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Gaining from trade liberalisation: some reflections on Australia's experience

Chairman's speech

On 5 June 2003 the Chairman Gary Banks gave a speech, Gaining from trade liberalisation: some reflections on Australia's experience, to the New Horizons in Trade Conference in Adelaide.

Contents

Introduction

Australia's economic transformation
The Jurassic Industrial Park
A more productive economy

Multiple benefits of liberalisation
Consumers gain
More competitive firms and industries also gain
Increased flexibility and 'dynamism'
The auto industry illustrates the benefits
Managers are minding their businesses

Unilateral reform has been the main source of benefit
Foreign liberalisation can bring additional gains
Non-discriminatory liberalisation has been advantageous

Attention to adjustment has been important
Incremental liberalisation has facilitated adjustment

An informed public debate helps achieve durable reform

Trade liberalisation shouldn't mean 'open slather'
Some restrictions have sound rationales

Looking forward
Push on with domestic reform
Bilateral negotiations may be a useful ‘motivator’
Modelling has limitations
The devil is in the detail
Multilateral progress is needed
The nub: understanding the domestic gains