S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.04 (1995)
호주 산업구조 조정정책
Australian Industrial Restructuring Policy
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.04 No.1, pp. 45-75
- This paper covers issues in the current restructuring policy in Australia. Australians have always aspired to support a substantial manufacturing industry, which has faced formidable obstacles. To overcome these obstacles, protection was chosen as the main instrument for most of Australia"s history. This policy undoubtedly succeeded in delivering a large industrial base. But it was increasingly recognised that many manufacturing industries were fundamentally uncompetitive, and that protection imposed costs on the community well in excess of any benefits. This was interpreted as the primary source of Australia’s poor economic performance in the post-war period and as the major hinderance for economic growth and wealth creation for the future.
The Labour government, elected in 1983, has undertaken an active industrial adjustment policy. One of the major objectives of the policy. has been to improve the performance of manufacturing industry so that it can make a greater contribution to reducing the persistent balance of trade deficit and creating jobs. This involves the transformation of what was a highly protected and inward looking sector into one which can be internationally competitive and export-oriented without significant assista-nce. The government"s greatest achievement in industry policy was the major reductions in protection and the introduction of increased competition, while identifying a number of sunrise industries, mostly natural resource intensive and high technology activities for encouragement and government support. Especially, tariff rate has been gradually lowered and quantitative import restrictions have come to an end in passenger motor vehicles and textiles, clothing, and footwear industries which had enjoyed a very high protection rate.
Some aspects of manufacturing sector’s performance have been encouraging: manufacturing output grew at an annual rate of 1.9 per cent in real terms between 1983 and 1992, compared with 1.2 percent in the previous decade; manufacturing"s contribution to GDP and employment has fallen substantially in the previous period, but the decline was more or less arrested in the 1980s; investment and R&D activities in manufacturing grew at a particularly fast rate; exports of manufactures also grew strongly, and there was a rise in manufacturing’s export/sales ratio during the 1980s, leading the sector to a greater trade-orientation. Nevertheless, despite these encouraging results, there remains some weakness in manufacturing sector’s performance. Although manufactured exports grew strongly over the period, imports of manufactures outstripped them by a considerable margin, leading to a greater deficit in the trade of manufactures. Labour productivity in Australian manufactur-ing is also poor, both in terms of its absolute level and its rate of growth.
This indicates that Australian manufacturing industry faces some significant impediments in its efforts to overcome the weakness and become more productive and internationally competitive. Some of these impediments, such as geographical isolation, small market size, and the primary commodity driven exchange rate, are not susceptable to amelioration via policy action. An examination of the nature of other major impediments suggests that most are best addressed by macroeconomic policy and microeconomic reform, which the Australian government has recently begun to undertake.