Australia’s $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy investment to drive the COVID economic recovery, has been inspired by several key nations, all of which have championed innovation to remain competitive amid increasing global competition.
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has cited Germany, the UK, Singapore, and Canada’s targeted industry approach as key influences on the Australian strategy.
“The reality is we cannot and should not seek to reach global scale in a large number of sectors, we can’t be all things to all,” Mr Morrison says.
“This is an important lesson from other small and I’d say medium-sized high income economies like ours.”
“A lesson is don’t try to do everything.”
As a result Australia’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy will focus on six key areas, with an aim to play to the nation’s established strength and emerging priorities.
- Resources technology and critical minerals processing
- Food and beverage
- Medical products
- Recycling and clean energy
While Singapore, the UK, Germany and Canada remain vastly different in nature, they are all developed economies that have focused on innovation as a buffer to offshoring trends towards cheaper manufacturing nations, providing key case studies for Australia’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
National manufacturing sector snapshots
Germany has long been known for its high end manufacturing sector, one which the industry and government continually hone through innovation to ensure the ‘Made in Germany’ brand remains strong.
Key focus areas include mechanical and plant engineering, microelectronics, production technology, bio- and nano-technology, energy and environmental technology, mobility and logistics, healthcare and medical technology.
Recent German Government figures put the manufacturing sector’s annual turnover at €2.2 trillion, with the sector employing around 7.5 million workers.
Successful small and middle-size companies tagged ‘Mittelstand’ in German are considered a key foundation of the country’s manufacturing edge.
The German Government’s National Industry Strategy 2030 focuses on strengthening key enabling technologies such as digitisation, artificial intelligence and battery cell manufacturing, which are identified as vital for the manufacturing sectors long term global competitiveness.
The birthplace of the industrial revolution, the nation’s major modern manufacturing drivers are now in food and beverages, transport, pharmaceuticals and chemicals.
According to a recent Make UK study, exports are dominated by transport (25.5%) and pharmaceuticals and chemicals (17.9%) – highlighting the importance of these high-value added sectors to the success of UK industry overall, particularly the aerospace and automotive sectors.
Manufacturing in the UK makes up two thirds of overall research and development, 45 percent of exports, and 15 percent of business investment.
Data reveals that for the 2.7 million people employed by UK manufacturers, the average salary sits 13 percent higher than the average UK salary.
Figures show the UK is the ninth leading global manufacturer and tenth in terms of global exports with output, totalling £191 billion in 2019 – an increase of seven percent over the previous five years.
Singapore has a key focus on bio-medical sciences, aerospace, as well as energy and chemicals.
Recent figures from the Singapore Economic Development Board show manufacturing remains a key pillar of the economy, at around 20 percent of the nation’s GDP.
Singapore has set up national programs in many of the emerging technology areas to commercialise research, including in robotics adoption, and additive manufacturing innovation to translate 3D printing research into commercial applications.
The Singaporian Government says it’s building a world-class manufacturing ecosystem, attracting multinationals, such as Shell, Micron, and Merck.
Singapore is the world’s fourth largest global exporter of high-tech goods, produces five of the world’s top 10 drugs, and is the fifth largest producer of refined oil.
The Canadian manufacturing sector is led by the automotive, aerospace and machinery production industries.
Manufacturing in Canada accounts for approximately $C170 billion of the nation’s GDP, according to government figures – representing more than 10 percent of Canada’s total GDP.
Canadian manufacturers export around $C350 billion annually, representing 68 percent of all of Canada’s merchandise exports.
According to PWC, the nation is a world leader in investments that facilitate research, the transformation of new ideas into advanced products, and tech that traverses the divide between research and marketplace applications.
The Canadian Government’s Industrie 2030 initiative has set the goal of doubling the value of manufacturing output by 2030.