Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Six Steps to a Balanced Economy

By Andrew Liveris

Australia can take six steps to secure its future as a balanced economy, says the Australian CEO of a global company.

Dr Andrew Liveris FTSE is Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical. An Australian-born chemical engineer, he is co-chair of President Barack Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, and delivered the keynote address at the Australian Government Future Jobs Forum in Canberra in October.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Globalisation has been a force for progress, but also for instability. It has upended old economic models. By its nature it favours efficiency, and thus has the potential to create serious imbalance in economies – struggling sectors can become casualties of rapid change.

At the same time we remain, in important ways, masters of our own fate. Nations that want to succeed in the global era need not – indeed they must not – sit back while the forces of globalisation drive them toward economic imbalance. Passivity is not a growth strategy.

Growth requires action. It requires bold and thoughtful intervention.

In Australia, the forces of imbalance favour the expansion of our resource economy, often at the expense of our manufacturing sector. Natural resources are vital to Australia’s economic future, but a robust advanced manufacturing base is even more so – because advanced manufacturing creates higher value-add products, maximising the advantage that our natural resources and human capital create.

Advanced manufacturing takes these raw inputs, combines them with intellectual capability, and develops cutting-edge products that meet the world’s needs – such as water purification, fuel-efficient transportation, solar panels, wind turbines, advanced agro-products and lightweight nanomaterials.

For these reasons, manufacturing has the power to...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.