ACS identifies potential improvements to ICT trade

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ACS identifies potential improvements to ICT trade
The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has called on the Australian government and ICT industry players to address the ICT trade imbalance.

Releasing the findings of Australian ICT Trade Update 2006, ACS CEO Dennis Furini said the overall trade deficit had remained relatively constant in recent years.

However, Furini said that the deficit had grown 3.7 percent during the 2005 calender year over 2004.

During the period local ICT exports were worth $5.3 billion, while imports cost $25 billion creating an ICT trade deficit of $19.7 billion.

“The lack of improvement in the trade deficit figures is indicative of the current industry climate including key issues such as skill shortages and reduction in local production,” Furini said.

The impact of the ICT trade deficit extended well beyond the sector and many of the challenges in the industry would require focus from both Federal and state governments, he said.

According to the report, the export of ICT goods and services needed to be increased - particularly to regional neighbours such as India, China and South East Asia.

The government also needed to look at sponsoring a national ICT 10 year plan and national marketing initiative to exploit local potential as an off-shoring destination, said Furini.

“We are making headway in some important areas, and the ICT industry now makes a greater contribution to the economy than agriculture, forestry and fishing, defence and education,” he said.
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