Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Education, Offshoring and Free Trade to remove ICT Trade Deficit

The Australian Computer Society released the "2007 Australian ICT Trade Update" on 19 April 2007. This was at the National YIT Conference held in Melbourne. I talked at the conference on "Making money from XML publishing", but that might not be enough to offset a $21 billion ICT trade deficit. ;-)

According to the report for 2006, Australia exported $5.7 billion of ICT and imported $26.6 billion. The ACS suggests to fix the problem:
  • Education and skills - Potential opportunities for Australian participation as a major venue for on-shoring' (i.e. being a major services exporter) will depend on local education and skills.
  • Conducive environment for global activities - For Australia to continue to be a successful exporter of ICT services, the nation requires reliable infrastructure such as high speed broadband, the ability of local suppliers to link into global production systems and a supportive regulatory environment.
  • Regionally focused ICT export missions and programmes - While North America and Europe are traditional export target destinations, opportunities for significant ICT export growth can be found in India, China and Southeast Asia. The Government should support continued regionally-focused ICT export missions and programmes, in consultation with the Australian ICT industry, to maximise such opportunities.
  • Offshoring capabilities - Australia has the infrastructure, capability and cost advantage to become an offshoring destination of choice for the US, Japan, UK and Europe for ICT-based activities and analysis in the areas of financial services, strategic business intelligence, risk and quality management, and research and development.
  • Free Trade Agreements - The ACS considers that FTAs can provide useful support for strategies aimed at developing Australian ICT exports, but are not of prime importance to such strategies. ..."
From: "ACS Releases 2007 ICT Trade Update - ICT Services Exports Improve by $.5 Billion, Offsetting a Rising ICT Trade Deficit", Media Release, ACS, 19 April 2007
A 23 page summary of the trade report as a 1.7Mb PDF file is available . The full report is prepared and published by Victoria University as a PDF document.

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