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Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index

An in-depth analysis of survey responses

Over the next five years, 20th-century manufacturing stalwarts like the United States, Germany and Japan will be challenged to maintain their competitive edge to emerging nations such as China, India and Brazil, according to the Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (DTTL) Global Manufacturing Industry group and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

The report confirms that the landscape for competitive manufacturing is in the midst of a massive power shift – based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 550 chief executive officers (CEOs) and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world.

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The Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index once again ranks China as the most competitive manufacturing nation in the world both today, and five years from now. Germany and the United States round out the top three competitive manufacturing nations, but, according to the survey, both fall five years from now, with Germany ranking fourth and the United States ranking fifth, only slightly ahead of the Republic of Korea. The two other developed nations currently in the top 10 are also expected to be less competitive in five years: Canada slides from seventh to eighth place and Japan drops out of the top 10 entirely, falling to 12th place.

Global Manufacturing Competitiveness

The report found that access to talented workers is the top indicator of a country’s competitiveness – followed by a country’s trade, financial and tax system, and then the cost of labor and materials. Enhancing and growing an effective talent base remains core to competitiveness among the traditional manufacturing leaders – and increasingly among emerging market challengers as well.

Manufacturing still matters a great deal for the economic prosperity of 20th century powerhouses – and these nations continue to have enough going for them to stay in the game and even thrive.

2010 Index finds newcomer economies to gain ground

The 2010 Manufacturing Competitiveness report identified the emergence of a new group of leaders in the manufacturing competitive index over the next five years. These include Mexico, Poland, and Thailand — countries not always considered alongside longer-standing, up-and-comers like Brazil and Russia. Not unexpectedly, Asian giants like China, India, and the Republic of Korea are projected to dominate the index in five years, as they do now. Further, dominant manufacturing super powers of the late 20th century — the United States, Japan, and Germany — are expected to become less competitive over the next five years.

Competing seen as easiest in Asia, tougher in United States and Europe

The report identified a clear geographical divergence in the perception of public policy support for competitiveness. Most respondents from China think that their government makes competitiveness easy compared to respondents in Europe and the United States, with 70 percent of them citing government support of science, technology, and innovation as advantageous.

2010 Index finds newcomer economies to gain ground
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