Policies, Plans and Metrics
Edited by Tan Yigitcanlar, Kostas Metaxiotis and Francisco Javier Carrillo
Chapter 4: Globalizing: What Makes Australian Information Technology Industry Companies Go Global?
Glen Searle and Kevin O’Connor INTRODUCTION Although Australia has a significant information technology (IT) industry sector, there is still a large trade deficit in IT goods and services. Information, communication and technology exports in 2008–2009 were less than exports in 1999–2000. There is a strong policy imperative to use the existing IT industry base to generate greater exports and become a more significant player in the global IT industry. At present, however, there is inadequate data relating to factors impeding or assisting exports on which to base such policy. In particular, the role of Australia’s position in global chains of IT production, and of Australia’s peripheral global location, is poorly understood. This chapter is an initial attempt to explore firm-level factors associated with IT exports from Australia. It uses data from a random stratified sample of IT firms in Sydney and Melbourne to identify company attributes associated with differing levels of exports. It also uses data from this sample to explore factors associated with Australia’s global location that are perceived to disadvantage Australian IT producers. SERVICE INDUSTRIES AND EXPORTS One important characteristic of knowledge based urban development is the development of knowledge intensive service activities. The local impact of these activities is likely to be greater if they become export activities, just as in an earlier era manufacturing firms in metropolitan economies brought growth and wealth to urban areas by exporting to distant markets. The export of services has been a steadily expanding activity, but its association with...
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