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Innovation focus needed to boost Australian manufacturing

Staff writer ▼ | April 27, 2016
The development of advanced manufacturing technologies are core to Australian manufacturing’s future competitiveness in the global market.
Sydney street
Industry   70% of manufacturing nations are high wage nations
This is according to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte Global and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

Whilst Australia’s manufacturing competitiveness ranking has slipped from 16th to 21st since 2013, Deloitte Australia Tax Partner and Manufacturing Group leader, Damon Cantwell, believes the country deserves to be ranked higher.

“We are simply not getting the message out – Australia is competitive in the majority of the global drivers of competitiveness such as talent, the supplier network and our innovation infrastructure, but this is not reflected in our ranking,” he said.

“In fact, seven of the top 10 manufacturing nations, including the U.S., Japan, Germany and the UK, are all relatively high wage nations. Indications are a higher cost environment is becoming less important in regard to an economy’s manufacturing competitiveness.

“It is timely the Federal Government’s Innovation Agenda has been an area of focus over recent months in Australia, with global CEOs keeping a close eye on these settings in their investment decisions. The key for Australian policymakers is how these policies rank against international competitors.

“We are in our own competitive market with other countries that are more advanced when it comes to innovation and research and development support, and the integration between the manufacturing and research sectors,” Cantwell said.