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Ian Smith

Ian Smith

Director, NSW Office of Regional Economic Development

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A thriving and innovative sector

A thriving and innovative sector

In 2018, the manufacturing sector in Regional NSW contributed A$9.5 billion to the economy. In 2019, 89,600 people in Regional NSW were employed in the sector.

Overall, NSW has Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, representing 30.3% of national output and employing 269,500 people—29.7% of Australia’s direct manufacturing labour force. There are 26,500 manufacturing businesses in New South Wales which accounts for 31.3% of Australia’s manufacturers, more than any other state or territory.

At A$23.1 billion a year, manufactured goods are NSW’s largest export and this number is growing by 7.5% a year. The contribution of the industry to the gross product of NSW is A$32.3 billion.

Investment in advanced manufacturing, including research and development, could increase the national industry’s output by 25-35% by 2026. 

Leading manufacturers are thriving in Regional NSW. The region has successfully attracted many international manufacturing companies due to its skilled local workforce, low-cost environment, access to markets, and world-class research and development centres.

Regional NSW is a base for valuable and skill-intensive parts of production processes, including high-tech design and development, innovative research, product customisation and client-focused support and repair services.

Regional NSW offers advanced manufacturing strengths and opportunities in food and beverages, aviation, defence, energy, electronics, ICT, industrial equipment, marine, medical equipment, computer equipment and appliances. Other promising advanced manufacturing opportunities exist in agribusiness, recycling and renewable energy.

Government support for our advanced manufacturing sector

The NSW Government is committed to creating the conditions for the NSW manufacturing industry to prosper and drive innovation and productivity, including through its Advanced Manufacturing Industry Development Strategy.

Three Cooperative Research Centres – the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, the Australian National Fabrication Facility and the Australian Centre for Electro-Material Science – partner with industry in research and development.

The Australian Government offers industry assistance programs to advanced manufacturing businesses including a A$4 million Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to support small scale and pilot research projects. The Research and Development Tax Incentive provides tax relief for businesses engaging in research and development.

The NSW Government’s A$400 million Regional Digital Connectivity program will bring faster, more reliable and more widespread digital coverage to Regional NSW, which will ultimately support the advanced manufacturing industry sector.

For more details, visit the assistance page.

Where NSW manufactured products are exported

Chart showing Trade statistical pivot tables - State by country and TRIEC pivot table 1990 to 2018.

Chart showing Trade statistical pivot tables - State by country and TRIEC pivot table 1990 to 2018.

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2019, Trade statistical pivot tables - State by country and TRIEC pivot table 1990 to 2018.

Established manufacturers that have already chosen Regional NSW

Success stories in the Regional NSW advanced manufacturing sector

Get in touch

Ian Smith

Director, NSW Office of Regional Economic Development
Office contacts
Suite 1, Level 1
47-59 Wingewarra Street
DUBBO NSW 2830
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