Perhaps I am dreaming, but there appears to be a “nudge” (not yet a trend) amongst the manufacturing firms I talk to towards a review of the cost/benefit of overseas sourcing of manufactured products.

At the end of the spectrum where ownership of IP, and innovation are important, firms appear to be reconsidering the value of “off-shoring”  recognising that keeping the processes that create value closer to home, where they can be developed, and leveraged with a more sensitive hand over the long term is better than taking a short term cost benefit.

This is not to say that there is any real future for commodity manufacturing in a high cost environment like Australia, apart from the very few areas where we should have a natural advantage, wool processing for instance, but there is a rich future for the development of sophisticated, market sensitive, innovation led manufacturing, so long as we are able to grasp the drivers of that success.