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Deloitte and World Economic Forum report: Industry policy key to manufacturing success


21 May 2013:  A new report conducted by professional services firm Deloitte and the World Economic Forum (WEF) underlines the pivotal role that Government policies play in driving successful manufacturing sectors.

“Manufacturing for Growth: Strategies for Driving Growth and Employment” highlights the drivers of a robust manufacturing sector, and the range of impacts that Government policy has across these areas.

Damon Cantwell, Manufacturing Partner at Deloitte Australia said “the contribution of government to success in manufacturing is not a subsidy question – it is far broader reaching, and encompasses a number of areas where global investment decision-makers are seeking certainty and stability.”

The report provides a blueprint for current and future Australian governments interested in ensuring consolidation and ultimately growth in Australia’s manufacturing sector.  It highlights those countries that are succeeding in policy settings, and some where there is further work to be done.

“Manufacturing adds value – creating more jobs than any other sector; driving innovation throughout every segment of our society; and delivering consumer solutions – all of which are keys to long-term, sustainable economic growth”, said Andrew Leveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company and Global Chief Executive champion of the WEF’s Manufacturing for Growth project.

The common themes drawn from this report have strong application in Australia and around 20 Australian manufacturers contributed to the base research referenced around drivers of success.

“With today’s global manufacturing value chains highly interconnected, and rapidly changing, the decisions that countries around the world are making to develop a more skilled workforce, improve their infrastructures, and drive innovation are on the radar of potential investors,” said Mr Cantwell.

The report highlights how global manufacturing decision-makers are looking to a range of policy settings when making investment decisions, from science, technology and innovation, through to tax and trade policy, innovation and talent retention.

Innovation Precincts

In the Australian context, the report is instructive in regard to the Federal Government’s recently announced Innovation Precincts.

“From the perspective of the manufacturing sector, these precincts have the opportunity to fill a significant gap in the Australian innovation system,” said Mr Cantwell.

“There is a specific requirement across the sector for greater responsiveness in innovation and research, greater clarity on where companies can find help around innovation, and a need for a more commercial approach to the intellectual property generated by this work.  The extent to which the Innovation Precincts address these issues will drive the level of industry engagement,” said Mr Cantwell.

The WEF Report highlights that the settings provided by the Australian government regarding the local manufacturing sector have broad implications around economic development.  

“In addition to assisting individual companies, these arrangements go directly to the competitiveness score that global manufacturing executives give Australia,” Mr Cantwell adds.

Public/private collaboration

“The science is really around the way public/private collaboration occurs. CEOs also look to the process that governments use to develop these policies, and each government dollar invested in innovation is not equal.

“The most competitive locations see these partnerships focus on market-driven innovation, measured by activities that are dependent on private rather than public funding over the longer term,” concludes Mr Cantwell.

To download a copy of “Manufacturing for Growth,” visit

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Damon Cantwell
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Deloitte Manufacturing Partner
Tel : +61 3 9671 7543
Jane Kneebone
Deloitte Australia
Job Title:
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications
Tel: +61 3 9671 7389, Mobile: +61 416 148 845




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