Made in Australia: Supporting primary products and import substitution

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National Brands and Global Markets: An Historical Perspective


This chapter discusses a series of key but overlapping episodes in the development of Made in Australia (hereafter, MIA) initiatives that reflect shifting economic, political, and socio-cultural contexts. In the years leading up to Federation, the focus was on promoting the quality of Australian primary exports. After 1901, the development of import-substituting consumer industries in competition with advanced manufacturing nations from Europe and North America was supported by industry groups. From the 1960s, governments began to take more of a lead in national MIA campaigns as a means to promote economic development and stability through greater employment, an improved trade balance, and lower debt. In the final decades of the twentieth century, declining import protection turned the focus once more on supporting domestic industries, this time against new manufacturing nations in Asia. In recent years, the growing attention on public health, well-being, and protecting the environment has again shifted the focus of national and corporate marketing strategies.

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