Dow Chemical CEO says Australian manufacturing sector needs immigration

09 October 2011

Dow Chemical CEO Andew Liveris says that Australia's manufacturing sector needs more highly skilled migrants; There will need to be changes to the Australian immigration rules to enable more skilled immigrants to stay in the country.

At a job summit on 6 October 2011, Liveris warned that Australia must avoid the fate of the US, where highly skilled migrants are returning home due to burdensome visa rules.

He also said that it is important to attract more research and development money from abroad; Australia must become more attractive to foreign investors.

"It's very key that we need to revisit our immigration policy," Liveris told the Sydney Morning Herald while in the United States advising US President Barack Obama on manufacturing.

"Australia has a small worker base, and to build an economy run by the best and brightest we not only need an education system that can produce this workforce, but an immigration system that can attract them," he added.

He said it was vital for Australia to grant migration opportunities to foreign students while at the same time training local students.

"We have to have our children go back into doing advanced degrees, science, technology, engineering and math, so we can apply it across a whole range of sectors," he said.

Australia seems to be moving towards encouraging foreign students to stay on after graduation. The government announced visas last month which would allow foreign graduates of Australian universities to work in Australia for up to four years.