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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2012
The Impact of International Supply Chains on Australia ThE GLOBAL ECONOMy Guest Speaker: Phil Ruthven, Chairman IBIS World Phil Ruthven gave a broad macro view of the forces that are affecting Australia's economy, emphasising that the world's economy, thanks to China and India, is growing at close to historic rates, despite the debt woes in Europe and a fragile recovery in the United States. Mr Ruthven gave an upbeat account of the world economy, pointing out that in the worst of the global financial crisis, output shrunk by 0.6 per cent. The immediate years following World War II were far worse as governments scaled back spending and debt soared. In the United States, debt at that time was about 120 per cent of GDP. Mr Ruthven expects a 'quite extraordinary' recovery in the share market next year, potentially jumping by 45 per cent. With exports expected to play an increasingly important role in Australia's economy, the spread of broadband and new information technologies may open the door for expanded e-commerce and provision of new services to clients at home and abroad. In the coming decades, online sales will account for 40 per cent of retail sales. That shift will save time and lower costs, Mr Ruthven said. Transport, postal and warehousing services are a $201 billion market, Ruthven said, with road transport accounting for 30 per cent of that amount. He estimates that the country's total freight task -- both bulk and non-bulk items -- will double to about 1.4 trillion tonne kilometres by roughly 2035. 'This increase is not insuperable. It is no faster than the rate of growth in the economy. The question is, are we going about it the right way?' Mr Ruthven said. SESSION 2 National Transport Reform Session Chair, ALC Managing Director Michael Kilgariff, emphasised that efforts to harmonise regulatory frameworks are at risk from entrenched interests. 'The expectations by ALC for "regulators with teeth" to be established for each of the modes to ensure national laws operate in a uniform fashion nationally may not be met,' Mr Kilgariff said. A seamless approach to regulation is key to boosting productivity, increasingefficiencyand improving safety in the freight transport and logistics industry, he said. Mr Kilgariff said the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the Maritime and Rail Safety Regulators should replace and not add to the 23 state-based regulators that currently exist. These national regulators should be responsible for policy and developing laws and, lastly, get enough funding. 'ALC members hold grave reservations that the transport regulators will not have the 44 FORUM 2012 Phil Ruthven Michael Kilgariff