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Electronics Products in Australia – Why Make Them Here?

Wednesday 25th March 2009

Electronics products in Australia

Contrary to what many of us have been led to believe by the media and a succession of federal governments, Electronics design and making electronics products in Australia is both practical and profitable. But more on that later.

 

First a couple of facts that will help explain why I think about this the way I do.

 

In 1946, 90% of all the Manufactured Products used in Australia were Made in Australia. Not bad!

 

In 2006, 10% of all the Manufactured Products used in Australia were Made in Australia. Not good!

 

This map shows where Australian Manufacturing is located.

Australian Manufacturing Employment

Australian Manufacturing Employment

The graph shows local employment in manufacturing as a percentage of local population. The dark region in central Western Australia is for mine construction.

 

So why is this an issue?

Ignoring balance of trade and such esoteric concepts, it’s about income and a future for ourselves and our children. We ship raw material overseas but import the finished goods back here. Most of the income and profit is happening for someone else, somewhere else. And our tourism and service industries can only do so much to offset this.

 

It also doesn’t help that there are no significant incentives to be a manufacturer here. Malaysia offers a 10 year tax holiday to a new industry setting up there. Intel wanted their next semiconductor facility to be in Australia but the government offered them no incentives. The Irish are sometimes jokingly portrayed as less than astute but they could clearly see the opportunity before them and made Intel an offer they couldn’t refuse. So now Intel are in Ireland when they really wanted to be in Australia.

 

In spite of all this, Australia is actually a fantastic place to design and manufacture electronics products and over the next few weeks I will be revealing just why that is so and how we can all take advantage of our natural competitive edge. You really can Make you Electronics Product in Australia and Increase your Profits at the same time.

For some other opinions on the importance of manufacturing and education and economic drivers contributing to its decline there is an excellent piece by Craig Milne of the Productivity Council of Australia titled Manufacturing In Australia – Does It Have A Future?

Craig Milne - Productivity Council of Australia

Craig Milne – Productivity Council of Australia

And recent work by Professor Goran Roos also shows what Modern Economies Need Manufacturing as part of their economic platform if they want to remain internationally competitive.

South Australia Thinker in Residence

Professor Goran Roos

Ray Keefe has been developing high quality and market leading electronics products in Australia for nearly 30 years. For more information go to his LinkedIn profile. This post is Copyright © Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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