The State Labor Government’s continued failure to meet key export targets casts a cloud over its latest prediction of $18 billion in exports by 2017.
Shadow Minister for Investment and Trade Tim Whetstone said Labor has a record of setting trade targets but not providing the financial commitment or resources to meet those targets.
“In 2004, the State Labor Government set a target of increasing South Australia’s exports to $25 billion by 2013, it fell $14 billion short,” Mr Whetstone said.
“Today’s target of $18 billion by 2017 is $6 billion less and four years later than the original target.
“Labor also set a target of attracting 45,000 international students to South Australia by 2014 and only reached 27,000.
“Once again the Labor Government has set an export target without any extra financial commitment or resources.”
Mr Whetstone said the important contribution of exports to the South Australian economy should not be undervalued.
“Since the 2011-12 State Budget, the Labor Government has reduced funding for its main export program from $30 million to $19 million,” Mr Whetstone said.
“During the last decade South Australia’s share of national exports has dropped from 8 per cent to 3.8per cent.
“There will be further opportunities to grow exports to China following the signing of a Free Trade Agreement yesterday and we need to ensure the State is set up to take advantage of this.
“Currently South Australia has just a three per cent share of national exports to China, we need now, to work hard to increase this market share.”