Exporting Regions

Australia has to export more high-value products and services, to more countries across the world, more often.

Australia has to export more high-value products and services, to more countries across the world, more often.

Women and Export

I recently attended the 2017 APEC Women and the Economy Forum (WEF) which was held in Hue, Vietnam.  The WEF, and its sub-component the Public-Private Dialogue on Women and the Economy, has as its main goal to enhance women’s economic inclusion and empowerment in a changing world. The four-day forum attracted about 700 delegates from 19 of the 21 APEC economies. They included ministers, leaders of government agencies and international organisations, CEOs of big business from APEC and non-APEC regions, along with gender and entrepreneurship experts and scholars. 

Under the 2017 APEC theme 'Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future', the WEF focused on promoting gender equality for sustainable, innovative and inclusive economic growth, enhancing the competitiveness and innovation of women-owned micro and small and medium size enterprises (MSME), and narrowing gender gaps in human resource development.

Whereas once upon a time women and the economy’ may have been a side issue for APEC Economic Leaders, the approximately 600 million women in the labour force (with over 60 per cent of women engaged in the formal sector) make a considerable contribution to export and GDP in the 21 APEC economies, as a result of which APEC Leaders are now underscoring the importance of inclusive growth.  Indeed, including more women entrepreneurs (and more women exporters) has a potentially significant multiplier effect for the region.  

Anchored in a strategy of sustainable regional development, APEC's vision for inclusive growth emphasizes the creation of, and equal access to opportunities for all, enabling all to participate, contribute to, and share in the benefits of economic growth. 

This is easier said than done. Substantial disparities still exist in employment and income opportunities between women and men. Women in both developing and developed APEC economies (including Australia, Canada and the U.S.) still experience disadvantages such as limited access to assets, markets, networks, ICT, financial and productive resources, preventing their full participation in business, entrepreneurship and global value chains. Thus there is a need to strengthen the enabling environment for women entrepreneurs through better access to education, technology and opportunities. This in turn calls for the strengthening of public-private cooperation to improve policies and programs that support and facilitate the economic inclusion of all. 

Most economies, including Australia, do not collect separate data on male and female entrepreneurs. This means we are not in a position to understand the gaps in the enabling environment or design relevant policies and programs that enhance inclusive regional development. Cooperation hence needs to include investment in research and the collection of sex-disaggregated data for evidence-based policy and program making.

Women are an important part of the changing (export) world. They are also very much part of the digital economy revolution.  It pays to boost their potential. 

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John Sheridan
Patrice, Have a look at the Groups we have created for India - 5 groups with different themes. I am meeting with Austrade when I r... Read More
Sunday, 22 October 2017 10:18
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Export. Export. Export. Full STEAM ahead.

Alan Kohler is a good bloke. Of all the journos writing for the Australian he consistently tells it as it is. In simple English. Which is what we all expect of journalists of course, but such commentary is rare and hard to find.

The “Treasurer’s debt dilemma” is a very good piece.

It highlights the problem the treasurer has in needing to cut spending to placate the ratings agencies (which Mr Kohler points out quite rightly have little real credence after rating collateralised debt obligations - CDOs - as AAA in 2006). What do they really know and why do we listen to what they say anyway?

It’s a crazy and bizarro world we live in, trying to see through the blurry spiders webs of perception, fake news, PR and hyperbole.

Alan Kohler blows a lot of that fluff away. Regularly. In the Australian and on the ABC. Malcolm should make him the Treasurer. In the US he could, but not here. I wish it were that easy.

While the government’s attention is focused on “not” spending money, we need to shift our attention to how to “make” more money in the first place.

Cutting company tax is not the solution to “jobs and growth”.

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Rod Brown
Yes John, Action Agendas are the way to go, but the current governments need to realise that collaborative Action Teams or workin... Read More
Thursday, 20 April 2017 09:42
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