody wally you are. What is your doctorate in? STUPIDITY.
James Snell | 9/07/2012 12:13 2
The Prime Minister should sack this guy immedaiately, who does he think hes suposed to be working for,a complete d**khead
AD | 9/07/2012 12:38 3
Cheap labour is now, what will happen when Low cost Economies jack up the prices of the Goods? Please think before choosing On shore manufacturing to Off shore. It's a short term gain, but a painful long term issue for the next Generation.
Geoff Brown | 9/07/2012 12:39 4
We are a contract electronics manufacturer based in Brisbane. We build elctronic assemblies for Australian OEMs. I am simply stunned to hear our Federal Trade Minister encouraging our Customers to take their business overseas. Given the impact of the GFC on our business and manufacturing generally in this country it would not take much to tip us and many others over the edge. My message to Dr Emerson is; please help find ways of reversing the downturn in Australian manufacturing as opposed to leading us a step closer to extinction. If the Government thinks that supporting the car industry in Australia is the right thing to do then it must apply the same attitude to supporting small business and SMEs in manufacturing as well. Despite what the Government rehetoric says about our "booming economy"; I fear that the vast majority of small businesses and SMEs accross the country are poised on the verge of collapse. It won't take much to tip the scales and then we might just see a catastrophic level of business failures. Please Dr Emerson; work for us, not against us. I welcome any response.
Stephen | 9/07/2012 13:04 5
Sir, I am sitting here in a state of shock! Being a Doctor of something or other is no protection against being a complete and utter F***WIT! This moron should be sent off to be REEDUCATED!!! What is going on, and who is being offered truck loads of brown suitcases to DESTROY AUSTRALIA and wipe out any industrial capability?? This Communist mob of lunatics in Canberra will not rest until they have destroyed Australia's total culture and reduced us to the absolute trash of the fourth world! He squawks about some new WHITE ??? PAPER ( is that the word?) The labor party once actually did care about Australia's outcomes, they actually introduced in I think, the first decade of the LAST century, a policy that gave us superb living standards and freedom, and a lot of very positive things, until interfering do gooding wearing their heart's on their left sleeves, had to interfere and destroy that protective measure. The outcome is highly visible and obvious today!! Look at the circus around an island unhappily named CHRISTMAS!! YEAH! I suppose it is bloody Christmas when all these invaders come here to live on the fruits of hard work done by GOOD hard working AUSTRALIANS, who are very different to these alien invaders, who will live happily on us for evermore! Has this Doctor considered how the coming genertations of school leavers will get employment, and a good life from? Perhaps he needs a Colonoscopy to search for his head, which no longer hears the silent majority, who are busy sharpening their pencils to use at the next election! Dr. Emerson really needs to take a look at another Doctor from history, to wit; the loathsome Dr. Josef Goebells! Who was a learned expert on PROPAGANDA, and his paper is readily available on the internet, and is actually considered a classic on selling the big lie to the population! It will be fascinating to look at our lamentable DOCTOR'S WHITE AUSTRALIA PAPER!! I wonder if it has occurred to him, that once manufacturing has been totally stuffed, there will be a rapid descent to zero money to pay all the dole recipients? Australia is being deliberately led to destructionof its once proud history and social fabric! The worst of this tragic result, will be that there is little chance of the perpetrators ever facing "The TREASON TRIBUNAL." What a sick joke Australia has become!
JENNIFER WARD | 9/07/2012 13:35 6
This guy is the Trade Minister? Like, seriously? What a moron!
john crossley | 9/07/2012 14:09 7
Yes, we do need to be more effecent. A high priority could be sourcing politicians from overseas? How much would Singapore charge us to run our government? Maybe Me Emerson could sub contract to an overseas group for work in Australia? Or are politicians a protected profession?
Bill Koutalianos | 9/07/2012 16:47 8
It's also sensible where possible, to hold on to what you've got. It's misguided climate and energy policies which drive up electricity costs, remove Australia's cheap energy advantage and negatively impact on our few remaining industries. The carbon tax is yet another straw on the camel's back. A government that cared about its industries and people would seek out reasons to avoid such measures, but that's clearly not what is going on here, with Emerson further promoting an Australian manufacturing exodus. It appears it is this government's intent to convert all of Australia to mining town status and yet many still believe the carbon tax has something to do with climate and the environment.
Lou Furbadamo | 10/07/2012 10:28 9
Rarely do political comments resonate so hard and unexpectedly, that even I was agasp in crescendo shock and such gotcha euphoric wonderment, that I wanted to savour the moment! Truly a milestone event in Australian, even World, manufacturing Industry! Never such, divulging incriminating truth, from a simplistic naïve mouth? Despite the fact it’s probably the worst industrial reality you’d want to hear! It’s not often an arguably irresponsible, responsible industry minister, amazingly casually tosses in the defeatist’s towel and effectively confirms that he/ his government are so clueless and incompetent. That they can’t provide a semblance of the necessary competitive environment, nor priorities, nor hope, nor help for their struggling businesses to succeed longer term. And incredibly recommends that for modern “Global Integration Supply Chain” survival, we should predominantly sack loyal local workers, uproot plant and facilities and prosperously savingly relocate overseas. Where we would presumably also provide attributes and qualities that were going to keep Australian Industry afloat?: Intellect, hard work ethic, investment, technical & design expertise, engineering & project management know how, people skills, innovation to compassionately generate new employment for numerous foreigners! Not to mention the much boasted infamous smart arse, “Incumbent Australian Clever Country Knowhow and Supremacy” they gloatingly told us would bring home our Juicy Prosperity Bacon and keep us successfully competitive and profitable ad infinitum Prior to Dr. “Abdication’s” stark Economic reality. The non protectionists and free trade lobbyists, deceitfully assured that whenever uncompetitive local manufactures closed. More opportunities and jobs would mystically emerge elsewhere, in competitive industries to “naturally” readily redeploy sacked workers? Now that the Dr. “Sick Economy” has finally spilt the beans and clarified the devious confusion and inaccuracy. Yes! Many new opportunities and jobs will definitely be created once our industries surely collapse! But not in Australia! Instead overseas, where there is ideal cheaper labour, competitive environments and Governments that sympathetically recognise the need to provide full employment and a conducive manufacturing environment. How quickly Industry’s treacherous little diddle fiddle tune changes and skips the beat to track more lucrative foreign shores! You’d think key portfolios had mixed and that he’s actually the Foreign Aid Minister with massive benevolent fund booty to internationally charitably dispense? That would be commendably unselfish and generous. Too bad it’s betrayal and sellout, that casts aside many thousands of downtrodden, abandoned Aussie manufacturing workers, doomed in our uncompetitive new age, bypassed industrial supply chain environment! Dr. “Slip up’s” revealed policy isn’t just food for thought or realistic practical advice, but total and complete treacherous abdication and betrayal! Albeit finally the truth! A damming, fundamental anti-Australian, anti-worker reality from the lips of a senior Labor Man! One wonders what his union comrades think of this novel policy and advice strategy. And whether they have any sway protecting Worker’s Jobs in this forgotten industrial wasteland of Oz? Surprisingly, Dr. “Silly” has unknowingly done Australia a favour by finally conceding successive Government’s worst kept perennial secret, that our Sham Industrial Policies are abject Failure and by exposing their absurd compromising jobs solution. What a Joke! The hypocritical twits won’t adopt the “cruel overseas treatment” Pacific Solution for refugees but are happy to coldly send Aussie jobs offshore! The mongrels! As I’ve often asked, “Whose side are all these high paid, extorting Craighy Credit Card ***** on”? Why, Certainly Not Ours!
Lycette Silvey | 12/07/2012 14:05 10
I think the Government should be backing manufacturing in Australia, the quality of products is far better if made here. Seriously does this guy work in the industry or like other politicians have a lot to say about something they have no real clue on. We all know you don't live in the real world at the best of times, this is appalling. There are lots of businesses still making money out there and those that are feeling it need help not silly statements that Craig Emerson has made! Boooooooo you Craig for not backing a historical successful industry!
DEE JAY | 1/08/2012 13:58 11
Minister Emerson, needs to go and get a job in a family owned private business enterprise.He would gain much practical commonsense and find out how to run a business to make a profit -Hard work! Emerson's other stuff is out of fairy land, like a lot of stuff coming out of Federal Government.We need some "grass roots" people.
Lou Furbadamo | 2/08/2012 08:50 12
Hello Lycette & DEE! No doubt we most likely have a minister that’s probably never worked in the manufacturing trade? Apparently a doctorate in economics. Previously analysing & advising on economic and environmental matters. His current role is Minister for “Trade and Competitiveness”. I can’t fathom how suggesting shipping Aussie Jobs overseas is “Competitive rather than abdication or betrayal”? Either way, they’ve currently appointed another apparently “non industry, non engineering” “Industry Review Committee” comprising an eminent lawyer, banker & bean counter to “expertly review the Fair Work Act”. Apart from being expensive? What Industrial expertise do you think they’ll bring to the solution table? Ominously, they’d be the qualified experts, I’d bring in. If I were winding up the business or going into liquidation! How successful do you think they’ll be in recovering an unfamiliar business? When, as you say, they’ve probably “never worked in the industry or like other politicians have a lot to say about something they have no real clue on” The reality is many desperate Aussie companies and multi nationals, have already transferred offshore or been liquidated to be re-established offshore by foreigners. From personal experience, two manufactures I’ve worked for to Tianjin China and Thailand respectively with previous Aussie worker’s initial assistance! What contribution will be made to the Australian economy with this greater or total overseas manufacture and bugger all Aussie value adding & jobs? He must think they’ll all gratefully come and thankfully pay their taxes back here? And pigs will fly, through the auspices of their bikini clad offshore tax havens! That’s why we now find that remaining companies and workers are being tax hit harder & wider to make up for the leakage and tax avoidance. Hence, Carbon tax, GST & heavy reliance on dirty Utility Taxes (electricity, water gas), Penalties, Fines & Charges & Wealth Taxes ( land, property, council and transfer & stamp duties), etc. etc. as gratitude to those loyal struggling Aussies who remain on? The problem for Australia is that if we don’t challenge the nonsense and try hold these pollies to some semblance of accountability, they’ll only be encouraged to do more of their worst? And still expect to be paid like the best of the best! Wake up Australia and voice objection to these inevitably disastrous community & worker Industry policies & plans. Cause if YOU! don’t look after your business & work interests, our high paid snorters certainly won’t any more, cause they’re too busy looking after themselves and their bureaucracies. Finally, name the one thing they all agreed on unanimously, bar maybe one smart arse hypocrite who took the gross extra up to one hundred thousand dollars & perks anyway, while the average Aussie got a few thousand only?
Phil | 19/12/2012 14:16 13
I'm so embarrassed that he is my local federal member (btw i didn't vote for him). It is a typical mentality that we can function as a country that only has a services sector, but the fundamental problem with that is that it is wealth consuming and not wealth creating like manufacturing and value adding.
ross freshwater | 20/12/2012 09:01 14
only when industry factors in the "total costs" that includes all components , hence a responsible ecological strategy will resources be distributed appropriately....and production targets be strategically satisfied. AND THEN TRUE LONG TERM PLANNING CAN BE FACILITATED ON A GLOBAL SCALE.
Michael Weissman | 20/12/2012 09:10 15
What this doctor fails to realise is that sending manufacturing overseas is a short money gain with a guaranteed money loss in the long term. He just has to observe countries that have relocated manufacturing , for example USA. Plenty of unemployment, destruction of humanity as I see it. Do we want to be the same ? This can only plays in the hands of global corporations who take the money elsewhere .It does not achieve properity, but destroys the economy.
Phil | 20/12/2012 09:34 16
@ Michael Weissman - a prime example of this is Apple moving its operations back to the US from China, they have only realised short-term gains from their China experience. Now they have more cost in re-establishing appropriate operations and skilled staff within the US.
Gonville Bromhead | 20/12/2012 18:54 17
Doctor Craig Emerson,our Australian Government Minister for Trade,must be sacked immediately. He has betrayed the people of Australia and should be held accountable for his words of treason to all Australians manufacturing and working in the real world.A public flogging and a week in the stocks at Taylor Square should be mandatory before banishment from our shores.May he find refuge in the "UN UNITED NATIONS" as a displaced person.A moron of the first order.
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