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For too long we have attempted to be all things to all people. We can’t do everything, but we can punch above our weight in those sectors where we have an edge over our international competition.

Australia has been highly successful in sectors like mining and agriculture because of the internationally competitive strength of our natural resources sector. Our food manufacturers are helping farmers achieve more value from their produce by enhancing efficiency through better food processing techniques that extend nutritional value and shelf life of goods.

To understand our strengths, we have used a range of techniques to identify areas of comparative advantage and strategic importance for manufacturing. Australia continues to have a clear comparative advantage in resources and food & beverage, consistent with previous analysis including by the World Bank and the OECD. Horizon scanning has uncovered areas where we have significant potential in new and emerging areas.

We can lift our capabilities in key sectors:

  • Resources Technology & Critical Minerals Processing
  • Food & Beverage
  • Medical Products
  • Recycling & Clean Energy
  • Defence
  • Space

Together, these sectors form our National Manufacturing Priorities. They play to our strengths and have real potential to deliver economic growth and create new jobs.

We are backing manufacturers in these sectors. Our investment and actions are aimed at building our industry in general — not individual firms. Businesses are more likely to grow and attract investment when there are fewer barriers and they are supported by a thriving business environment. We are focusing our investment on projects that will create collaborative environments, encourage the market to invest, and partner with business, research organisations and state and territory governments. But this isn’t a “one size fits all” approach — together with industry, we need to be clear about the opportunities, the barriers and the required actions.

Our focus

  • We are co-designing industry-led road maps to act as a pathway for future government and industry action and investment in each of the National Manufacturing Priorities.
  • We are investing $1.3 billion through the Modern Manufacturing Initiative to encourage more private investment and support large projects that will build the scale, connections and capabilities of local manufacturers, allowing them to shift up the value chain and grow.
  • We are making sure the existing programs in the Industry, Science and Technology portfolio are fit for purpose and making a substantial contribution to this agenda.