08/01/2015 - 12:28

WA manufacturing a viable industry: CCI

08/01/2015 - 12:28

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The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has defended the viability of Western Australian manufacturing in global markets and has called on the government to remove barriers to innovation and growth to capture international opportunities.

WA manufacturing a viable industry: CCI
MAK Industrial Water Systems chief executive Andy Byk.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA has defended the viability of Western Australian manufacturing in global markets and has called on the government to remove barriers to innovation and growth to capture international opportunities.

CCI chief executive Deidre Willmott said the paper, labelled “Future of Manufacturing”, detailed success stories in WA for manufacturers who have developed high-value, niche products off the back of the state’s thriving resources and agricultural industries.

“There is a misconception that manufacturing is no longer a viable industry in Australia – today’s report shows this is absolutely not the case,” Ms Willmott said.

“Our research shows that the opportunity now is to move beyond local markets to the global marketplace.”

CCI has recommended a reinstatement of the federal government’s research and development tax incentive for companies regardless of their size; a reform to depreciation rules on assets; and a reduction in the company tax rate to 25 per cent.

Ms Willmott said the government should shift its policy agenda away from providing direct assistance to business and industries and instead focus on getting the “broader policy settings right” to allow the sector to prosper, and for WA manufacturers to seize opportunities arising through the development of Asia and India.

“This means encouraging growth in the sector through policies that incentivise research and development, help businesses to access markets overseas, and improve our competitiveness through tax reform and the removal of regulatory barriers,” Ms Willmott said.

“Perth is a trade gateway for Indian Ocean Rim countries so we are very well positioned globally to take advantage of opportunities in these markets – particularly India, one of the world’s fastest growing economies.”

Andy Byk, chief executive of Malaga-based water and wastewater treatment solutions business MAK Water, said his company had joined the delegation because of the growth potential in the Indian market.

“25 per cent of our project sales in the last three years have been to overseas markets – WA companies must be internationally competitive to achieve sustainable business growth,” Mr Byk said.

“The Indian government has recently announced a $US1.5 billion program to clean the River Ganges, supply better quality drinking water and improve wastewater treatment for its vast population.

“We have installed thousands of water and wastewater treatment solutions throughout South East Asia so India is a natural next step.”

WA’s manufacturing sector represents 17 per cent of the state’s export earnings and provides over 91,000 jobs.

 

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