Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today met with leaders from the manufacturing industry, Australian Industry Group, unions and the Innovation Council to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing our manufacturing sector.
The Gillard Government sees a bright future for an internationally competitive manufacturing sector and is committed to working with industry to achieve that future.
Today's discussion focussed on the challenges facing Australian manufacturing including the impact of a high dollar and the opportunities presented by the rise of Asia and by innovative new technologies and practices.
The group explored ways to build the capabilities of the sector, to boost productivity, progress strategies to transition to a low carbon economy and develop a vision for the future of manufacturing in Australia.
Australia has always been a clever and creative country and it's this ingenuity and innovation that will be vital in securing our future prosperity.
The Gillard Government envisages a flexible, highly skilled, high value-adding manufacturing sector which is able to capture niche markets, enter into global supply chains, and make more specialised and highly valued products.
We want to help businesses and individuals build capabilities through innovation, science and research, commercialisation and collaboration.
The roundtable complements the Gillard Government's ongoing discussion with stakeholders about how to best secure the future of the manufacturing industry in Australia.
Today's meeting comes ahead of the Government's Tax Forum on October 4 and 5 which will discuss the next steps in Australia's tax reform journey, particularly given the patchwork pressures in our economy.
The contributions at today's meeting will feed in to the October Future Jobs Forum on 6 October which will focus on moving manufacturing and other sectors up the value chain in the context of increasing global competition.
20 September 2011