Global Production Research

Our Industry Hotspots Reports Method & data


Our Industry Hotspots Reports (formerly Industry Trend Charts) are designed to provide insights into the evolving geography of manufacturing, focusing on the position and trends of emerging and frontier economies (EFE) as source countries at the level of individual product groups or industries.


The Reports are based on an analysis of cross-border trade flows, employing a toolbox that has been successfully applied and refined in assignments for a wide range of client organisations.

Competitiveness in foreign markets depends on the resources and productive capacity of the exporting country. Analogously, cross-border trade flows can be seen as reflecting the collective views of investors and managers on the merits of one country over another as a location of production in a given area of activity.

International trade data allow for meaningful comparisons of trade flows across countries at a similar level of development and for a limited period of time. Yet, it does not allow for any conclusions as to the value added involved.

EFE are defined as countries with a per-capita income not exceeding USD 20.000 in 2017. Manufacturing industries are defined in terms of their output, covering the product categories of Sections 5 8 (minus Division 68) of the Standard International Trade Classification (Rev. 3).


For individual industries (or product groups), the Hotspots Reports employ a set of metrics to describe:

overall trends in EFE exports, including key performance drivers and the origins / destinations of cross-border supply chains,

the leading EFE source countries, including likely medium-term 'winners' and 'losers',

profiles of individual EFE source countries, including the composition and sophistication of exports.


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