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Business + Economy — Analysis and Comment

The sale of Medibank private is unlikely to compensate taxpayers for the loss of future revenue. AAP

Undervaluing Medibank Private: taxpayers face a raw deal

The IPO of Medibank Private is set to take place on November 25, and the indicative share price range in the prospectus released today suggests a market capitalisation of between A$4.3 billion and A$5.5…
Patents have exploded in number in recent years, thanks largely to our lax standards for issuing them. www.shutterstock.com

How trade agreements are locking in a broken patent system

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
The G20’s impressive declaratory record on energy cooperation hides serious practical shortcomings. www.shutterstock.com

Global commitment issues on display at the G20

With the Brisbane G20 Leaders Summit only a matter of weeks away, Australia is increasingly succumbing to G20 fever. Rarely does a self-declared middle power such as Australia get to play host to such…
We’ve all experienced the frustration of waiting for public transport, but would we pay more tax for improvements? Purple Wyrm/Flickr

Six ways to boost funding for better public transport

Although Australia’s tax-to-GDP ratio is low by international standards, no-one wants to discuss how we might pay for the improvements needed to public transport, and even less the need for taxation to…
Many Australian exporters find it difficult to crack the US government procurement market, while our policy leaves the door more open to US firms. Shutterstock

Australia’s procurement policy leaves our exporters behind

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
A new culture is required for Australian manufacturing to be reinvented. Shutterstock

Entrepreneurs can help bring new thinking to manufacturing

With major employers heading offshore and employment numbers decimated, what will emerge from the ashes of Australia’s manufacturing industry? And what role should manufacturing play in the federal government’s…
Opening a mine in Queensland this week, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said coal was “good for humanity”. Dan Peled/AAP

Abbott’s G20 agenda: climate still the elephant in the room

News emerging from Washington last week suggests climate change may amount to more than an FAQ in the appendices of this November’s G20 leaders' summit agenda. President Obama’s deputy national security…
Australian manufacturing outliers demonstrate the need to invest in technology and management. www.shutterstock.com

Australian industry can learn from its manufacturing ‘outliers’

Australia’s manufacturing industry is in decline. Yet some businesses are managing to buck the trend. The question is what do these “outliers” do differently from their competitors? And what does each…
Job swapping: his for hers. Gaye Dell

Shared inequalities: at work and at home

Just as women face challenges in participating in the work domain, so men face challenges participating in the home domain. Emma Watson in her much-discussed UN speech observed that inequalities faced…
Kindness, humility - and a new approach to regulating monopolies: Nobel Prize for Economic Science, Jean Tirole. AAP/EPA/Studio Tchiz/

Nobel economics prize winner an economist and a gentleman

The winner of this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, Jean Tirole, is one of the most prolific, respected and admired economic theorists of the last 30 years and has had significant influence…
With its competitiveness agenda, the Abbott government faces a politically fraught path to reform. Lukas Coch/AAP

New industry policy welcome, but reform process is just beginning

The Abbott government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda is an economic policy statement likely to define its term in government. The Agenda has four planks in the government’s efforts to…
There’s plenty of value between an idea and its commercialisation. Shutterstock

Australian industry must shift its narrow approach to innovation

One of the key planks of the government’s new Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda is a desire to boost collaboration between business and industry, the scientific and research communities and…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the selection of five sectors for “growth centres” is not picking winners but “playing to our strengths”. Lukas Coch/AAP

Competitiveness agenda lays path for industry-led innovation: experts react

The federal government has released its National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, committing around A$400 million towards “industry growth centres”, new tax incentives for employee share…
A set of simple management practices can help manufacturing companies outperform. WorldSkills/Flickr

The secret to unlocking productivity in manufacturing

With major employers heading offshore and employment numbers decimated, what will emerge from the ashes of Australia’s manufacturing industry? And what role should manufacturing play in the federal government’s…
The Abbott government is preparing to lay out its plan to support Australian industries to compete globally. Ben Macmahon/AAP

A thinking country’s guide to competing on the global stage

With major employers heading offshore and employment numbers decimated, what will emerge from the ashes of Australia’s manufacturing industry? And what role should manufacturing play in the federal government’s…
Biases can often be unconscious. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Unconscious bias and its impact on the gender salary gap

Chief executives who don’t care about the gender pay gap or believe that closing it will only increase costs, might want to consider some of the benefits of audits and strategies for identifying and closing…
The automotive industry may have moved on, but Australian manufacturing continues to represent a core source of economic prosperity for Australia. Julian Smith/AAP

Why the Australian economy still needs manufacturing

With major employers heading offshore and employment numbers decimated, what will emerge from the ashes of Australia’s manufacturing industry? And what role should manufacturing play in the federal government’s…
IMF managing director Christine Lagarde says the economic recovery underway in many markets is “brittle, uneven and beset by risks". Dave Hunt/AAP

The world has an economic growth problem, and more G20 spending won’t fix it

Last week the IMF revised its 2014 global economic growth forecast down to 3.3% from the 3.7% expected six months ago, confirming that most economies around the world, Australia included, continue to underperform…