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Will Free Trade Agreements increase Australian skills shortages?

Posted on: 12.04.2014    04:15:18

 

While the rest of the world is fighting over what went wrong economically, Australia has wasted no time in planning for its future. The recently acquired Free Trade Agreements with Korea and Japan are testimony to this.

Australia China Free Trade

 

The newly elected Liberal/Coalition Government has wasted no time in securing trade relations with its Asian trading partners. Our Government is now in negotiation to secure a Free Trade Agreement with our biggest trading partner, China.

As the balance of economic power shifts to the Asia Pacific region, Australia is set to become the ‘food bowl’ for Asia. The Free Trade Agreements mean that Australia will be providing more than minerals, oil and gas to its Asian neighbours. In an historical first, it will provide horticultural as well as agricultural products (fresh fruit and vegetables as well as beef and lamb) to feed an ever increasing Asian population.

In return, we will be purchasing motor cars, technology and other manufactured products at a greatly reduced duty free price.  This offsets the recent announcement of closure of the automotive manufacturing in Australia.

To date, Australia has only produced enough fruit and vegetables to feed its own population, with only canned products sent overseas.  This Agreement will mean that our productivity for horticultural products will have to grow by at least 100% of its current production rate.  While the Asians can produce technology and cars cheaper and quicker, Australia has the land, climate and farming techniques to feed countries with at least ten times its own population.

What does this mean for Australia?

It means business, trade, productivity and jobs.  However, Australia does not have sufficient skilled and willing workers to facilitate this commitment.  Therefore, this country will be looking to our overseas partnerships to assist with the ever increasing need for skilled manpower.  Australia simply does not have the population to do this alone.

If you are considering a long term investment in yourself, your family and your future, now is the best time to move to Australia.

 

Author: Ralph Hunter

Ralph is Managing Director of InWork one of Skills Provision’s international partners

Skills Provision International will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.