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WA manufactures strong demand

EXPORTS of WA manufactured goods are in a period of strong growth, says Commerce and Trade Minister Hendy Cowan.

Elaborately Transformed Manufactures (ETM) exports grew in value by $177 million in the three months to February, according to figures released by the State Treasury Department.

Mr Cowan said ETMs had listed among the two strongest export performers in the past three months.

ETM exports grew by 14 per cent in the 12 months to February – the same as minerals and more strongly than all other categories.

“While sophisticated manufacturing industries are still a relatively small part of our economy, there are diverse firms that have had sustained export success,” Mr Cowan said.

“Our strongest ETM exports include chemicals, ships, worked pearls and diamonds, industrial equipment, medicines, leather and telecommunications equipment.

“Manufacturing already employs more Western Australians than mining and agriculture combined and has the potential to help the state counter the impact of falling commodity prices.

“Manufacturing turnover and employment has grown over the decade and turnover per employee has improved significantly.”

Mr Cowan said the service sector exports loomed as another important source of future wealth and employment.

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