One of the most important reasons for Australia’s relatively poor productivity performance in the 1970s and 1980s discussed in Chapter 2 was the historical lack of openness of the economy, owing to high import barriers and the extensive domestic regulation of product markets. As this problem became clear in the mid-1980s, the authorities responded by embarking on a comprehensive set of reforms to open up the economy to international trade and increase competition across a wide range of markets. Most important, tariffs were reduced, while key sectors—such as financial services, telecommunication, and aviation—were liberalized, and public enterprises corporatized or privatized. More recently, competition policy principles were extended to previously sheltered sectors, including the state-owned enterprises.