David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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Introduction to NZMEA CEO, Dieter Adam

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In May I took over from John Walley, who stood at the helm for 16 years, as Chief Executive of the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association. While I hope to meet as many members as possible over the coming months to hear your stories, successes and concerns, I thought it was worth talking a bit about my background, to give a better feel of where I come from and what I hope to bring to the NZMEA.

I was born and grew up in Germany, with my formal education revolving around plant biotechnology, gaining a Ph.D. I also held research positions in this field in both Germany and Denmark, finally moving to New Zealand to take up an academic position at the University of Waikato in 1986. 

Following these research positions, I moved into the commercial world in 1994, holding senior management positions including R&D/Seed Production Manager, R&D Manager/Group General Manager Innovation and also acting as an Innovation Consultant, primarily in the biotechnology and agritech fields. 

My most recent experience stems from my position as Operations Director/Programme Leader Food & Beverage at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE). Here I focused on international business development, and spent the last five and a half years working alongside primarily food and beverage manufacturers.

This position contained a range of specific activities to promote business and trade, for example, setting up a collaborative programme to support market development for food and beverage exporters into Asian markets, working with infant formula manufacturers on access into the Chinese market after the Fonterra Whey Protein incident and, more generally, helping businesses take advantage of NZTE services and grants.

As part of my work at NZTE I sought and set up inter-agency working groups with other government agencies on a number of export-related projects, involving the Ministries of Foreign Affairs & Trade (MFAT), Primary Industries (MPI), and Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) – experience and relationships I bring to my new role for the benefit of the NZMEA and our members going forward.

I have always had a passion for innovation, in all its facets; products, services as well as internal business processes. Innovation is paramount to the success of the manufacturing and exporting industries, but innovation without strategy can be a lottery. Conversely, strategy without innovation sees a business left in the dust by your competitors. I hope to use my experience in this area both to improve the quality and efficiency of NZMEA services, but also to support our members in their endeavours in terms of both innovation and strategy in parallel.

Over the coming months I hope to continue to learn more about our members, what the needs and desires are and how the NZMEA can help manufacturers and exporters succeed. It is clear New Zealand cannot survive without a strong manufacturing sector to sustain other parts of the economy and provide the export income we need to improve standards of living and invest in the future of our economy and society at large. The determination exhibited by manufacturers and exporters needs and deserves an environment where economic polices support growth and where there is a greater public appreciation of the indispensable role that manufacturers play in New Zealand’s economy – in their own right, and as suppliers and partners to other sectors of the economy.

Though I am still in the early days at the NZMEA, I plan to continue to push this idea of the vital importance of manufacturing to our economy, promoting the opportunities it can provide to both the general public and with government and officials, and help foster understanding of what the manufacturing sector actually is, and the challenges it faces to grow in a competitive global environment – better outcomes start with better understanding. 

tags: dieter adam, manufacturing, exports, growth, innovation


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