The electronics industry involves the entire value chain, from the design and manufacture of components and inputs to electronics manufacturing, through manufacturing and assembly, wholesale, retail, installation, maintenance and repair of electrical and electronic equipment. No developed economy or sophisticated industry can operate in the 21st century without access to a range of electronic products and services and to workers with electronics related skills.
In recognition of the importance of electronics to the Australian economy, the Commonwealth Government joined with industry to launch the Electronics Industry Action Agenda.
This report presents a brief synthesis of findings from the national capability mapping exercise undertaken as a part of the Electronics Industry Action Agenda’s implementation.
In 2002-03, the electronics manufacturing industry employed 31,556 people in Australia, realised turnover of $8.6 billion and more than $2.2 billion in gross product. Domestic demand for electronics manufactures in Australia amounted to $24 billion in 2002-03, with imports accounting for $19 billion of that total. Industry turnover amounted to $8.7 billion, and almost $3.7 billion worth of electronics equipment was exported.
The electronics industry is being shaped by many forces. These include:
• Market trends and growth, with a return to growth in information and communication technologies (ICTs) and renewed growth in automotive and consumer electronics;
• The fragmentation of the value chain, with standardisation and modularisation supporting increased outsourcing and specialisation along the value chain;
• The need to rapidly develop new business models to support increased firm and regional specialisation;
• The drive to make better use of internet-based technologies and e-business applications to support supply chain management and integration;
• Environmental and regulatory demands for the removal of ‘materials of concern’ and increased whole-of-life ‘product stewardship’; and
• The emergence and cross-fertilisation of new, converging technologies (e.g. microelectronics, photonics and nanotechnology).