Import duties hold back high-tech companies

High-tech manufacturers are being hamstrung by Australia’s high import costs, according to research by global accountancy network UHY.

The Australian Financial Review reports that UHY found Australia’s import duties compared to GDP to be 0.46 per cent. This compared poorly to the EU’s main economies (0.13 per cent), the US (0.19 per cent) and Canada (0.21 per cent).

The managing partner of UHY Haines Norton, Michael Coughtrey, said that it was a handbrake on an area that could be generating significant wealth in the Australian economy as revenues from mining decrease.

Technologically sophisticated manufacturing businesses import a great deal of their components, as Australia lacked a critical mass to supply such companies, Coughtrey told The AFR.

"We just don't have the capacity to make the high-level inputs," he said.