Manufacturers must adapt: Combet

Federal Industry Minister Greg Combet says manufacturers must adapt if they want to survive tougher economic conditions.

The Australian reports Combet said pressure from the high Australian dollar was here to stay and companies needed to adjust to changes in the economy.

“We are at a time of quite significant structural change in the economy,” he said.

“From the Government's point of view, the high dollar is going to be around for a considerable time to come, so businesses are going to have to adjust.”

Combet said while Canberra was committed to supporting manufacturing jobs, business models would also have to change to become more competitive.

“Industries and businesses that succeed are going to be those that develop new technologies, new processes, that innovate, that apply technology to their manufacturing processes, for example,” he said.

Combet said developing a stronger link between research and industry was another Government priority, but the manufacturing sector also needed to take a leadership role in finding new technology.

Pointing to the high level of investment that was making its way into Australia, particularly in the mining sector, Combet said Canberra was trying to encourage suppliers to source local content without setting mandatory levels.

Earlier this week data showed Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group provided over $1.8 billion of work for local suppliers.

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