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The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry and Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbott today released the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

The Agenda forms a central part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy which aims to strengthen Australia’s competitiveness and build a strong, prosperous economy.

Outlined in the Agenda are six key initiatives which will be implemented over the next 18 months to boost Australian Competitiveness; they include:

  • Encouraging employee share ownership;
  • Reforming the Vocational Education and Training sector;
  • Promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills in schools;
  • Accepting international standards and risk assessments for certain product approvals;
  • Enhancing the 457 and investor visa programs; and
  • Establishing Industry Growth Centres.

The Government will hold a series of stakeholder roundtables on the Competitiveness Agenda, around the country, over the coming months. The roundtables will focus on the following:

  • A lower cost, business friendly environment with less regulation, lower taxes and more competitive markets;
  • A more skilled labour force;
  • Better economic infrastructure; and
  • Industry policy that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.

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