29 June 2010 16:02 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nigel Davis
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--As the G20 nations look for ways to address over-spending while still supporting growth, do manufacturers see opportunities or threats? In so many areas governments impose burdens on business - through tax systems and legislation designed to protect citizens and employees. At the same time they provide support for business development, for research and for new business growth.
But when times are tough, what gives?
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The prospect of ‘smaller’ government is welcomed by many, but private enterprise is challenged to do more at the individual and sectoral level.
Given the expected scale of the cuts it is clear that a great deal will change. Business support systems will disappear, or be devolved to different agencies. Less government spending is likely to have a negative impact on chemicals demand both directly and indirectly, particularly as infrastructure and other state-funded projects are hit.
A question is whether manufacturing takes up the challenge of doing more.
The situation in
Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris put down a challenge last week when, in an editorial in USA Today, he called for an “Advanced Manufacturing Plan” to rejuvenate the economy.
Liveris wants to see a revitalised manufacturing sector create more jobs and growth.
He recommended a focus on infrastructure, research and development, education to enhance manufacturing and science skills, and an alternative energy strategy that encourages efficiency.
“Manufacturing employs nearly 13m people in the
“How do we launch a manufacturing renaissance in
In different ways, that question is being asked worldwide. How do manufacturers stay competitive and flourish in times of great change? Opportunities will be grasped by the fit and able - and those not hide-bound by overbearing legislation. However, the over-arching threats at this phase in the recovery are of deflation and rising protectionism.
The move from stimulus to fiscal prudence opens up the fault lines in national economies. The impact will be felt for years to come.
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