META, a nation-wide network of high potential manufacturing businesses and researchers has launched a new and innovative partnership with the Export Council of Australia, to clearly identify and quantify the regulatory costs imposed on exports that are currently impacting Australian manufacturers.
The new META Deregulation Hub, officially launching on Thursday 18th September in Sydney aims to reduce regulatory burden by 30% in Australia, increase export opportunities for the manufacturing industry, improve the efficiency of the value chain, and ultimately increase Australia’s global market share within key export industries.
“The Commonwealth Government has a stated aim to reduce the costs incurred by industry to alleviate red tape by at least $1 billion per annum. By joining forces with the ECA, the META hub will analyse the domestic barriers restricting local businesses from exporting on a greater scale to grow Australia’s export potential and increase our international competitiveness,” Zoran Angelkovski, META Managing Director said.
The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum ranks Australia as the 3rd worst performer in terms of the weight of regulatory burden on its merchandise exports and imports out of the 20 APEC economies. In 2013, exports accounted for just 19.8% of Australia’s GDP, compared to Canada at 30 per cent and the United Kingdom at 31 per cent.
“We have identified a critical lack of Australian data on the regulatory costs imposed on individual exporters in getting their goods approved for export. Our research will aim to close the gap by almost half with one of our closest neighbours Singapore to quantify the costs of regulations, identify areas of unnecessary red tape and provide a platform for Australian manufacturers to collaborate,” says Mr Angelkovski.
The ECA recently completed Australia’s International Business Survey (AIBS) of close to 3000 companies, in conjunction with Austrade, EFIC and the University of Sydney. This survey revealed 80% of Australian manufacturers plan to expand overseas in the next two years. The report found the United States to be the most important export market for Australian businesses; over the next two years China and India will be key markets for local manufacturers.
“The activities being undertaken by the META Hub will provide direct industry feedback to assist the Commonwealth Government in prioritising its de-regulation agenda and more rapidly improving industry competitiveness in new markets,” Lisa McAuley, COO of Export Council of Australia said.
“By understanding the biggest pain points for manufacturers, we can help improve an Australian company’s access to global markets by reducing the domestic costs imposed on their business to compete globally.
ECA export economist and commentator Tim Harcourt, from UNSW Business School says Australian manufacturing exporters can be competitive but they require better market access off-shore.
"Although Australia has high labour costs, this doesn’t have to be a limiting factor and in fact many successful manufacturing export nations like Germany and Switzerland share these high costs. Australia has leveraged the mining boom internationally and there is now a real opportunity to benefit from advanced manufacturing as a key export sector for Australia in the Asian century," Mr Harcourt said.
“Australia has been fortunate in the past to have minerals to keep us strong as a country, but we are now discovering that this alone isn’t sustainable over the long term. It is vital for the future of Australian global competitiveness that we transition into a technology-based manufacturing country, using design thinking, innovation and additive manufacturing,” Mr Freedman said.
For more information on the Collaboration Hubs and to become part of the META De-regulation Hub visit meta.org.au.