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INDUSTRY COMMISSION COMPUTER HARDWARE SOFTWARE AND RELATED SERVICE INDUSTRIES Report No. 46 30 June 1995 Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra
© Commonwealth of Australia 1995 ISBN 0 644 45472 5 This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 , the work may be reproduced in whole or in part for study or training purposes, subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgement of the source. Reproduction for commercial usage or sale requires prior written permission from the Australian Government Publishing Service. Requests and concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Manager, Commonwealth Information Services, AGPS, GPO Box 84, Canberra ACT 2601. Industry Commission Level 3 Nature Conservation House Cornet Emu Bank & Benjamin Way PO Box 80 Belconnen ACT 2616 Produced by the Australian Government Publishing Service
30 June 1995 The Honourable George Gear MP Assistant Treasurer Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600 Dear Assistant Treasurer In accordance with Section 7 of the Industry Commission Act 1989 , we have pleasure in submitting to you the report on the Computer Hardware, Software and Related Service Industries . Yours sincerely Max Parker Brian Johns Presiding Commissioner Associate Commissioner Level 3, Nature Conservation House, Corner Emu Bank & Benjamin Way, Belconnen ACT 2617 PO Box 80, Belconnen ACT 2616 Telephone: 06 240 3200 Facsimile: 06 240 3399
v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abbreviations xi Terms of Reference xiv OVERVIEW 1 KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 27 1 THE INQUIRY 35 1.1 Scope of the inquiry 35 1.2 Key inquiry issues 36 1.3 Relationship with other inquiries 38 1.4 Report structure 39 2 INDUSTRY STRUCTURE 41 2.1 Industry data 41 2.2 The global industries 42 2.3 The Australian industries 46 2.4 Strengths and weaknesses 51 2.5 Participants’ views on the industries’ potential 59 3 MARKETS 61 3.1 Information technology use in Australia 61 3.2 Global information technology markets 65 3.3 Asia-Pacific information technology markets 69 3.4 Australian information technology markets 73 3.5 Australia’s international trade in information technology 77 4 TRENDS IN TECHNOLOGY 85 4.1 From calculators to the personal computer and beyond 85 4.2 The plunging costs of computer power 87 4.3 The changing nature of computing 89 4.4 Convergence 90 4.5 Future directions in technology 93
COMPUTER HARDWARE, SOFTWARE AND RELATED SERVICE INDUSTRIES vi 5 EFFECTS OF GOVERNMENT PURCHASING 95 ARRANGEMENTS 5.1 The procurement process 95 5.2 Using government purchasing for industry development 101 5.3 Evolution of the Partnerships for Development approach 103 5.4 State/Territory purchasing 110 5.5 Recent Commonwealth changes 118 6 RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT 133 6.1 R&D and the IT industries 134 6.2 The 150 per cent tax concession 135 6.3 Access to R&D grants 138 6.4 Options for generalising R&D support 141 6.5 Concessional Loans for Commercialisation of 142 Technological Innovation 6.6 Computer bounty 143 7 TARIFF AND BOUNTY ARRANGEMENTS 145 7.1 Key features of the computer bounty 145 7.2 The bounty within the assistance framework 145 7.3 Trends in bounty payments 149 7.4 Bountiable activity 151 7.5 Use of the bounty 153 7.6 Bounty administration 162 7.7 The computer bounty and the GATT 165 7.8 The bounty-tariff nexus and its consequences 166 7.9 Resource allocation issues 170 7.10 Assessment of the bounty 171 7.11 Implications of the Commission’s recommendations 173 8 STANDARDS AND CONFORMANCE 181 8.1 Introduction 181 8.2 Setting technical standards in the IT industries 183 8.3 Assessing conformance with AUSTEL regulations 189 8.4 International developments 194 8.5 Quality assurance standards 195

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