The AFA feels the Federal Government's support of innovation is very important to the manufacturing sector in general. However as it currently stands, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks the strength of Australia’s innovation environment in the bottom half of the OECD.

If we are benchmarking ourselves against the likes of Germany, then that may not seem so bad. But how about China, a country that made a name for itself as the factory of the world on the back of millions of workers paid next to nothing?

China rises up the innovation rankings. That’s the reality that Australia now faces: out of the 144 countries ranked by the WEF, the strength of China’s innovation environment now lies just seven places behind ours. And don’t forget: per-capita incomes in China are only around one-quarter of those in Australia.

We need to prepare for this to read more and