Global Production Research

Insights into the New Manufacturing Locations

Selected business news articles on global production

This section provides web links to selected business news articles, focusing on the development, organisation and competitiveness of industrial operations in emerging economies.
Why clothing makers are finding it hard to break with China's supply chain

From Adidas to Nike, apparel and footwear makers have been shifting their supply chains out of China, pushed by geopolitical tensions and pulled by lower manufacturing costs. But amid mounting global economic uncertainties and weakening consumer demand, many are discovering that finding alternative production hubs comes with its own challenges. According to a senior manager of Bata Group, “That mature ecosystem, established over decades in China, not only ensures competitive price points, but also delivers stable quality at mass production that’s hard to copy.”

South China Morning Post | 31 October 2023

Malaysia aims for chip comeback as Intel, Infineon and more pile in

Malaysia became an early leader in Asian chipmaking by attracting many foreign chipmakers back in the 1970s. Nicknamed "the Silicon Valley of the East," it lost ground to the likes of South Korea and Taiwan thanks to the rise of homegrown players Samsung Electronics and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in the 1990s. Now the country is hoping to make a comeback as the industry pushes to diversify production amid flaring U.S.-China tensions. | 5 October 2023

Morocco's carmaking sector revs up for EV era

In 2010, Morocco produced fewer than 60,000 cars. Last year, despite interruptions to the supply chain during the Covid pandemic, production reached a record 465,000. Eventually, the government aims to produce up to 1mn cars a year. But more important than the headline number of vehicles made in Morocco, most of which are sold in Europe, is the kingdom’s success in forcing the backward integration of its automotive supply chain. There are now more than 250 automotive suppliers, many of them subsidiaries of foreign companies, in the country, employing some 220,000 people. | 5 October 2023

India is serious about becoming a global electronics hub

The expansion of India's manufacturing ecosystem has become an increasing strategic imperative for the government, particularly as it seeks to curb overreliance on Chinese imports and to attract multinationals diversifying their supply chains. The government views electronics manufacturing as an important route to achieving its economic goals and sees the sector as a high-potential contributor to growth in gross domestic product and exports.

Nikkei Asia | 25 September 2023

Huawei makes processor breakthrough in flagship smartphone

Huawei is emulating Apple in developing the processors that power its latest smartphone, a breakthrough that will help the Chinese company to reduce its reliance on foreign technology as it confronts US sanctions. Analysis of the main chip inside the Mate 60 Pro smartphone, which launched at the end of last month and immediately sold out, reveals that Huawei has joined the elite group of Big Tech companies capable of designing their own semiconductors. | 20 September 2023

The reconfiguration of global supply chains

Following ongoing geopolitical shifts, material and talent shortages, and an expanding climate crisis, U.S. logistics managers are witnessing the Asian network of supply chains becoming more diverse. The greatest shift is happening in China, as companies are shifting production to other emerging markets in order to break through bottlenecks in the supply chain and mitigate other risks. This “China plus” strategy involves more than 40 countries in Asia, Middle East, and Latin America.

Logistics Management | 5 September 2023

India and Thailand jockey for spot on Asia's chipmaking map

The full-fledged entry of India and Thailand into the race for semiconductor-manufacturing investment has symbolized the flurry of activity to redraw the industrial map in Asia. India and Thailand are among a collection of governments that have become well attuned to the shifting stances of the chip companies.

Nikkei Asia | 15 August 2023

iPhone maker Foxconn's cautious pivot to India shows limits of 'China plus one'

Multinationals’ desire for a “China plus one” strategy, following supply chain disruptions and geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing, is driving Foxconn into a renewed push into India, where it first invested 15 years ago but where it still only employs some 50,000 of its 1mn global workforce. | 14 August 2023

How China cornered the market for clean tech

China is responsible for the production of about 90 per cent of the world’s rare earth elements, at least 80 per cent of all the stages of making solar panels and 60 per cent of wind turbines and electric-car batteries. The rise and rise of China’s clean tech companies poses a massive competitive threat to western manufacturing industries, including legacy carmakers and energy giants. And in the context of a worsening technological cold war with the west, those capabilities could become a source of leverage for China. | 9 August 2023

The factories on the front line of China's economic slowdown

From slowing global demand to rising geopolitical tensions and a tentative post-Covid recovery, China’s manufacturers are facing some of the strongest headwinds in years. The tale of three factories — spanning footwear and electronics — illustrates how manufacturers are experiencing a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy. | 1 August 2023

HP to move production of millions of computers to Thailand and Mexico

HP is working with suppliers to shift production of millions of consumer and commercial laptops to Thailand and Mexico this year, in the top US computer maker’s first substantial move to diversify its personal computer supply chain beyond China. Thailand already has a number of PC suppliers, which could facilitate HP’s shift, while production in Mexico would help the company better serve its primary North American market. | 27 July 2023

DHL invests EUR 500mn in Latin America as clients expand supply chains beyond China

The logistics group is building new warehouses across alternative manufacturing hubs such as Mexico, Malaysia and Vietnam as businesses try to diversify their sourcing. According to DHL’s head of supply chain business, storage facilities in these countries are filling up almost as soon as they opened. Businesses are not shutting down operations in China, but “instead of making the next investment of growth in China, it is done in alternative markets”. | 12 July 2023

The carmaker from Vietnam looking to take on Tesla

Speed is of the essence at VinFast, the upstart carmaker hoping to become Vietnam’s answer to Tesla. The company was founded just six years ago. Now VinFast says it is capable of producing a quarter of a million vehicles a year, while the company is trying to break into the US market and is heading for a New York stock market listing this month. | 5 July 2023

Vietnam becomes vital link in supply chain as business pivots from China

The accelerating shift to countries such as Vietnam is part of a growing “China plus one” strategy to redraw global supply chains. As rivalries grow between China and the US over technology and security, more companies fear curbs on what and where they can manufacture. As a result, many are supplementing production in China, still the world’s biggest manufacturing hub, with expansion to other countries. | 3 July 2023

China's dominance of solar poses difficult choices for the west

The vast majority of the solar panels on which the world will spend more this year than on oil will come from just one nation. China manufactures 80 per cent of all the solar panels produced globally. And, China’s dominance is even more pronounced when one examines the entire supply chain. It produces 85 per cent of the global supply of solar cells, 88 per cent of solar-grade polysilicon, and 97 per cent of the silicon ingots and wafers that form the core of solar cells. | 22 June 2023

Why does so much of the world's manufacturing still take place in China?

With the current geopolitical challenges between China and the United States, as well as the ongoing supply chain issues affecting manufacturers and consumers, there has been much talk about moving global manufacturing out of China. But despite the talk, U.S.-China trade reached a record level in 2022, with no signs of any slowing in the near future.

The Conversation | 14 June 2023

China set to account for less than half of US's low-cost imports from Asia

According to Kearney, the management consulting firm, US efforts to reduce reliance on China, as well as price-sensitive American buyers, are driving trade towards lower-cost alternatives in Asia. "By the end of 2023, China’s portion of US imports” from low-cost Asian countries, excluding Japan and South Korea, “will have dropped below 50 per cent", said one of the report’s authors. | 4 June 2023

Lego to other Vietnam producers: Stop chasing cheapest cost

Factories relocating to Vietnam must stop putting profit before the environment, Danish toymaker Lego says, as the supply-chain shift from China continues to funnel new business into the country. At the same time, Lego’s Vice Prsident calls on Vietnam "to be damn serious about the country’s environmental targets", adding that the company "will be monitoring" progress on meeting them.

Nikkei Asia | 2 June 2023

Global supply chain relocation: China's loss is India, Vietnam's gain

According to a recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report, the countries most likely to benefit from the global supply chain changes are India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Mexico, Turkey, and Poland. This assertion is backed by the fact that many of these countries have managed to attract substantial foreign direct investment (FDI) in the last few years.

The Economic Times | 30 May 2023

Indonesia challenges Thailand's title as the "Detroit of Asia"

Thailand is scrambling to defend its position as the "Detroit of Asia" as Indonesia closes the gap in auto production by leveraging its mining resources to capitalize on a global shift to EVs and other new energy vehicles. Looking just at passenger cars, Indonesia's production exceeded that of Thailand in 2014 and has recently doubled its rival's output.

Nikkei Asia | 28 May 2023

China's car market has become a Darwinian battleground

For most foreign auto groups, the good days in China are now over. The likes of VW, Ford and Toyota have been caught out in China by two fundamental transitions. First, the pace at which consumers will abandon the internal combustion engine. And second, the rise of China’s homegrown electric vehicle groups. | 26 May 2023

Higher Mexican wages complicate push for non-China supply chains

Demands by labor unions and stricter standards for tariff relief are squeezing manufacturers from Japan and elsewhere that have set up shop in Mexico. The trend comes as supply chain risks caused by U.S.-China tensions accelerate a push for nearshoring, or a moving production closer to target markets. The recent headwinds could force companies that sought to take advantage of cheap Mexican labor to produce goods for the neighboring U.S. market to reassess their strategy.

Nikkei Asia | 24 May 2023

Chinese tech entrepreneurs go on global offensive

"Chinese entrepreneurs face intense competition at home and an uncertain business environment, so it makes sense many are looking at opportunities abroad", according to an investor at start-up accelerator Plug and Play. The growing success of China’s leading tech and industrial groups in global markets is also providing encouragement. | 15 May 2023

Adidas goes local as it fights to overcome crisis in China

Adidas wants to win back “the hearts and minds” of Chinese consumers with patriotic clothing lines to claw back share in its once-biggest growth market. Reviving the group’s fortunes in China is a top priority for new chief executive Björn Gulden, who joined the brand from Puma in January to turn round Nike’s biggest rival. | 24 April 2023

What India can learn from Vietnam's blueprint to replace China as a manufacturing hub

According to global consulting firm Kearney, India has an "excellent window of opportunity" to become a global manufacturing hub in the long run. But the country missed the benefits of the manufacturers’ shift out of China in 2018 – 2019, while Vietnam made most of it. The Southeast Asian country followed the template of newly industrialised economies such as the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Thailand.

The Economic Times | 20 April 2023

Revving up innovation and manufacturing in India for the medtech sector

The medical devices sector in India has the potential to deliver tremendous growth to the country’s economy. As per estimates by the Government of India, the sector is pegged to grow at 26% p.a. to reach a size of USD 50 bn by 2030. These are extremely bullish projections for an industry whose share in the global medical devices market is currently 1.5%.

The Economic Times (Healthworld) | 19 April 2023

Thailand, Indonesia emerge as bigger links in EV supply chain

Thailand and Indonesia have become two of the hottest Asian destinations for investment in parts and materials for electric vehicles, as Japanese, Chinese and South Korean players race to get in at the start of EV production in the region.

Nikkei Asia | 18 April 2023

China Inc. keen on setting up shop in the US despite tensions

Foreign companies have for years been shifting production away from China as relations between Washington and Beijing deteriorated. But now even Chinese players —- from major manufacturers to small businesses —- are finding reasons to set up shop in the U.S.

Nikkei Asia | 31 March 2023

From Apple to Boeing, India is being put to the test as China manufacturing alternative

India’s dream of becoming the new factory of the world will have to overcome longstanding hurdles. A formidable bureaucracy, lagging infrastructure and labyrinthine red tape have forced many foreign businesses to either shun India or shutter their local operations. A lack of skilled labor and innovation, poor production quality, and a reluctance to adopt rapidly evolving technology are also seen as hindrances.

CNBC | 12 March 2023

How viable is Vietnam as a "friend-shoring" destination?

Vietnam has been pursuing a two-tier foreign policy focused on the continuation of one-party rule and strengthening of national defense. Under the policy, the Communist Party strives to maintain friendly ties with China while the government seeks to bolster security ties with the U.S. to counter China's naval expansion in the South China Sea. While some observers foresee little change in Vietnam’s foreign policy, others maintain that it is moving in a less pro-Western direction.

Nikkei Asia | 5 March 2023

Global firms are eyeing Asian alternatives to Chinese manufacturing

The deepening decoupling between Beijing and Washington is forcing manufacturers of high-tech products to reconsider their reliance on China. The question for Dell, Samsung, Sony and their peers is: where to make stuff instead? No single country offers China’s vast manufacturing base. Yet taken together, a patchwork of economies across Asia presents a formidable alternative.

Yahoo Finance | 20 February 2023

Central America: Nearshoring textiles has been a success

Historic levels of private sector investment and sourcing commitments going into Central America have accelerated the two-way textile and apparel trade with the United States, reshaped global sourcing and simultaneously created more jobs and bolstered the region’s economies.

THE HILL | 18 February 2023

What it would take for Apple to disentangle itself from China

Apple is facing political, strategic and investor pressure to dramatically cut its manufacturing reliance on China. But if the relationship is untenable, it is also near-unbreakable. The operations that Apple orchestrates are so complex and massive that it is not at all clear the world’s biggest company has any viable options to overhaul the way it rolls out USD 316bn worth of iGadgets each year. | 18 January 2023

China's carmakers outstrip foreign brands in its electrical vehicle boom

China’s booming electric vehicle industry is forecast to further cement its global dominance this year, shrugging off US and European efforts to catch up and posing a threat to foreign groups reliant on the world’s biggest car market. The biggest winners are a clutch of fast-growing local companies that are outperforming foreign carmakers. | 17 January 2023

Dell looks to phase out "made in China" chips by 2024

US computer maker Dell aims to stop using chips made in China by 2024 and has told suppliers to significantly reduce the amount of other “made in China” components in its products as part of efforts to diversify its supply chain amid concerns over Washington-Beijing tensions. | 12 January 2023

Karnataka's Aerospace & Defence sector to gain from indigenous push

India is estimated to have the potential to capture 9% of the global space industry by 2030. Karnataka, at the vanguard of the country’s Aerospace & Defence sector, accounting for 65% of aerospace-related exports and 70% of its supplier base, stands to gain from increased government procurement.

The New Indian Express | 2 January 2023

Carmakers quietly cut ties with China in supply chain shake-up

Over the past 20 years, China has risen from obscurity to become a global leader in the car parts industry. But international groups have now launched a quiet yet concerted effort to cut their reliance on China’s sprawling network of components makers. A key reason is their concern about a breakdown in China’s relations with the international community that could threaten trade. Although most international groups are unlikely to abandon the Chinese market because of its size, they expect the flow of components from the country to plants across the world to fall over time. | 27 December 2022

Samsung increases bet on Vietnam with USD 220m R&D hub

Samsung Electronics has launched a USD 220 million research and development center in Hanoi, planning to make Vietnam the company's key global strategic base, as the Southeast Asian country already produces half of the South Korean tech giant's smartphones. The facility marks the most concrete progress yet in Vietnam's struggle to move past cheap manufacturing and acquire tech know-how from Samsung.

Nikkei Asia | 23 December 2022

Tata to enter chipmaking in India

India's Tata Group will begin producing semiconductors in the country within a few years, a move that the chairman of the group's main company said will make the South Asian country a key part of global chip supply chains. In a recent interview with Nikkei Asia, Tata Sons Chairman N. Chandrasekaran revealed that the conglomerate plans to launch new businesses in emerging fields such as electric vehicles.

Nikkei Asia | 9 December 2022

The electric vehicle boom in a quiet Hungarian town

In just a few years, Hungary has transformed itself into a potential electric vehicles powerhouse, centred on Debrecen. By 2030, battery production in this town of 200,000 people alone will rival every European country other than Germany. The investment boom was ignited by German automaker BMW, which is building a Euro 2bn electric vehicle factory in the town. | 29 November 2022

H&M has big sourcing plans for Bangladesh

H&M has a big plan for sourcing for Bangladesh although the price will increase by up to 12 per cent following the country's graduation from the grouping of the least-developed countries in 2026. After becoming a developing nation, Bangladesh will lose its preferential market access and face 10 to 12 per cent duty on its exports. However, it will enjoy the duty preference in the European Union up to 2029 as the trade bloc has extended a three-year grace period.

The Daily Star | 17 November 2022

Foreign companies adopt "China for China" strategy

Rather than rely on Chinese factories to produce goods that are ultimately sold elsewhere, foreign companies are adopting a “China for China” strategy, which aims to draw on deeper research and development facilities in the country to make products for a vast, growing domestic market. | 15 November 2022

How is India emerging in the global manufacturing sector

India is on the road to becoming a major global manufacturing hub. Through the implementation of different programmes and policies, the Indian government hopes to have 25% of the economy’s output come from manufacturing by 2025.

The Times of India | 14 November 2022

Latin America: The role of nearshoring in shoring up supply chains

While Latin America will not replace China anytime soon, nearshoring in the region is not only feasible but also a concrete reality that has the potential to bring substantial supply chain benefits to producers, to consumers, and to the nations that have competitive assets in manufacturing and services.

The Wilson Quarterly | Fall 2022

Chinese electric carmakers take on Europe

For years, China’s own carmakers were confined to their home market, and even there struggled to compete with western or Japanese brands with petrol engine models. But the advent of electric vehicles has given the brands their first shot at dominance — not just in their own market, but finally on the international stage. | 27 October 2022

Vietnam wires into global electronics

Between 2010 and 2020, exports of electronics, computers and components from Vietnam grew at an average annual rate of 28.6 per cent. This was mainly the result of domestic reforms in the mid-2000s, especially the 2005 Enterprises Law and the 2000 Investment Law, allowing foreign firms to acquire majority shareholdings in domestic enterprises.

East Asia Forum | 25 October 2022

Inside Schneider Electric's "Make in India, Make for the World" push

Schneider Electric, a specialist in energy management and automation, has recently laid the foundation of a new "smart factory" in Hydrabad, India. The company is betting big on leveraging domestic capacities to produce world-class products: 75% of whatever is produced in the new facility will be exported, and only 25% sold locally.

The Economic Times | 13 October 2022

After decades in China's shadow, South-East Asia has arrived

According to a recent Asian Development Bank report, South-East Asian nations are set to surpass China as the fastest-growing major economies in Asia. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have forged ahead with a series of proactive trade and industrial policies, boosting domestic manufacturing. Thanks to its youthful and skilled workforce, and increasingly stable political environment, the region has also emerged as a top investment destination.

The National | 13 October 2022

Apple expands iPhone production in India in shift away from China

Apple has begun producing its iPhone 14 model in southern India less than a month after it was launched, as the company works to diversify its supply chains out of China and expand production in India. The increased production in India is a win for prime minister Narendra Modi’s government, which has been working to boost domestic manufacturing and exports through its “Make in India” campaign. | 26 September 2022

Vietnam's battle to climb the global value chain

Vietnam's success in attracting supply chain business has created a dilemma for policymakers. Whereas the country has recorded technology export growth that no substantial Asian rival has matched, it added little value of its own to these exports and has no homegrown tech champions.

Nikkei Asia | 21 September 2022

European companies forced to take a closer look at supply chains

Following the Covid pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, shortfalls in the just-in-time model, where supply chains have to be as efficient as possible in terms of delivery times and cost, are now clear for all to see. Yet, while more attention has to be paid to due diligence on suppliers, the capacity to compile and analyse data is often not good enough. | 20 September 2022

How mobile device manufacturing is boosting growth in Egypt's electronics sector

Egypt’s manufacturing sector is not known for a high degree of specialization in electronics. But homegrown companies have forged a path for the manufacturing of local electronics, boosting Egypt’s potential to be a regional high-tech manufacturing powerhouse. | 16 August 2022

Indian toy manufacturers bolster production as demand rises; eye global markets

Favourable government policies have boosted domestic manufacturing and helped the industry to explore global markets and enhance exports. Increasing customs duties on imported toys and mandating Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification requirements for imports have given the necessary push to the Indian toy industry.

Mint | 14 August 2022

South-east Asian manufacturers sweat as US mulls tougher tariff rules

The Generalized System of Preferences was established in the 1970s to help developing countries by reducing tariffs on up to 5,000 products, ranging from bags and jewellery to mattresses and car parts. It plays an important role in regional manufacturing — its top five beneficiaries include Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines. However, the scheme, which covered about USD16bn in imports in 2020, has been inactive since the end of that year, when its most recent extension expired. | 7 July 2022

Why Mexico is missing its chance to profit from US-China decoupling

For American manufacturers scrambling to dodge newly imposed tariffs on Chinese imports, the attraction of moving production to their southern neighbour seemed clear. Mexico offered a skilled workforce, good road and rail connections, an established export industry and privileged trade access. However, between 2018 and 2021 the proportion of manufactured goods imported into the US from Mexico has barely changed. | 3 July 2022

Is time running out for Africa to industrialize?

Despite efforts made to industrialize, Africa's share of global manufacturing remains negligible. The continent’s industrialization is geographically limited with around two-thirds of value-added manufacturing taking place in just five nations; South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Nigeria.

Africanews | 30 June 2022

How bad is China's manufacturing exodus?

China retains tremendous advantages as a manufacturing center built up over the past several decades, and its enormous and rapidly expanding domestic market provides a powerful incentive for investment in capacity of all kinds. So far, most of the manufacturing leaving China has been in lower-end processes. Southeast Asian nations, and even India, still have enormous hurdles to overcome in competing with China.

Nikkei Asia | 28 June 2022

Why India isn't a global manufacturing hub

India is a country of 1.4 billion people with a rising middle class. On the face of it, the country presents untapped growth potential. Why would companies not want to grow their manufacturing footprint in the fastest-growing economy? Especially when the world’s factory, China, is struggling with serious economic challenges. The answer lies somewhere in the complexities of an uncertain and volatile regulatory landscape. 

Forbes India | 27 June 2022

Comparing Mexico and Indonesia as manufacturing hubs for US investors

With the trade war between the US and China showing no signs of abating, Indonesia and Mexico are becoming increasingly important to US businesses engaging in manufacturing operations. Both countries represent good investment destinations for companies with a China footprint seeking to diversify their supply chains.

ASEAN Briefing | 1 June 2022

Electric vehicles accelerate China's looming dominance as car exporter

The opening of Tesla’s Shanghai factory in 2019 was a breakthrough for electric vehicles and for overseas carmakers: it was the first wholly foreign-owned plant in the world’s largest car market. But it also marked the start of an even bigger trend, which promises to upend the structure of global manufacturing, bring a new wave of deindustrialisation to Europe and trigger trade tensions of an intensity to match the 1980s. That trend is the emergence of China as a car exporter. | 1 June 2022

Textiles & Apparel: Is Turkey an emerging global sourcing hub?

COVID-19 has impacted the global supply chains and made textile and apparel sourcing difficult. Turkey with its skilled workforce, production flexibility, and years of experience has emerged as a viable location for textiles and apparel sourcing. But it has its fair share of challenges.

Fibre2Fashion | June 2022

Vietnam fires digital salvo to become manufacturing center

There was a time when manufacturing operations moved to new locations because setup costs and labor were cheaper. This is what underpinned China’s significant advance earlier this century. More recently, it has worked for Vietnam, which has also benefitted from the US-China freeze as it ramps up its manufacturing sector. However, there appears to be a new differentiator: the implementation of smart factory technologies and processes. And once again, Vietnam is leading the charge.

CDOTrends | 30 May 2022

India on path to becoming global manufacturing hub for electric vehicles

India’s electric vehicle (EV) segment has witnessed sales growth of 218% in 2021-2022 as compared to the previous fiscal year with the onset of favourable government policies, incentive schemes, and subsidies. The commitment to achieve 100% e-mobility by 2030 along with central and various state governments’ policies and schemes have been driving the nation’s EV segment at an exponential speed. FAME, or Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric vehicles is currently India’s flagship scheme for promoting electric mobility.

The Times of India | 20 May 2022

Indonesia's top drugmaker Kalbe Farma to boost ASEAN expansion

Top Indonesian drugmaker Kalbe Farma has announced the establishment of a joint venture in the Philippines as the company expands across Southeast Asia. Kalbe will control 60% of Kalbe Ecossential International, while Philippine consumer goods distributor Ecossential Foods will hold the remaining 40%. The joint venture is expected to help increase Kalbe's sales of its nutrition products in the Philippines before later introducing others such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, as well as herbal medicines in Southeast Asia's second most populous nation after Indonesia.

Nikkei Asia | 19 May 2022

Africa faces hard knocks as rich countries take manufacturing back home

The global economic crisis, triggered by the outbreak of the COVID pandemic in 2020 and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February this year, has intensified the risk of declining trade integration between countries. For Africa, a deglobalising world poses serious risks. According to a recent World Bank report, reversing globalisation through the reshoring of value chains has the potential to push an additional 52 million people into extreme poverty.

The Conversation | 25 April 2022

India: Philips starts manufacturing radio frequency coils under PLI scheme

Philips India has started manufacturing radio frequency (RF) coils, used in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems, in the country. India has become the hub for manufacturing these MR coils for Philips globally. These products are also being supplied to other OEMs across the world. Philips was among the first companies to avail of the government’s production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme that supported local manufacturing of the MR coil.

Financial Express | 23 April 2022

Morocco turns to hi-tech manufacturing

Making the most of its geographical position on the edge of Europe, Morocco’s economic success over many years had been built on low-cost manufacturing of food, textiles and other lower cost goods that benefited from trade deals with the European Union. Now, however, the focus has switched to higher value, higher tech sectors, such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace and the automotive sector, with Moroccan companies working with international partners to build integrated supply chains.

African Business | 19 April 2022

U.S. companies face hurdles in moving production closer to home

Companies looking to make their supply chains more resilient with nearshoring strategies may only be bringing production problems closer to home, experts say. U.S. importers who are studying shifting their sourcing from the Asia-Pacific region to Mexico and deeper into Latin America are finding it tougher to find suppliers with the right raw materials, production quality and networks for getting their own components that have been established in manufacturing hubs like China and Southeast Asia. Reproducing that capacity and re-creating clusters of suppliers under a nearshoring strategy will take years.

The Wall Street Journal | 18 April 2022

Help wanted: tech firms in Vietnam seek Chinese speakers

The rising demand for Vietnamese employees who speak Chinese is just the latest symptom of factories shifting to the south-east Asian nation. Higher costs and risks in China, including its trade war with the US, motivated companies from many countries to make the shift. But among Vietnam’s major investors, mainland China made the biggest leap — its cumulative investment doubled in the past five years. When also factoring in the increases from Taiwan and Hong Kong, the shortage of workers who can translate between Chinese and Vietnamese becomes even more profound. | 21 March 2022

China tech champions Luxshare, Goertek move into chip assembly

Two of Apple's most important Chinese product assemblers are venturing into chip packaging for the iPhone maker. For Apple, having two more chip assemblers in its supply chain gives the California tech giant more bargaining power. For Beijing, having domestic companies move up the value chain and into the more technology-intensive arena of semiconductors helps it to build a fully independent chip industry that is insulated from U.S. crackdowns and other geopolitical pressures.

Nikkei Asia | 16 March 2022

How Southeast Asia is getting ready for the electric vehicle revolution

Governments in Southeast Asia are floating very ambitious plans to capture a share of the electric vehicle market. The aim is to create various opportunities for the regional industry, both for the export business as well as domestically.

The Jakarta Post | 16 March 2022

India's semiconductor push is well worth it

As the IC (integrated circuits) business accounts for more than 80 per cent of the total economic value of the semiconductor market, it is high time India takes steps to create an ecosystem for attaining self-reliance. A typical semiconductor value chain includes strong research and development followed by design, production, assembly, testing and distribution and logistics network.

The Hindu Business Line | 13 March 2022

Indonesia's newest province chases USD 132bn industrial dream

Indonesia's newest province on Borneo island, North Kalimantan, holds the key to the government's ambition to transform Indonesia into a high-tech, low-carbon economy. The green industrial park in North Kalimantan is expected to become a primary showcase of the country’s economic transformation.

Nikkei Asia | 7 March 2022

Great Wall Motor ploughs USD 1.9bn into Brazil as global expansion picks up

The Baoding-headquartered group will open its biggest operation outside China at a former Mercedes-Benz factory in the interior of São Paulo state, serving as an export hub in Latin America. The Brazil venture reflects the importance of Latin America to Chinese carmakers in their efforts to diversify markets and access resources. | 28 January 2022

Rising exports mask skills gap in Cambodia's garment industry

Cambodia's garment industry already employs over 750,000 people and generates more than a third of the country's gross domestic product. But it also suffers from a wider problem plaguing the economy: it is built on low-skilled, low-cost labor, a model that some say will eventually catch up with the nation.

Nikkei Asia | 21 January 2022

A plot to challenge Beijing's growing clout in manufacturing

With trade wars and rising wage rates having dented the relative advantage of Chinese manufacturing, the pandemic and the resulting quest to diversify global supply chains has encouraged some countries to reinvent themselves as manufacturing hubs catering to demand from the rest of the world.

The Economic Times | 19 January 2022

Why manufacturing is driving Vietnam's growth

As global businesses seek to diversify, increase resiliency and connectivity of their supply chains and decrease reliance on a single country, Vietnam has become a top destination for investment in manufacturing due to its strategic location and advantages in shipping, competitive labor, and production costs.

Vietnam Briefing (Dezan Shira & Associates) | 4 January 2022

Hugo Boss moves production closer to home to shorten supply chain

German fashion house Hugo Boss is expanding production capacity closer to its base in Europe to reduce its dependence on south-east Asia at a time when global supply chains are under severe pressure. Facing supply chain disruptions with supply shortages, delays and higher shipping costs, Hugo Boss is enlarging its factory in Izmir, Turkey, where it plans to hire almost 1,000 more workers, increase staff by a third and invest more in machinery and tools. | 30 December 2021

China lays out five-year plan to be global robotics hub

China has unveiled a five-year plan to drive its ambition of becoming a global innovation hub for robotics by 2025. It hopes to get there by focusing on enhancements in key components such as servomotors and control panels. The Chinese government is expecting high-end advanced robots to be adopted across more sectors, including automobile, aerospace, railway, logistics, and mining.

ZDNet | 29 December 2021

Shein: the Chinese company storming the world of fast fashion

Shein has seized over a quarter of the US fast-fashion market and its rapid growth threatens to disrupt established global players such as Spain’s Inditex and Sweden’s H&M. The business is built around the fast-fashion model pioneered by others, including Inditex’s Zara. But through use of automation, artificial intelligence and a well-drilled supply chain, Shein has found a way to do it both cheaper and faster. | 9 December 2021

Lego to invest USD 1bn in new Vietnam factory

Danish toymaker Lego is to invest more than USD 1bn in building a factory in Vietnam to respond to increased demand in Asia and to make its supply chain more resilient following a series of shocks from Covid-19. It will be the sixth factory for the world’s largest toymaker following one in China, three in Europe and one in Mexico, and will mostly serve south-east Asian countries as Lego looks to capitalise on the rise of the middle-class in the region. | 8 December 2021

Why companies are flocking to Batu Kawan Industrial Park (in Penang, Malaysia)

The Batu Kawan Industrial Park — part of a comprehensive master plan to develop 7,000 acres on Batu Kawan Island — houses about 160 companies, comprising a mix of foreign multinational corporations and local companies. Business leaders highlight the key factors that contributed to their decision to invest in Batu Kawan, namely: the availability of skilled labour, proximity to their regional customers, and ease of doing business.

The Edge Markets | 18 November 2021

The prescription for India to create USD 400 billion in annual economic impact: Double down on manufacturing

India’s manufacturing revolution will increasingly need to be driven by large, global-scale conglomerates. Building global scale companies is an area where India lags significantly.

The Economic Times | 15 November 2021

Retailers lose love for Asia: Snarled supply chains force manufacturing exodus to Balkans, LatAm

Major clothing and shoe companies are moving production to countries closer to their U.S. and European stores, smarting from a resurgence in cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in Vietnam and China that slowed or shut down production for several weeks earlier this year. Their announcements come amid a massive shipping logjam that is driving up costs and forcing companies to rethink their globe-spanning supply chains and low-cost manufacturing hubs in Asia.

Reuters | 14 November 2021

China's Oppo joins race to develop own smartphone chips

China's leading smartphone maker Oppo is developing high-end mobile chips for its premium handsets in a bid to gain control over core components and reduce its reliance on foreign semiconductor suppliers Qualcomm and MediaTek. It is a bet on differentiating itself from other smartphone makers and softening the blow from the global processor shortage.

Nikkei Asia | 20 October 2021

How Morocco transformed itself into a carmaking hub

Despite modest local sales, Morocco has gained critical mass as an automotive manufacturing hub. In 2018, the kingdom surpassed South Africa as the biggest exporter of passenger cars on the continent. The Moroccan car industry now directly employs some 220,000 people, most of whom work for roughly 250 suppliers that have sunk roots in the country since carmakers began to gain real traction more than a decade ago. | 12 October 2021

China develops passenger jet, but 40% of parts suppliers are overseas

A Chinese-made passenger jet set to compete with American and European rivals counts roughly 40% of its core component suppliers as overseas companies, exposing the risks posed by U.S. trade frictions to a plane that has been under development for more than a decade. Chinese companies are supplying the fuselage and the wings. But a host of Western suppliers are providing the brains and heart of the plane -- the communication and flight control systems, among other core components.

Nikkei Asia | 2 October 2021

Fashion industry production is shifting to closer regions like Turkey

Fashion brands like Benetton are increasingly turning away from globe-spanning supply chains and low-cost manufacturing hubs in Asia, in a shift that could prove a lasting legacy of the coronavirus pandemic. Italy's Benetton is bringing production closer to home, boosting manufacturing in Turkey, Serbia, Croatia, Tunisia and Egypt, with the aim of halving production in Asia from the end of 2022.

Daily Sabah | 30 September 2021

COVID surge in Southeast Asia disrupts global supply chains

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting massive production disruptions in Southeast Asia will lead to greater diversification and a major reshaping of global supply chains, according to experts. The lockdowns and other measures have shown how stretched and fragile global supply chains are today. Having so many key industries like electronics and textile production concentrated in just a few places has been bad for many businesses.

Deutsche Welle | 5 September 2021

Reshoring – not as easy as it seems

Reshoring has shot up the trade lexicon as ties with China, the «factory of the world», become more unsettled and the pandemic pummels global supply chains. A growing number of executives say they want to diversify away from the Asian giant and make supply chains more resilient. However, many find reshoring is far from straightforward.

Global Trade Review | 12 August 2021

India's opportunity to become a global manufacturing hub

As global companies adapt their manufacturing and supply chain strategies to build resilience, India has a unique opportunity to become a global manufacturing hub. It has three primary assets to capitalize on this unique opportunity: the potential for significant domestic demand, the Indian Government’s drive to encourage manufacturing, and a distinct demographic edge, including a considerable proportion of young workforce.

Modern Diplomacy | 3 August 2021

Airbus expanding local supply chain in China

The reshaping of Airbus’ global supply chain during the pandemic will shift greater focus to China, the world’s fastest growing aviation market. According to the company’s Head of Procurement in China and East Asia, Airbus is building a «vertical integration supply chain» to source parts and materials, assemble, and deliver aircraft locally. The strategy will «lower costs of transportation and raise efficiency», adding that Airbus will also work collaboratively with local Chinese suppliers to bring them «in line with global Airbus standards», strengthening its ties and capabilities across the territory.

Supply Chain Digital | 3 August 2021

China's Baowu unseats ArcelorMittal as world's top steelmaker

China Baowu Steel Group became the world's largest steelmaker by volume in 2020, making it the first company to overtake ArcelorMittal in 19 years and the first Chinese player to climb to the top of the list. China's steelmakers have undergone major streamlining drives to curb overcapacity even as domestic demand remained strong. With seven of the world's top 10 producers now based in China, the country has emerged as a powerhouse in steel over veteran industry leaders like Japan.

Nikkei Asia | 9 July 2021

East Asia must adapt to retain its economic advantages

Global value chains have long formed the backbone of economic growth and trade, especially in East Asia. However, East Asia must not rest on its laurels and must continue to evolve. Low labor costs will always be attractive, but the quality of institutions, human capital and infrastructure can outweigh cost considerations when it comes to global value chain strategies.

Nikkei Asia | 14 June 2021

IKEA to help suppliers in India transit to 100% renewable power

Swedish home furnishing retailing major IKEA will launch a programme in India, Poland and China, helping suppliers there transit to 100 per cent renewable electricity. Under this initiative, the company would invest and support nearly 1,600 direct suppliers. By switching to renewable electricity, these suppliers will save 670,000 tonne of emissions per year, which is equivalent to approx 3 per cent of the total climate footprint of the IKEA value chain.

The Economic Times | 11 June 2021

The opportunity is ripe for India to develop as a global medtech hub

India happens to be the fourth largest-medical devices market in Asia and also holds the promise of the highest growth potential among all areas of the healthcare industry. Given this scenario the Indian medical devices industry has the prospect of becoming one of the biggest contributors to India’s health infrastructure, much the same way that the pharma industry has done.

The Times of India | 9 June 2021

FDI supports Vietnam climb the global value chain

Vietnam has successfully transformed into a manufacturing-oriented economy, supported by stronger global value chain participation following a rise in foreign direct investment, especially in the manufacturing industry. Over the past two decades, Vietnam's exports have diversified and grown exponentially, reaching USD 264 billion in 2019 — a 48-times increase from USD 5.5 billion in 1995 when it joined ASEAN. | 7 June 2021

Chinese supply chains prove resilient to global shocks and pressure

The trade war between the United States and China and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the vulnerability of complex global supply chains. These developments have prompted a re-evaluation of existing approaches to global sourcing and manufacturing activities to increase supply chain resilience and reduce external risks. It is not yet clear how China-centred supply chains have been affected. From preliminary evidence, the impact has not been uniform across industries. Instead, strategies of firms and industries may be heavily dependent on their relative ease of adjusting to external changes.

East Asia Forum | 27 May 2021

Foxconn the carmaker? Disruption in the era of electric vehicles

Foxconn is spearheading an entire class of electronics companies vying for a role in the carmaking industry. Pegatron, another Taiwanese company that began life making iPhones, is now assembling parts for electric cars for Tesla. Delta Electronics, a Taiwanese manufacturer of a wide range of power electronics components, makes EV charging modules and powertrains — the components that convert the engine’s power into movement. Their push into the automotive supply chain heralds a turning point in industrial history: the integration of two of the world’s largest industries — car manufacturing and electronics — which will both change beyond recognition. | 17 May 2021

Chinese carmaker GAC presses ahead with Myanmar factory plan

Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) is pressing ahead with plans to start manufacturing vehicles in Myanmar this year as part of the Chinese state-owned group's ambitious internationalization plan. According to industry experts, the Chinese domestic market is increasingly mature, forcing automakers to find new markets for their huge production capacity. Last year, GAC opened its first offshore factories in Nigeria and Tunisia, while signing a deal with a Malaysian assembler to explore the possibility of building and selling its vehicles there and in Vietnam.

Nikkei Asia | 22 April 2021

Despite the "Make in India" push, the share of manufacturing sector in the GDP has stayed stagnant

India has attempted to give an impetus to the manufacturing sector on multiple occasions in the last decade. In 2014 Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Make in India campaign in a bid to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. After the pandemic pushed India into its worst economic contraction since liberalisation in 1991, Modi, yet again, pitched India to become the world’s factory in an effort to capitalise on the United States-China trade war. These efforts have yielded little result with the share of manufacturing in GDP remaining stagnant at about 17%. | 13 April 2021

Fashion, Xinjiang and the perils of supply chain transparency

Fashion has found itself caught in the political crosshairs between western and Chinese governments, forced to choose between the demands of human rights groups, western consumers and their own employees on the one hand, and the impulse to please China and its consumers in the world’s second-largest economy on the other. | 9 April 2021

In charts: Asia's manufacturing dominance

Decades of investment from wealthy economies into lower-cost locations have entrenched geographical shifts in manufacturing. Production of semiconductors — the essential components of our digital infrastructure, vehicles and devices — has steadily declined in the west, with East Asia emerging as the main manufacturing hub. The US’s share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity fell from 37 per cent in 1990 to just 12 per cent last year, while Europe saw a 35 percentage point decline in the period, to 9 per cent. China’s mainland expanded its share from almost nothing to 15 per cent, a figure that is expected to rise to 24 per cent in the next decade. | 24 March 2021

Brazil's jet maker Embraer eyes home turf of China's COMAC

Brazilian jet maker Embraer, the world's top manufacturer of small passenger jets called regional jets, aims to expand its share in China. But China has its own homegrown aircraft maker, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC), and is keen to see the country's three major state-owned airlines use COMAC jets.

Nikkei Asia | 19 March 2021

China is still a tier-3 manufacturer in global rankings

Although having become a large manufacturer, China lacks the control of core technologies making up the top end of the global value chain. According to Miao Wei, former Minister of Industry and Information Technology, China remains heavily dependent on imports of basic components and technologies (over 50 percent come from abroad), integrated circuits (80 percent imported), large-scale and high-quality imports of castings and forgings (90 percent imported), and imports of high-end hydraulic parts and seals (100 percent dependent on imports).

China Briefing | 19 March 2021

Geely taps Foxconn's playbook to build EVs for other carmakers

Geely, China's largest private-sector automaker, has taken the first step toward becoming the Foxconn of electric vehicles. Geely and Foxconn, the Taiwanese Apple assembler, are establishing a 50-50 joint venture that will manufacture whole electric vehicles for clients as well as parts. Just like Foxconn did with iPhones, Geely will pursue an economy of scale through contract manufacturing. Foxconn brings its expertise in procuring components and ability to produce quality digital products. Geely will provide the auto making know-how.

Nikkei Asia | 10 March 2021

SAIC's USD 4,500 electric car takes China by storm

Marketed as "the people's commuting tool", the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV has been a big hit for state-owned SAIC Motor, China's top automaker. SAIC holds a majority stake in SAIC-GM-Wuling, the joint venture that produces and sells the car and is known locally as Wuling, and General Motors is a major shareholder as well. The boxy compact can travel 120 km on a full charge and has a top speed of 100 kph.

Nikkei Asia | 13 February 2021

Indian automakers make profits surpassing pre-COVID levels

Indian auto companies witnessed a sharp recovery in earnings in the last quarter of 2020, as the festival season boosted sales despite an economic slowdown and rising cases of COVID-19. The top three auto manufacturers — Maruti Suzuki India, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra — all posted profits for the first time since the pandemic hit in early 2020. It was also the best financial performance by the automakers in seven quarters in terms of both revenue and net profit.

Nikkei Asia | 8 February 2021

China to build USD 300bn electronics part sector in break with US

The Chinese government has announced plans to expand the domestic market for electronic components to USD 327 billion by 2023, in its latest step to bolster the nation's tech sector amid a growing rivalry with the U.S. The announcement covers components, materials and manufacturing equipment used in such areas as smartphones, drones, 5G wireless, connected factories, electric vehicles, robotics, high-speed rail and aerospace. China aims to increase the market for these components by 20% between 2019 and 2023 under an action plan that involves the development of 15 globally competitive electronic components makers with 10 billion yuan or more in annual sales.

Nikkei Asia | 30 January 2021

Vietnam courts chip investment to power up digital economy

Vietnam is moving to build a bigger digital economy, driven in part by semiconductor manufacturing, during the next five years and beyond as the Communist Party maps out a course that will take the country's economy to 2045. The digital economy’s contribution to gross domestic product is targeted to about 20% by 2025 and 30% by 2030. Making a shift to high-quality and value-added products is to play a major role in achieving the targets. Building a cluster of domestic chip industry is a potential move for Vietnam to climb up the value chain.

Nikkei Asia | 29 January 2021

Vietnam's Vingroup to export electric SUVs to US and Europe from 2022

Vingroup has unveiled a lineup of electric vehicles to gain a foothold in the American and European car markets. Vingroup subsidiary VinFast will produce three sport utility vehicle models that use artificial intelligence to run autopilot features such as steering, parking assistance and 3D mapping. Vingroup said it will start taking orders for the SUVs in November, with plans to deliver them to U.S., Canadian and European drivers in June 2022.

Nikkei Asia | 26 January 2021

Asean electronics companies still lag China in climbing global value chain

Despite ongoing supply-chain shifts into Southeast Asia, the Asean economies that have been key beneficiaries will still be hard-pressed to compete with mainland China. The Asean Quad – Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – has built a dominant presence in niche segments of the electronics industry, such as office equipment in the Philippines, computers and radio equipment in Thailand, and telecom equipment in Vietnam. However, while these countries have a lot to offer, China retains a competitive edge and has achieved economies of scale across multiple electronics goods segments.

The Business Times | 13 January 2021


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