Sunday, 11 May 2008

Manufacturing & Services Offshore - Is Singapore Heading in the Same Direction As Australia?

"I Still Call Australia 51% Home"... With the cost to do business increasing in many countries and our world shrinking in this era of globalization, it almost expected for services and manufacturing to be continually moving from country-to-country.

It has been well-known for many years that Australia (for reasons too numerous to mention here) can be very prohibitive for many MNCs (multi national companies) to setup or continue with major business or manufacturing hubs in most major cities there. I personally watched many of my friends (some after generations of service) accept redundancy packages when Eastman Kodak shifted their roll film manufacturing (finishing) operations to southern China (Xiamen) and Mexico not too many years ago. This was largely as a result of transitioning technologies - analog to digital - and associated factory excess capacity globally, but also due to high tarrifs, duties, taxes and labour in Australia.

Now unfortunately, another MNC in Singapore (to remain nameless) is travelling down a similar path and moving manufacturing operations offshore (to China, India and Latin America)... Around 500 people will lose their jobs here locally as a result. I comment on this with no animosity or criticism of the MNC, as I completely understand the realities of business and global competitiveness. However, my prayers and thoughts are with these people and their families through this time of uncertainty.

To lighten things up a little, here's a video 'spoof' of the Qantas advertisement in Australia when the decision was made to move much of this Ausssie icon's operations offshore... "I Still Call Australia 51% Home"... enjoy, have a laugh, and be strong...



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