Manufacturing has undergone structural change globally in recent history. The removal of trade barriers, technological advances and labour force mobilisation have driven massive changes in what goods are manufactured, where, how and by who.

For the last several years the manufacturing sector in Australia has been in decline, as has its share of the economy, moving from 9.1% of GDP in 1999 to 6.0% in 2015. In that same time German manufacturing held fast at around 22% of the economy. What has happened to Australian manufacturing? Is Australia transitioning to a post-industrial economy? Where is Australia’s comparative advantage in manufacturing? What are the implications on industrial occupier demand?

Rather than suffer a terminal decline, Australian manufacturing will forge a path into advanced manufacturing, leveraging high quality innovation inputs such as education, training and technological readiness and converting them into high value outputs.