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Manufacturing for Growth

Strategies for Driving Growth and Employment


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In today’s global economy, government actions and public policy play a critical role in shaping the competitiveness of both nations and the individual companies that operate within their borders. The impact that government policies can have across a number of competitiveness drivers – including trade; financial, monetary, tax and legal systems; infrastructure; education; labour markets; and science and technology – are significant.

They can directly create both advantages and disadvantages relative to other nations. As the strategic use of public policy intensifies, collaboration between policy-makers and business leaders to create win-win outcomes becomes more essential.

In Davos in January 2012, business leaders gathered to review and discuss the output of The Future of Manufacturing project, which focused on the question: How are global value chains evolving? The follow-up Manufacturing for Growth initiative focuses on the key question: What should be done? The objective of the Manufacturing for Growth initiative is to foster constructive dialogue and collaboration between business leaders and public policy-makers and, therefore, to facilitate better public policy.

Face-to-face discussions with more than 70 chief executives and other senior executives around the world were conducted from August 2012 through early January 2013 to collect insights into policy recommendations for six focus countries – three developed economy nations (Germany, Japan and the United States) to serve as surrogates for the developed world, and three emerging economy nations (Brazil, China and India) to serve as surrogates for the emerging world.

In addition, workshops were conducted around the world soliciting additional input from business executives and subject matter experts. Executives participating in the working sessions and one-on-one interviews were both passionate and clear when sharing their perspectives and recommendations on altering key aspects of current government policies to drive manufacturing and economic growth. While the CEO recommendations vary based on industry sector and the unique circumstances of each country, several common and recurring themes emerged regarding what constitutes effective public policy.

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