the assessment about North Africa might be right if one is located outside Europe, for European companies however, it is a low cost area where many products requiring low cost labour (cable harnesses, assembly etc) are made (esp. in Egypt and Tunesia but as well in the other countries in the region. To limit the importance on the Suez Channel is too little. And one has to take into account: depending how this political power game will end, it may have serious effects to other countries (which have a similar type of government) as well. As soon as Saudi Arabia is closed in by the North African/Middle East countries it may result in more than just a disruption of the Suez Channel - you may have to buy your crude oil elsewhere.
When looking at the "uncertainty in Europe" it for one has to be seen under the ight that financial speculators have started the hunt to the EURO. I won't deny that some of the countries have lived beyond their means and have the responisbility for their poor ratings but when you look at a arget like Greece (with which the whole hunt started) you have to consider the size: it is about the same size as Pennsylvania in area and population. Have you ever had a look at the debts of this particular state (or all the others? There are just 2 American States without debts! Jot even talking about the debts of American communities.) So I believe that a considerable part of opinion making is just financial business.
And to Barabara's question, why the European industry is swimming against the current my reply is that the recession in some countries hasn't been that severe than in others. Germany for example has kept most of the employees (which worked short shifts for less money) and were able to start immediately at full steam when things became better. And with globalisation going on already for many years we had to lern to specialize and to concentrate on certain industries. The German (own) business is small volume high mix, whenever it ihigh volume/ small mix than it is gone to Asia or to Eastern Europe or to North Africa. It is an irony that our industry is moving to China and Chinese companies are opening shops in Europe.
Growth is driven by various industries in each country. In Germany it is industrial electronics (the automotive part to a large extent is made elsewhere), in UK it is defense business, in Switzerland defense and medical etc. So each area has its particular driver.
I don't see any real reason for uncertainty unless we shall have another financial collapse.
In recent earnings calls I've been hearing Europe has been "unseasonably strong" and continues to run counter to historic trends. No one has been able to put their finger on exactly what's driving this growth, particularly with all the economic uncertainty in the EU.
I feel that the largest impact of the northern Africa conflicts, is the continued use of the Suez Canal for shipping purposes. As other countries try to avoid these conflicts like Jordan is currently doing, everybody needs to pay cose attention to the logistics in the area. This also could mean companies need to try and focus their attention out of the area for awhile to allow for stability.
Good report Thomas, at the end it summarizes very well a real fact: several markets (and EMS among them) are living in a frozen status because of Europea is still trying to reach a political stability walking step-by-step instead of a medium-long term plan to achieve.
@Jay_Bond/Thomas: Furthermore what about recent events in Northern African Region? Could they impact a lot the European puzzle to solve?
This is a promising report in regards to overall growth. China's continued growth is still managing to help out the global market. With the EU still not seeing the confidence levels needed to create growth and stability, companies are going to have to evaluate how they market themselves.
With the EU being such a vital part of the global economy, companies can't turn their backs on Europe to chase China and other parts of Asia. As companies see growth and confidence build within the EU, there can be more focus on growth.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.