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Australia Showing Signs Of Coming Downturn -Dow Chemical CEO

SYDNEY -(Dow Jones)- Dow Chemical Co.'s (DOW) chief executive said Tuesday that he sees signs of a coming downturn in the Australian economy, arguing that jobs growth and overall competitiveness are in decline. Andrew Liveris was unveiling a plan to resurrect Australia's manufacturing sector at a conference held at the University of Technology in Sydney. "We are seeing troubling signs for our economy at large--maybe even signs of a coming downturn," he said. Liveris said Australia's current growth trajectory is "unsustainable" and that the country had grown far too reliant on China for its prosperity. He noted that over the past 50 years, Australia's manufacturing sector has shrunk from nearly a third of the overall economy to just 8.6% today. "We have seen factories and the jobs in them shipped overseas as other countries become more competitive and we've become less," he said. He added the Australian economy was heading towards a "tipping point," saying the high Australian dollar had made it very uncompetitive. By Shani Raja, Dow Jones Newswires; 61 2 8272 4683; shani.raja@dowjones.com

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