The United States, Germany and Japan, the world’s leading manufacturers, are about to be seriously challenged to keep their competitive edge against emerging nations such as China, India, and Brazil according to the 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s Global Manufacturing Industry group and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.
A massive power shift is underway that will change the manufacturing landscape suggest responses from 550 CEOs and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world. Currently the U.S. is listed as the world’s third most competitive manufacturing nation but predict it will be fifth in just five years putting it only slightly ahead of the Republic of Korea. They also predict Germany will drop from second to fourth place, Canada from seventh to eighth and Japan will drop out of the top 10 entirely to 12th place.
The survey predicts that within five years emerging nations will surge forward with Brazil moving from eighth to third place, India jumping from fourth to second place, and China remaining in first place. Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness says “…Emerging nations are growing fast and strong. Wise policies and practices could unleash American strengths, turbo-charge our manufacturing engines, and raise technology commercialization to new heights – driving U.S. economic growth and job creation.”
Ms. Wince-Smith also believes that even though the U.S. is expected to drop to fifth place in five years, it is still a very powerful competitor that is in an excellent position to lead the technological transformation in manufacturing.
Access to talented workers is the top indicator of a country’s competitiveness, followed by a country’s trade, financial and tax systems and then the cost of labor and materials revealed the index. According to CEOs, nothing was more important than the quality, availability and productivity of a nation’s workforce. Emerging nations struggle with local economic, trade, financial, legal and tax systems as well as supplier networks and physical infrastructure. Not surprisingly, they are extremely competitive with respect to local costs and availability of labor.
The 2013 Global Manufacturing Index is an initiative led by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited designed to determine how CEOs view the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in different countries around the world.
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