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Langdale report examines Australia's international service industries

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I M M E D I A T E RELEASE: TUESDAY 28 M A Y 1991 61/91


There has been an expansion in the extent and sophistication of.

Australian service firms operating overseas according to a

report released today by the Minister for Industry, Technology

and Commerce, Senator John Button, and the Executive General

. Manager, Corporate Customer Division of Telecom Australia, Mr ' Ray Liggett'. - ’

The report, 'Internationalisation of Australia's Service

Industries' was prepared by Dr John Langdale, Senior Lecturer

in Economic Geography at Macguarie University.’

The study examines the ways in which Australian firms have

internationalised their operations in a number of service

industries. It also examines the internationalisation

strategies and growth of major service firms from the United

States, Japan and Western Europe. .

Service industries in Australia, are of an international

standard and have an important. competitive advantage," Senator

Button said. "With our strategic location in Asia and the

Pacific, our service industries are well placed to compete and

expand further into these markets." '

Senator Button and Mr Liggett said the report provided an

important focus on an area central to the growth of Australia's economy.


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C O M M O N W E A L T H .


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They said that Dr Langdale's report would provide an important

basis to understanding the implications and dynamics of

international expansion for our service industries,

particularly in the US,’ Europe and Asia, and how Australian

companies deal with these challenges.

The report provides detailed case studies of global

developments in service industries, how foreign firms are

competing in world markets, the role and strategies that

Australian firms have in meeting this international

competition, and the market opportunities in specific service

industries. . , . .

Some of the common themes and conclusions coming from the study


Many service industry firms during the 1980s were

influenced by 'fashion' in following an

internationalisation strategy, rather than by a realistic

analysis of the benefits and costs for their firm.

Deregulation and the adoption of new technology have been

significant factors promoting the internationalisation of

service industries.

Cultural factors can restrict the expansion of service

firms in overseas markets. Service industries are more

sensitive to cultural variations for their success than are

manufacturing or resource-based industries. M a n y Australian

firms have focussed their expansion strategies on North

America and Europe, particularly the UK.

Strategic alliances are of growing importance to service

.industries operating in international markets., ■

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. The trend in the 1980s for firms to diversify their

activities has now been reversed. Man y firms seem to be

returning to their primary areas of activity.

. In. general, foreign service firms have not been able to

dislodge Australian firms in the domestic market.

. Strength in the domestic market is a critical factor to

the success of a firm's international strategy.

. Developments in the Asian region and Europe will be of

critical interest to Australian firms wishing to expand


The research was jointly funded by Telecom Australia, the-Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce, and the

Australian Research Council. ’

Copies of. the report can be obtained through the AGP S


C A N B E R R A '

Contacts: DITAC

Rodney Bourke

(06) 276 1078 (W)

Telecom Australia

David Havyatt

(02) 225 1300 (W)

Dr Langdale is overseas at

present. He can be contacted

after 24 June 1991.

Dr John Langdale

Macquarie University

(02) 805 8386. (W)