When nations consider their exportable resources, design is often far down the list, but a 2008 study conducted by the Victoria government in Australia revealed that over $300 million in state revenue can be directly attributed to design-related exports. The state ’s design sector, centered in Melbourne, contributes $7 billion annually to the economy and employs more than 76,000 Victorians – this in a country with a population of just 21.5 million people. The study made apparent that design talent is a highly desirable and exportable commodity. The Australian creative industry could be as marketable abroad as iron ore and manufactured goods.
Australian designers have skills sought in many parts of the world, particularly in rapidly industrializing areas like neighboring Southeast Asia. In fact, the vast geographic size of Australia actually makes the flying distance from Melbourne to Singapore or Indonesia shorter than from Melbourne to Perth. As it is, many studios in Singapore are heavily staffed by Australian designers.