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United States expected to take top position from China as the most competitive manufacturing country, according to Deloitte report

Press release

NEW YORK, 6 April 2016 – The United States is expected to become the most competitive manufacturing nation over the next five years, with the current leader, China, slipping into second position, according to the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI) report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s (Deloitte Global) Global Consumer & Industrial Products Industry group and the US Council on Competitiveness (Council).

The prediction is based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies throughout the world. As in the 2010 and 2013 reports, the executives ranked 40 countries in terms of their current and future manufacturing competitiveness and also rated the top drivers of global manufacturing competitiveness (listed below).

“Made in the USA is making a big comeback,” said Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the US Council on Competitiveness. “Contrary to the view that manufacturing is falling behind the times, the study points to a manufacturing future characterized by advanced technologies and growth through innovation. Manufacturing is sustainable, smart, safe, and surging – and America is expected to be among the leaders in this industry transformation.”

CEOs say that advanced manufacturing technologies are a key to unlocking future competitiveness. Predictive analytics, the network connectivity of common objects known as the “Internet of Things” (IoT), smart products and smart factories that are helping to define “Industry 4.0”, and advanced materials are viewed by executives as crucial to global manufacturing competitiveness.

“The US is currently among the top nations unlocking advanced manufacturing technologies including smart, connected products and factories, predictive analytics, and advanced materials that are core to future competitiveness,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP in the US and Deloitte US Automotive Sector leader. “The US excels at creating connections and synergy between people, technology, capital, and organizations to form a cohesive ecosystem of innovation, generating tremendous value from investments in research and development.”

In the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index country rankings, regional clusters of strength emerge with North America and Asia dominating the competitive landscape. Three North American countries – US, Mexico and Canada – rank in the top 10 and are expected to remain there in the next five years. In the Asia Pacific region, five nations are expected to be in the top 10 by 2020 – China, Japan, India, Korea, and Taiwan – which only leaves two spots open for Germany and the United Kingdom to represent Europe in the top 10 by 2020.

Of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), only China is viewed by the respondents as a top 10 manufacturing country in 2016. Brazil fell from 8th in 2013 to 29th in 2016 while Russia fell from 28th in 2013 to 32nd in 2016. But, India, although currently ranked 11th, is expected to jump to the number five spot by 2020.

Another theme highlighted in the report is the rise of the Asia Pacific nations Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam (known by the acronym MITI V, or the “Mighty 5”). All of these countries are expected to be included in the top 15 nations by 2020 and could represent a “New China” in terms of low-cost labor, agile manufacturing capabilities, favorable demographic profiles, as well as market and economic growth.

Press contact

Stephen Soyland
Public Relations
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited
Tel: +1 212 492 4503
Mobile: +1 917 558 3444

Global CEO survey: 2016 Global manufacturing competitiveness index rankings by country

In addition to the country ranking, CEOs identified the top drivers of manufacturing competitiveness. Talent was the leading driver with focus on the quality and availability of highly skilled workers that facilitate a shift towards innovation and advanced manufacturing strategies. 73 percent of executives believe that Germany is “extremely competitive” on talent, followed by Japan at 67 percent, and the United States at 66 percent; these countries represent the top three most competitive nations on talent. Executives ranked cost competitiveness as the second most influential driver of overall competitiveness, followed by productivity, supplier networks, and legal and regulatory systems to round out the top five factors.

“In order to be globally competitive, talent has to be a top priority on the agendas of manufacturing companies," says Tim Hanley, Deloitte Global Leader for Consumer & Industrial Products Industry group. "Companies will need to be tuned into the needs of Millennials and the Generation Z workforce and use differentiated talent acquisition models and strategic retention strategies.”

Drivers of global manufacturing competitiveness
Drivers 2016 Rank
Talent 1
Cost competitiveness 2
Workforce productivity 3
Supplier network 4
Legal and regulatory system 5
Education infrastructure 6
Physical infrastructure 7
Economic, trade, financial, and tax system 8
Innovation policy and infrastructure 9
Energy policy 10
Local market attractiveness 11
Healthcare system 12


Visit www.deloitte.com/globalcompetitiveness to learn more about the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index.

About the 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index

The 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index (GMCI) report is the third study prepared by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (Deloitte Global) Global Consumer & Industrial Products Industry group and the US Council on Competitiveness, with prior studies published in 2010 and 2013. This multi-year research platform is designed to help global industry executives and policy makers evaluate drivers that are key to company and country level competitiveness as well as identify which nations are expected to offer the most competitive manufacturing environments through the end of this decade. The 2016 study includes more than 500 survey responses from senior manufacturing executives around the world. For more information concerning the specifics of this study and its participants, please visit www.deloitte.com/globalcompetitiveness.

About the US Council on Competitiveness

Founded in 1986, the US Council on Competitiveness is a non-partisan leadership organization in the United States of corporate CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national laboratory directors committed to advancing US competitiveness in the global economy and a rising standard of living for all Americans. Dedicated to building US prosperity, the Council plays a powerful role in shaping America's future by setting an action agenda to assess US competitiveness, identify emerging forces transforming the economy, catalyze thought leaders who drive change and galvanize stakeholders to act.

Deloitte Global Consumer & Industrial Products Industry group

The Deloitte Global Consumer & Industrial Products Industry group (Global C&IP) comprises more than 22,000 member firm partners and industry professionals in over 45 countries. Deloitte member firms provide professional services to 84 percent of the C&IP industry companies on the Fortune Global 500®, making an impact that matters in business sectors representing the entire value chain from raw materials to the end consumer. The group brings deep industry knowledge, service line experience, and thought leadership to help solve complex business issues in every corner of the globe. Deloitte member firms attract, develop, and retain the very best professionals, and instill a set of shared values centered on integrity, commitment, and serving clients with distinction. Sectors served include automotive; chemicals and specialty materials, including metals, forest, paper and packaging; consumer products; industrial products and services, including aerospace and defense; retail, wholesale and distribution; as well as travel, hospitality and business services. 

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and high-quality service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. To learn more about how Deloitte’s approximately 225,000 professionals make an impact that matters, please connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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