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Steven Ciobo MP welcomes ACCI study into services sector.



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Mon, 25th February 2008 STEVEN CIOBO MP WELCOMES ACCI STUDY INTO SERVICES SECTOR

Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy & Tourism

The Shadow Minister for Small Business, the Service Economy and Tourism has welcomed the announcement of a major study into Australia's services sectors by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Steven Ciobo MP said the study builds on the work done by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics, Finance and Public Administration under the previous Howard Government.

''The 'Servicing our Future' inquiry into the current and future directions of Australia's services export sector, which I was part of, identified major issues facing the services industry and recommended the Government give greater priority to the different sectors,'' Mr Ciobo said.

''No longer can the services sector be seen as the poor cousin to mining or manufacturing.

''Australia's services industry is completely undervalued considering it represents 65 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product, and mining which is largely talked about, only five per cent.

''I am pleased ACCI has taken the initiative to conduct a study into the domestic service economy and Australia's trade and services on the back of the 2007 inquiry under the Howard Government.

''It is evident there are a number of issues relevant to the services sector, and I am hopeful the study by ACCI will highlight issues and opportunities for the sector into the future.

''I now encourage all industry stakeholders to get involved in the ACCI study to help identify any barriers preventing growth across the sector.

''It is important the agenda, heading into the future, is driven by the members of the services sector through greater alignment, with a focus on collective issues.''

Mr Ciobo said in going forward, the Labor Government must give greater priority to services trade issues.

''Earlier this month we saw Labor slash $1.1 million from the negotiating budget on the Australia-Japan Free Trade Agreement which will adversely affect the services sector,'' Mr Ciobo said.

''As a result of Labor's major funding cut, Australian services will be hit hard, and the potential to increase the export of services to Japan may be jeopardised.''