WHILE the All Blacks and Wallabies were battling it out on the rugby field for the Bledisloe cup, Australia and NZ manufacturers put aside their sporting rivalries to come together at a special manufacturing forum held recently in Sydney.
At the forum, entitled An ANZAC Perspective on Manufacturing, Clark began by stressing the importance for Australian and NZ manufacturers to work more closely together to face and overcome common challenges.
She highlighted some of the obstacles experienced by both countries including competition from China and focussed on the mutual benefit that could be gained from a trans-Tasman partnership forged on each nation’s strengths.
“The future will depend on design, innovation and investment in new technologies and it will also be determined by our ability to forge new global partnerships.
“Creating ANZAC solutions can ensure both countries can lead the way into the global marketplace,” Clark said.
During her presentation, the NZ PM also cited a study that found NZ companies ranked highly on certain business key performance indicators including ease of doing business, global partnerships, lack of corruption and economic freedom — all of which Australian manufacturers could hope to experience when working with their NZ counterparts.
Following Clark’s address, Heather Ridout, CEO of the Australian Industry Group, highlighted key strategies for successfully entering into the global marketplace, saying industry needs to consider other ways of gaining business overseas.
“It is not just about export markets but rethinking global relationships and considering how we can help manufacturers succeed by being part of a global supply chain,” Ridout said.
She suggested companies need to re-evaluate current business models, encouraging manufacturers to focus on one part of the supply chain rather than trying to control the whole production line.
“A more successful way seems to be when manufacturers look at one section of this chain and work it to their strengths – having all the capabilities is not necessarily the best way to go.”
Ridout also stressed the importance of establishing stronger connections with science, saying there needs to be an improvement in the link between industry and institutions such as universities and the CSIRO, with clearer communication and by establishing genuine dialogue.
“We also need to retain multinationals in Australia so we can keep them here researching and developing new technologies in this country,” she said.
The forum was part of a larger business mission led by Clark, covering the food and beverage, biotechnology, and niche manufacturing sectors.