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Australian chemistry industry welcomes plan for a competitive Australian economy

The Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA) welcomes the announcement of the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda (IICA) by the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP and the Minister for Industry, the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP.

“It is essential that Australia has a diverse, robust and competitive economy. This announcement recognises the vital contribution of science and technology in driving comparative advantage, placing it at the centre of the industry agenda,” said PACIA CEO Samantha Read.

“Accepting trusted international standards and assessments for industrial chemicals, encouraging Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in schools, and improving the alignment of research, academia and industry for better commercial outcomes, are all important advances.

“The $40bn Australian chemistry industry, Australia’s second largest manufacturing sector, is at the foundation of the nation’s science and technology base and will play a critical role in driving the industry agenda.

“This includes recognition that a whole of value chain approach will be essential to enabling Australia to maximise comparative advantage, and leverage the significant opportunities driven by unprecedented global growth and fast emerging markets in Asia. Strong and competitive value chains underpin the success and competitiveness of the final good or service.

“The Australian chemistry industry plays a critical enabling role, supplying inputs to 109 of Australia’s 111 industries. This means that innovation and growth within this strategic industry has a multiplier effect in creating jobs and investment and driving competitiveness in supply chains across Australia.

“The Australian chemistry industry has been proactive in developing a strategic approach for the industry. The industry’s Strategic Roadmap provides a set of fundamental actions needed by governments and industry for a thriving Australian chemistry industry.

“IICA helps address key Roadmap priorities including balancing the regulatory environment, driving innovation and strong intellectual property as well as developing skilled and productive talent.

“This announcement is a positive step in establishing a cohesive and strategic approach to industry policy. It is important that this work is now complemented and progressed in parallel with other important policy reforms including energy policy, which is critical to Australia’s competitiveness.  

“Market-based reforms of Australia’s gas markets through the Government’s Energy White Paper process and State-based development are a crucial part of the bigger picture. Gas is critical for chemical feedstocks and for process energy throughout Australian manufacturing, commerce and communities. It plays a vital role in Australia’s robust, diverse and competitive future.

“Driving competitiveness is a key focus for the industry and PACIA looks forward to working with the Government to progress this important strategic agenda,” Ms Read said.

 

Media contact:  Claire Selby, cselby@chemistryaustralia.org.au, 0448 028 876.
Released 15 October 2014

About PACIA

PACIA is the pre-eminent national body representing Australia¹s $40bn chemistry industry, whose businesses directly employ 60,000 people and contribute approximately 11.5% of total Australian manufacturing production. PACIA members comprise a broad range of companies positioned across the entire value chain.  Members include chemicals manufacturers, importers and distributors, logistics and supply chain partners, raw material suppliers, plastics fabricators and compounders, chemicals and plastics recyclers and service providers to the industry.  These businesses range from small family-owned companies and innovative medium-sized enterprises, to leading national and multinational enterprises.


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