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Integrate with Asia, Henry urges Australian businesses
21/08/2012 - Former treasury secretary Ken Henry believes Australian businesses must be prepared to become more integrated with Asia, even if that means moving parts of their operations offshore. Colin Brinsden
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Dr Henry — who is now a senior adviser to Prime Minister Julia Gillard — has been given the task of putting together the paper on Australia's role in the Asian century.
"If there is one message from the Asian century it is we can't be complacent," he told the Australian Industry Group national forum in Canberra on Monday.
"It would be a mistake to think that geography and/or geology alone will get us where we want to go and allow Australia somehow to ride the wave of the Asian century around us."
Dr Henry said the test of the paper's ideas would be when Australia looked back to see what opportunities had been seized.
"The white paper will not provide a shopping list of spending promises and policies to be implemented immediately to achieve instant success," he said.
Integration with Asia was at the heart of the white paper, and for business this would mean collaboration, co-operation, partnership and engagement.
He said local businesses must start acting like regional entities, by becoming part of regional supply chains, partnering with complimentary foreign firms or moving operations to Asia.
Dr Henry conceded offshoring to Asia was not easy because such plans attracted criticism from unions and local communities because of the potential for job losses.
But he pointed to the example of Australian bootmaker Blundstone, which had prospered from moving part of its business offshore.
"It is clear today that if Blundstone had not shifted elements of its manufacturing to Asia five years ago, it would have gone out of business completely," he said.
He recognised many trade-exposed business were suffering from the strong Australian dollar as a result of the mining boom, but there was "no silver bullet" to bring down the currency rapidly.
However, Dr Henry said Australia's economic policy framework — which features a floating exchange rate, the independent setting of monetary policy and competition policy — had served the nation well.
"These things have helped to protect Australia from the impact of several economic shocks emanating from overseas," he said.
"It is important that we build on them and resist the temptation to dismantle parts of the framework, even though we may perceive from that dismantling a short-term advantage."
His comments came as a new survey showed small business remained in the doldrums.
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry small business survey for the June quarter showed general business conditions continued to deteriorate with indices for sales, profitability, investment and employment falling to contractionary levels.
ACCI director of economic and industry policy Greg Evans said it was a "disturbing pattern".
"Small business isn't borrowing, small business isn't investing and small business isn't employing," he told reporters in Canberra.
"It's really in a hibernation or even survival mode at the moment."
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dave d | 21/08/2012 10:24 1
Well Dr Henry it's nice to see you are in a comfortably paid Senior Advisory job to our illustrious Ju-Liar .Did you happen to go around and ask the former Employees of Blundstone how they feel about their jobs going offshore - or happen to ask your mate Ju-Liar how the people that are losing their jobs to your brilliant ideas how they will be gainfully employed ?? But we already know the answer to that keep them poor keep them hungry and they will adore the hand that feeds them - Communism to a Tee
Kermit | 21/08/2012 10:56 2
How many idiots does it take to light a candle? Ask the Labour government in Canberra!...."Small business isn't borrowing, small business isn't investing and small business isn't employing,"...introduce a Carbon Tax and invest Superannuation in the "junk" on the Stock Exchange then introduce the GFC. Where do you think investment is going to spring from....Carbon Dioxide? We have no money left to invest because we "sold the farm", the opportunists have SOLD THE FARM, you cannot grow wealth on the stock exchange (it is virtual money)...wealth is gold and bricks and mortar. Privatising our infrastructure sent all our money offshore (and we continue to pay for the privilege)....our capital and collateral are owned by someone else. They are the ones with the wealth NOT Australians!
Geoff Thomas | 21/08/2012 14:28 3
It is all very well for you two (dave d and Kermit) to blame the labour govt. for sending jobs off shore etc, but please recall Menzies, the most famous Liberal, called "Pig Iron Bob" because he sold iron ore to the Japanese who threw it back to us in the form of bombs in World War 2. - which folk at that time knew they would.. One should keep in mind that the Liberals SOLD THE FARM as quick as possible, and Labour sold it slightly slower. It might be more fruitful to look at just what is going on in our economic system, - what causes value, and on what should our currency be based. To my eyes, the currency, ie amount of money printed, should be based on the value of what has been produced that year, and noticing that most of it, - like bread etc, will be consumed, the dollars printed that year should grow less valuable in proportion to how much they stand for still exists. That would bring a much healthier economy.
Kermit | 21/08/2012 15:03 4
Unfortunately, poor ole Geoff loses the plot....but I do agree with his value based currency (the only way to generate wealth for the people) rather than the debit based system we "enjoy" now....reduces the dreaded interest rates and currency instability allowing for long term confidence and investment into the NATION...we will make a Liberal out of you yet!
Geoff Thomas | 21/08/2012 15:38 5
OK, poor ole Kermit, what particular plot did I lose? and how have I lost it? - eg your comments about carbon tax have been totally refuted in past emails so it can't be that, and a new point, I am not sure that gold, bricks and mortar will produce something you can eat, so it is worth talking about that, in terms of just what should we be doing at this time,- following Iceland? how?
Lou Furbadamo | 22/08/2012 09:38 6
Hello dave d & Kermit! Once again I see you’ve reliably admirably defended the fort from that pesky “unplotted Geoff” and in particular, dastardly “black shock” caped, bad, bad Doctor Good Boom’s “rejijijajiged inverted Domino Theory” : That’s were the doomed conquered, stand up and voluntarily submit to take over and control, starting from Southern Australia & progressively happily volunteering it’s workings all the way, back up to the former enemy, now friendly Peking Duddy Duck good luck, now in your bed, Reds! So keep up the good defending work! But Geoffrey, Geoffrey, Geoffrey! What are we going to do with you? I keep writing these detailed lengthy comments in the hope of “educatin & learning ya”. But you let us all down & keep flying off at a tangent and stirring the “nonsense’s nonsense” pot. Although, this time you’ve accidentally exposed an indirect point, in that sadly all low political parties have supported the betraying old Button Industry Plan of Australian De-industrialisation, that’s resulted in massive job loses to the more progressively industrialised Asians in particular! The Aussie Treacherous Mongrels! But if you want to have any real credibility and valuably play in the team, you should realise that selling your "Pig Iron Bob" , or exporting coal, oil, uranium, mangoes, bananas, shrimps, meat pies , Kangaroo steaks & Holden cars is called TRADE mate and it’s generally a good thing cause it makes us rich and happy. But Selling the farm, selling the mines, selling the industry, Going into foreign debt or displacing our workers with mercenary foreigners is very different and it’s called F***in INVASION and is a very, very, very bad thing that makes us enslaved, miserable & poor. It usually also involves traitors that accept the proverbial twelve pieces of silver, or “gold bribes apparently now days”. And if the current snorting batch of dubious, dopey pollies have their way, control of major, select and critical parts of this country will fall into foreign hands and Australia will have been effectively taken over and overrun without a single shot being fired! Cheers, ever so compassionate & helpful Furbo!
Lou Furbadamo | 22/08/2012 16:05 7
It’s heartening and easy to understand why this irrepressible, audacious Doctor Elixir Feel Good, habitually commands such aggravated, hostile attention in this forum. However for once, I’d like to say I agree with his, "If there is one message from the Asian century it is we can't be complacent." How prophetic, but not to support & engage as he suggests, But rather be warned! fight it! & stay right away! Back in 75, after fortunately missing the senseless & futile all the way with LBJ. Vietnam war. I wrote an even more prophetic Uni. essay called “Future Wars” on the theory that eventually wars would not be violently fought in conventional battle fields with normal weapons but quietly with technology, design, innovation and mechanised automated machines & robotics in factories and industrial sites! So, I’ve depressingly been cognoscente of that whilst observing our nation’s industrial demise and listening to parades of clueless Gov. w*nkers. Admittedly today, in our more modern, friendly, respectful and united communal world, the word honourable competitor is hopefully a better description. But each nation still seeks to control so it’s bread can be buttered first, thicker, richer & better, that’s still humane nature! So why would we absurdly capitulate to “embrace the Asian Century as they persist” and throw away our trump cards to play into their clever hands? Why would we voluntarily aid them by surrendering home ground advantage & expensively, exhaustingly travel all that distance, when we’d have better control & winning chance on our parochial home turf.? Their Globalisation strategy is pretty traumatic stuff for Aussie Manufacturing & those who understand the doomed & destructive ramification of what’s being peddled! This blunt extension of failed & discredited Asian free trade philosophy, continues the treacherous destruction of our Industries and jobs, as they’ve done for thirty years, to the tune of over 500,000 jobs. The sorry scenario is ominous! Last month the doctor stated that it was unrealistic for Manufacturing to expect to recover to past glories, cause the structural “shock” required would be too great?.(Seeing we’ve already sunk to the terminal pits), And that our unsustainable Minerals Boom was long term “sustainable” and should be redeemer, eagerly aligned and infused with? But he then left open the possibility that if it wasn’t the true, everlasting salvation. Aussie Manufacturing would miraculously, quickly Lazarus resurrect from past ashes and take up all the slack again ? But to hedge bets, he’s encouraging Australian’s to globally transfer manufacturing, amalgamate & source components & assemblies from cheaper Asia? So Basically they’re defeatist saying: We can’t get the economy right for you to be competitive, so piss off to Asia to try cut your losses by using their cheap labour & worker conditions and survive as a shell company? Further, to compensate lost productivity contribution to national wealth. He repeatedly recommends, supplementary acceptance of increasing levels of “Chinaisation”, investment, influence & control. And incredibly says " history is that we will find a way of bringing ourselves to a position of comfort with some level, a significant level I think, of Chinese investment in Australia," ? I’ve previously simply asked at what “a significant level”? Obviously I’ve not had a response, But the proverbial response to a similar question from a laid back, fine legs, short skirt addicted hooker would be “as often as it takes to get enough Yuan to get my fix, Sugar!” Continued ½
Lou Furbadamo | 22/08/2012 16:09 8
Continued 2/2. But why would we want a cheaper Asia doll, when we’ve so many desperately propositioning locals, now more eager for a fulfilling hard day or night Yakka? Yet incredibly the Gov’s new 6.4Billion Dollar, Doomed Auto Plan Sham allocates guised millions of worker’s tax dollars, to effectively mass lobby group fund teams of “Asian Manufacturing Industry Pimps”. To come on over and travel round Australia at our expense, holding fancy luncheons, seminars, wine, dine, spruik & solicit the few remaining desperate local manufactures. To convince them to sack locals, up-root equipment & production and relocate our factories to their “cheaper overseas” foreign work dens! The mind just boggles at the audacious, treacherous arrogance! All at a time, when tens of thousands Aussie workers are loosing, or under threat of loosing their jobs and staring disaster, long term unemployment & dire hardship straight in the face. Cause, their Spin Sustainable Boom is slowly “unsustaining” & the previously employment facilitating governments are now drastically “Responsibly Budget Sacking”? Ask the current 20,000 Queensland souls, their most popular premier ever, has now got responsibly dangling by a thin decaying thread! And the probably 40,000 public servants in other states also bitting time? Whose industrial success are the government & Good Doctors batting for and do they care about our looser, looser workers? Worst still, where are all the metal trades union’s protestations over this devious globally noisy, loose chain on sprocket, cheap supply crap? What are they saying about this pitiful continual, multiple doctors nonsense peddling of ”bring out your Dead!, bring out your dead Jobs,! Bring out your dead Industries! and we’ll government subsidy, quickly safely dispose them overseas? They must have finally clipped Big Wayne's Job-Saving ears? Anyway, the Good Doctor must be on our side, cause we pay appointed advisors, many hundreds of thousands to advise our even more inexperienced, clueless Government and exemplary Prime Minister! Now that’s a serious worry on it’s own! But most importantly, don’t let one of the Boom Doctors kiss you on the cheek, cause it means the infamous Gold Yuan’s already been paid! Cheers & growing a thick, long prickly beard to avoid being frightfully Doctor kissed!, Furbo,
Kermit | 23/08/2012 11:07 9
Furbo, I wish I had your power of the pen! I am with you 100%, unfortunately the mechanisms are well entrenched to sap the breathe from this wonderful country...the Bush administration convinced (cohersed) Australia's so called leaders to the wonders of FREE TRADE...the new beginning (or sealing of our coffin). A rich country like Australia cannot play on a level playing field and nor can any other. Tarrifs are the tokens to balance the difference in economies. Australians can (could) afford to pay more for Australian made products and Yes! we need to export some manufactured products....What about doing it smarter instead using tears and profit pains (greed) to chase the big fast dollar and flog off our real estate to the Chinese. There is no reason in hell why we should seek a growth rate of 5-8% per year in any business...it's unsustainable. In the days of the equity based money system (when we owned the farm) growth and profit gave us business stability and expansion through investing profit back into the business. Now the stock exchange owns the business and greed drives the need for unsustainable compounding growth (failure). Let's fight to get back to a sustainable business ethic where we as a country thrive because of our internal successes and piss off the "pots of gold" (at the end of rainbows) offered by our government induced package deals...there will soon be nothing left to sell (or earn)...What then! Do we all lay back growing beards to avoid the Kiss of Death Furbo speaks of.....!
LouFurbadamo | 31/08/2012 09:27 10
Kermit, Sorry about the delay and thank you for your flattery & compliment. I’m glad you’re informed, entertained and appreciate my comments and attempted wisdom. But don’t sell yourself short! You’re not a bad communicator either, successfully making your point & concerns consistently as well. Importantly, it’s thru reading all the regular dedicated, emotive comments like your’s, that compelled me to joining in with regular comments. So keep up your interest, cause we can all gain from other’s insights & opinions. I just wish more expressive people were interested, to keep these B’s honest & on the job instead of wasteful sarong parades & w*nkfests! Clearly, we’re on the same wave length. I don’t know if it’s exactly 100%, but that’s fine, as long as views are genuine & considered. What inspires here, is people’s obvious patriotism and desire to improve & protect Australia from harm & exploitation. Real patriotism & care comes from the heart & the head, with sincerity and benevolence and is, automatically worth while regardless of fancy pen & words. I’m glad most see through sham free trade policies & “conspiracy to emasculate local manufacturing.” And rush to drive “ailing liabilities” offshore to cut grant handout requirements. And make up revenue shortfall & cover their waste & excesses by addictively selling the minerals, mines & farms, with reckless disregard for our future requirements & the sorry mess we leave future generations! What happens when we run out of things to sell or can’t sell enough? Dr. Boom, Boom! Flippantly recently addressed this with the throw away comment ”If the mining boom ended,.... Australia's terms of trade and currency would weaken, making the nation's non-resources industries more competitive again”. Easy as pie! What a soothsayer? What a miracle worker? Now that’s a worry if you believe it’s oh so simple! The answers to Australia’s future economic solutions lies where the big Waste, Big government Pretenders deliberately refuse to machete hack into. Which the good doctor Elixir Boom, vaguely, fleetingly referred to as unrealistically unattainable “shock”! Perhaps they don’t like belatedly overdue punishing belt tightening & discomfort? There may not be a satanic hell, but there sure is Economic Purgatory here on earth! Just as the some of the defaulting austerity Europeans and other Banana republics? Having ridden off Gillard & Co at the Carbon Tax Debacle, I’m already, concerned with what improvement will occur with the forthcoming Coalition? Cause, despite expectantly being more waste conscious, efficient & business friendly, they’re set to continue FREE TRADE destructive atrocity and default to selling off Australia. Instead of tackling the Gov. created “Black Shock” and better balancing the level playing field. They too, don’t seem to fully understand the critical & difficult entrenched structural expense areas that require severe “shock” correction, that these snorters don’t understand or aren’t prepared to unselfishly tackle. Finally, the playing field doesn’t need to be dead flat, it never was. Figuratively, even up to 20 degrees is mostly OK. But at 50 to 60 degrees, even they know they’re joking! That’s why they’re foolishly trying to conveniently, incentive sweep their mess offshore into foreign work dives & sweat shops! And Then What? We Idly twiddle our thumbs, to become a 3rd. world nation during The Glorious Asian Century? That’s why Australia needs to resist de- industrialisation at all costs and straighten out these poor excuses for people’s representatives, Quick Smart! Cheers & Best regards, Furbo!
Hayden | 31/08/2012 11:04 11
FYI Kermit, verbosity does not equal power! Actually in Furbo's case it spells an inability to succinctly convey an opinion and further still not provide any substance to her argument. Furbo Learn to summarise, it appears that all your uni training never taught you to be succinct!!! Can you tell me where you went so I know to never apply??
Kermit | 1/09/2012 02:25 12
Hayden....When I need a life coach I will call you...in the meantime...checkout the University of Life and Hard knocks...maybe you will learn something!!
Lou Furbadamo | 1/09/2012 10:01 13
Hello “Professor Hayden”, I didn’t realise you read these industry articles, otherwise I’d have been more “proper, Likes youres tawtght us with’d them grammarr and checqured it better to”. Seriously, like many unfortunates, you must have a Bullit Steve Mcqeen, approach to life; Fast, “W. B. thank you mam succinct” and done yesterday. It’s sad some people can’t take proper time and instead rush everything. Their partners, must be too frightened to blink, in case they miss their man’s “succinctly speedy coming”? Obviously, you’ve moved on from your serious work on the abridged compendium of “the mistaken mumbled words of the mute Trans – Tibetan monks,” to amateur economics & politics? Good on you! But we can’t know for sure unless you come clean with the true motive behind your pert, attacking criticism? Perhaps you’re now a disgruntled bureaucrat, adviser, lobbyist, importer, banker, foreign collaborator or simply treacherously spruiking Aussie jobs overseas, or worst, a clueless Labor or most likely a browns Greeny? Which would explain why you didn’t like what I had to say. So I’m glad to have ruffled! Had you explained yourself, you could’ve “Suck’sinktly”, added balance to the our comments, if you knew what you were talking about! And I strongly doubt that, cause there’s not much I could find to critique your work, apart from subdued Tibetan moans & grunts. Surely a smartarse pretentious, superior boffin critic like you, would appreciate the benefits of thoroughly taking time to smell the roses and that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that probably your mostly nifty lefty, mates & advisers have taken over thirty years to properly stuff this economy. So learn to appreciate a job properly & thoroughly done, otherwise you’re reduced to just a “smart arse”, with no discernable mental content? And you needn’t just ask a Greek or Roman what a pert, smart looking arse is good for! Regardless of escapades, why is an offensive clueless, mindlessly, abruptly attacking my grammar, after I’d previously been praised? The obvious Furbo answer here, considering this highly political, pecuniary Asian integration/takeover, de-industrialisation topic, is that you verbalised it straight out of the politician’s, lobbyist’s or spruiker’s song book? Because, like your grubby pot calling this useful kettle black, you deviously took four insulting lines & two “succincts” to simply “Suckcinctly” say, “Kermit! Furbo waffles, cause I don’t like what he says”! That’s all you succinctly had to say & it’s only just over half a line, you hypocrite? And “suck” is as close as your opinion comes to being “succinct”! Further you clearly lack comprehension and an eye for detail, particularly after I’ve, consistently pointed out that what matters is that views are “genuine & considered”. And that “patriotism & care comes from the heart & the head, with sincerity and benevolence and are, automatically worth while regardless of fancy pen & words”. This forum should be about meaningful contribution, not your pedantic, unsubstantiated, seagull denigration. If you don’t like my style or my “lack of your peculiar vetted content” and want to remain ignorant, don’t read it! Cause, I doubt I’ll ever be reading much of yours, if you’ve ever the brains to come up with anything. In any case, I don’t comment to be popular, but to honestly challenge & inform. If I did, I wouldn’t pick such polarised, emotive, vested interest, subjects, that potentially colour people’s logic & reason and trigger twits like you! So, clearly your errant, ignorant & interfering criticism is a waste of time here, Jack, Jill or whatever your name is! Cheers, and I must learn to be nice, helpful, considerate & kind to dubious, vulnerably negative, pertly succinct smartarses, “Bestest” of Regards, Furbo!
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