Visy chief Anthony Pratt says the opening of the company's new can plant proves there's still a future for manufacturing in Australia.
The Australian reports Visy opened a new $86 million beverage can making facility on the Gold Coast last week, and used the launch to talk up the local industry.
Pratt said the new factory was “further proof that competitive manufacturing can have a bright future in Australia, provided manufacturers are prepared to invest”.
“We are very optimistic about the future of Australian food and beverage. Queensland is a great state to manufacture in,” he said.
Whilst admitting the market was still tough, Pratt said Visy had been able to sidestep some of the impact from the exchange rate by setting up a company in Asia to purchase goods.
He also said Visy would continue to invest in local greenfield operations and grow by acquisitions.
The new factory will produce around 1.6 billion aluminium beverage cans and 600 million steel food cans, and use new technology to make lightweight cans for its customers.
Last month Visy flagged plans to make an aggressive push into Asia, looking to begin manufacturing in at least four new locations and working with food makers to boost exports to the region.