Advanced manufacturing to drive NSW’s trillion dollar economy

NSW has outlined a plan for its economy to grow to a trillion dollars in 2040, with advanced manufacturing named as one of five key sectors.

Designed by the NSW chief economist, Stephen Walters, the NSW 2040 Economic Blueprint sees the state’s growth being driven by investment from innovative and globally competitive businesses, as treasurer Dominic Perrotet outlined.

“The future success of NSW is unlimited if we are prepared to back ourselves, innovate, build our skills, and have both a domestic and global economic focus to attract investment and create the industries and jobs of the future.”

Following from the state’s Advanced Manufacturing Industry Development Strategy, released in 2018, the current Blueprint recommends that the government immediately invest in long-term funded initiatives to encourage advanced manufacturing. This would further utilise the programs already funded by the government, which Perrotet noted as a driver of growth.

“The billions we are pouring in to infrastructure is helping drive the economy and create jobs now, but also positions the State for ongoing growth,” he said.

While noting that the state’s current economy is dominated by services, the Blueprint cites the high growth of advanced manufacturing as a reason to shift the state’s economy towards the sector.

Under the advanced manufacturing banner, the Blueprint cites additive and precision manufacturing, advanced materials, robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, advanced sensors, and quantum technologies as technologies which characterise the sector. These technologies are being deployed in NSW in sectors including aerospace, defence, automotive, medical technology, digital technology, clothing, and food.

What distinguishes this sector from traditional manufacturing, however, is the focus not on production, but on product design and sales and services. Walters noted that the future of the state’s economy requires grappling with the critical issues facing the state.

“The Blueprint sets the tone for our continued success – it doesn’t shy away from the challenges, but highlights the opportunities we have to really grow our economy,” he said.