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An economy built on manufacturing

New South Wales (NSW) is home to highly innovative, competitive and world-leading manufacturers that are vital to the diversity and strength of the Australian economy.

A robust manufacturing sector is a critical ingredient in the continued success of the NSW economy. Manufacturing provides a substantial multiplier for broader economic growth through its interconnections with other sectors.

The NSW Government recognises that manufacturing is undergoing a transformation across the industrialised world.

As the sector is changing, manufacturing businesses are increasingly using new technology or employing advanced business models and so are increasingly being termed ‘advanced manufacturers’.

Embracing advanced manufacturing, regardless of the end product, will be vital to the ongoing profitability of the industry in NSW.

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Read more about the NSW Government's strategy to further develop our advanced manufacturing sector.


Quick facts: Manufacturing in Sydney and NSW

The following statistics highlight manufacturing’s importance to the state.

  • NSW has Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, representing 30% of national output and employing 253,000 people.
  • There are currently 26,127 manufacturing businesses in New South Wales. That accounts for 31% of Australia’s manufacturers, more than any other state or territory.
  • At $20.3 billion a year, manufactured goods are NSW’s largest export, and this number is growing by 7.5% a year.

Potential manufacturing locations

Western Sydney

Western Sydney is the ideal place to make your manufacturing base. Here, you can take advantage of proximity to Sydney's second international airport, currently under construction. Western Sydney is the state’s growth engine, and an established hub for aerospace, advanced manufacturing and food processing.

Greater Sydney

Greater Sydney is known for its world-leading defence electronics and medical device producers.

Regional NSW

Regional NSW is an integral part of our state’s manufacturing sector and is well-connected to metropolitan areas and transport hubs.

In 2014-15, the advanced manufacturing sector in Regional NSW employed 70,000 people and contributed A$7.3 billion to the economy. Visit the Invest in Regional NSW website to find out more about advanced manufacturing opportunities in regional NSW.

A supportive business environment

The NSW Government is committed to helping manufacturing business thrive.

  • The Australian Government offers industry assistance programs to advanced manufacturing businesses including a $4 million Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to support small-scale and pilot research projects.
  • The Australian Government's R&D Tax Incentive is a targeted, generous and easy-to-access entitlement program that helps businesses offset some of the costs of carrying out R&D activities. The program is open to firms of all sizes and in all sectors that conduct eligible R&D.
  • Jobs for NSW is a NSW Government program connecting technology businesses and enterprises working in key sectors of the New South Wales economy, including advanced manufacturing. The program supports the development of globally competitive business-to-business solutions. Eligible companies can apply to receive significant grants and funding through the program.

Current investment opportunities in Sydney and NSW

Sydney and NSW provide the perfect location to invest and grow your business. Below are just some of the trends currently impacting our manufacturing sector.

  • As with many other advanced economies, NSW’s manufacturing businesses are increasingly focusing on high-value and high-skill pre and post-production services, such as R&D and design. This innovation focus presents an opportunity to invest in cutting-edge manufacturing technologies across all industries.
  • The rise of new digital technologies such as data analytics, autonomous robots and the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is driving a new wave of advanced manufacturing. ‘Industry 4.0’ will increase productivity, foster industrial growth and modify the profile of the Australian workforce. NSW is looking to capitalise on this trend and welcomes investment.

In 2013, NSW manufacturers spent $6.76 billion on investing in advanced manufacturing, including on research and development. This spend could increase the industry’s output by 25 to 35% by 2026. Greater Sydney is becoming a focal point for investment. The NSW Government assists the area’s growth by developing Western Sydney Airport and surrounding industry hubs. Development in this area makes it well positioned to drive the next wave of manufacturing innovation.

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If you are interested in finding out more about the advanced manufacturing sector in NSW, get in touch with the NSW Investment Concierge today.

NSW advanced manufacturing industry development strategy

The NSW Department of Industry has consulted with manufacturing stakeholders in the state to develop the NSW advanced manufacturing industry development strategy.

It aims to provide a better understanding of the metrics that define global manufacturing success in an advanced economy such as NSW.

It also sets out targeted, practical initiatives to grow the sector, build the capability and capacity of businesses and continue to foster a supportive external business environment in the state.

In developing this strategy, key insights gained included:

  • NSW manufacturers can gain a competitive advantage by focusing on value creation
  • Advanced manufacturing is no longer about what you make, but how you make it
  • NSW manufacturers can take advantage of largely untapped opportunities to become more advanced, and every NSW manufacturer has the potential to be ‘advanced’
  • To create value, NSW manufacturers can access the state’s large, highly skilled, cost-competitive labour force.

Advance manufacturing strategy cover imageSignificant advanced manufacturing opportunities are available in NSW and elsewhere in Australia. These could increase the industry’s national value-added by 25–35%, equivalent to $25.3 billion to $34.6 billion, by 2026.

To pursue the opportunities advanced manufacturing presents, the strategy is designed to:

  • increase collaboration and research within the manufacturing industry and with research institutions by facilitating the development of advanced knowledge
  • support skills development in the industry by driving the adoption of advanced processes
  • support the implementation of advanced service-oriented business models that lead to high-value manufacturing solutions and create high-value products that reach untapped markets and segments
  • grow export and attract investment.

This strategy focuses on laying the foundations for a responsive manufacturing industry that remains a source of economic strength and innovation in NSW.