Linking with Asia, researchers key to boosting competitiveness: Deloitte research

A new survey finds Australia ranking 16th in terms of manufacturing competitiveness, but better linkages between industry and research and the growing strength of Asian countries both provide opportunities.

This year’s Deloitte 2013 Global Manufacturing Index survey aggregated the views of over 550 CEOs and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world, identifying a number of key themes.

Stalwart manufacturing nations such as the United States and Germany are having their competitive dominance challenged by Asian nations and emerging players like Brazil, which saw the biggest jump in competitiveness (up to third place, from eighth in the last survey).

Innovation (“now a must-have” rather than an option) and linking with the expertise of researchers, as well as integrating better with Asia were identified as key ways in which Australia could become more competitive.

“I think with talent-driven innovation being front and centre, as it was last time around, as a driver of competitiveness, it does come back to how do we have greater engagement with the research community with universities, with researchers in industry-style programs,” Damon Cantwell, Deloitte Manufacturing Partner, told Manufacturers’ Monthly.

“I think that’s probably where the opportunity really does rest.”

Deloitte’s findings also pointed to the need to look for international investment.

“The Asia Pacific region continues to present opportunities for our manufacturers,” said Cantwell.

“Australia needs to put itself forward as a viable destination for specific types of manufacturing investment that will be sustainable in the long term.”

Relevant to the federal government’s recently released Asian Century white paper, the survey found that in five years, ten of the 15 most competitive nations were predicted to be from the Asian continent.

To download the global survey, click here.