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Boeing Global Leadership Program, Canberra.

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Boeing Global Leadership Program, Canberra

Senator Nick Minchin, Minister for Industry, Science and Resources 30th August 2001

Congratulate Boeing on Global Leadership Program ● Welcome you to Australia - which I know is an important country to Boeing - and you are important to us ●

Sorry your CHQ is moving further away from us from Seattle to Chicago ● I lived in Cleveland for a year, so knowing what Chicago winters are like I’m sorry for any of you moving to Chicago ●

We value Boeing’s substantial presence in Australia ● significant contribution to Australia’s economy, employment ● your investment is warmly welcomed and we’d like to see more of it ● Boeing’s recent acquisition of Hawker de Havilland was a very important step in the

development of Australia’s aerospace industry, and is welcome by our Government ●

Hope as a result of your visit you’ll all be keen to see Boeing further increase its investment and presence in Australia - so you’ve got more excuse to visit us regularly ●

Asked to comment on Australian economy and industry policy…. ● Australia has for all its 100 years existence as a nation been one of the richest nations on earth ●

We’ve sustained high per capita incomes and high living standards throughout our existence ●

Early wealth built on natural resources and skill of our farmers ● Modern wealth built on strength in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of economy - and fact that the three sectors are technology-intensive we’re among the world leaders in using, adapting and diffusing technology


We’ve enjoyed continuous stable democracy for all of our 100  years, and a positive and welcoming approach to foreign investment, which has underpinned our high living standards


Our manufacturing sector was developed behind some of the highest tariff and quota barriers in the world - which were progressively dismantled from the mid-80s on ●

Today we have very open economy - no quotas, and general tariff of 5% ● only cars and TCF receive higher protection with tariffs at 15%, but legislated to drop to 10% in 2005 ●

In our 5 1/2 years our focus has been: ● Strong Macro-Management ● Micro-Economic Reform ●

Support industry’s drive to be internationally competitive ● We strongly believe in Australia’s full engagement in the world economy and world markets ●

leading advocate of reductions in barriers to trade and investment ● Our aim is to ensure strong sustainable economic growth - and we are now one of the world’s strongest economies - and an open economy is more likely to deliver high growth


Our key achievements as a Government, apart from strong macro management, are substantial tax reform and workplace relations reform ●

Australia today has an economy which is fundamentally strong, open, flexible, and still enjoying a record - long run of solid growth ●

Our substantial integration into the world economy means we are obviously not immune from any potential world-wide downturn, so we are closely following events in the US in particular


In my own Department of Industry, our primary focus is on international competitiveness through Innovation, Investment and encouraging an export focus ●

We deliver a range of programs to support Innovation in industry, and to facilitate investment in Australia by foreign and domestic companies ●

We typically deliver our programs on a generic basis and avoid what is referred to as a “picking winners” approach ●

Our R&D support programs for example are available to every single industry in Australia, and grants are awarded purely on merit (recently attacked for fact tobacco companies eligible)


We generally do not take the view that politicians and bureaucrats know better than investors and markets which industries are likely to be most successful ●

We invest heavily in public sector research and our research agencies - CSIRO, DSTO - are leaders in their fields, increasing collaboration between industry and public sector research


One of our key industry policy mechanisms is a process called Industry Action Agendas ●

An Industry Action Agenda involves the Federal Government and Leaders of the relevant industry working together on a SWOT analysis of the industry and developing a long-term strategy for the industry’s growth and development in Australia


I recently announced the decision to develop an Aerospace Industry Action Agenda ● and Ken Peacock has been invited to chair the Action Agenda’s Strategic Leaders Group ●

These Action Agendas have proved extremely successful in identifying impediments to growth, opportunities for development, and developing a strong collaboration among Australian participants in the relevant industry


Very confident the Aerospace Action Agenda will be as successful as any Agenda we’ve developed ●

With a strong underlying economy, a highly educated workforce, a long history in aerospace, the industry has a bright future in Australia ●

Much of the underpinning for the Australian industry will come from a strong role in Boeing’s global supply chain ●

and may I say it was a pleasure to visit your main Seattle factory 2 years ago and to see Australian made parts being installed in Boeing aircraft ●

We want to see the wider Australian aerospace industry developing and seizing export opportunities and becoming integrated into global supply chains ●

This is already a significant Australian industry: 12,000 employees; $2 billion Australian turnover; $825 million in exports ●

It’s a strong base from which to grow ● Again my congratulations to Boeing on this Global Leadership Program. My thanks to Boeing for its commitment to Australia, and my best wishes for an enjoyable stay in our country


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