By Alex Tarrant
New Zealand’s manufacturers have issued a series of challenges to politicians on both sides of the aisle, saying leadership is needed on tertiary training to close skills shortage gaps, on research and development (R&D) incentives, and on readying the economy for the growth of automation.
In a Double Shot Interview with Interest.co.nz, New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) CEO Dieter Adam told Alex Tarrant that his organisation’s members were crying out to be heard on issues central to the future of the sector.
The NZMEA on Monday was set to host Finance Minister Steven Joyce, Labour’s finance spokesman Grant Robertson and Green Party co-leader James Shaw for a panel on how the various parties would help sustain and grow New Zealand’s manufacturing base.
From 26% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) 40 years ago, the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the overall economy has fallen to 10% of GDP today. Even over the past four years, the trend is evident, falling steadily each year from 10.5% of GDP in 2012 to 10% now despite the sector itself continuing to grow.
It may not seem much but we’re talking in the hundreds of millions of dollars as domestic consumption and the services sector, including services exports like tourism, jump up the list. While that’s all well and good for those industries, Adam argues government needs to focus on policies to allow his sector to flourish. “I’m not aware of any reasonably wealthy country that doesn’t have a strong manufacturing sector.”
Continue to read the complete article here || August 7, 2017 |||