Mapping the Manufacturing Capitals of the World

When it comes to manufacturing industries around the world, not every country is on the rise. With countries proactively attempting to take the lead, others are naturally slipping off the radar.  

Research into the Manufacturing Capitals of the World by RS Components has revealed that multiple countries, such as Switzerland, are predicted to drop in rankings whilst others are expected to increase their positioning significantly. But, what are the trends behind these predictions? 

Tellingly, research has found that countries including the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany are all  leading the way in artificial intelligence (AI) – as the physical and digital worlds of manufacturing continue to converge, should we put these countries’ predicted success down to their innovation and technology advancements or their economical situations as a whole?

Technology could be a key contributor towards the manufacturing growth of multiple countries. It is predicted that by 2020 60% of manufacturers are expected to rely on digital platforms which will support as much as 30% of overall revenue and increase growth in manufacturing output.

However, when it comes to the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), a different trend is emerging as the  Manufacturing Capitals of the World interactive graphic below reveals.   

China originally started as a low-cost labor manufacturing export hub and is predicted to continue leading the way in rankings, alongside the U.S. However, other countries such as Japan and India are also in the top 10, all the way through 2010 to 2020, which could also suggest that Asia is generating a steady flow of economic income to focus on manufacturing exports.

Further, in 2010, India ranked second and in 2016 it just missed out on getting into the top ten, coming in at 11th place. Looking forward, India is predicted to rank fifth by 2020 – but what is the reasoning behind this rebound? Factors such as the Goods and Services tax that was rolled out in July 2017 and the economic and policy actions around infrastructure and investments could have contributed to the decline in manufacturing competitiveness.

The manufacturing capitals of the world research predicts that Brazil will face a dramatic drop in manufacturing in 2020 – dropping from fifth place in 2010 to 23rd in 2020; this is something that could be considered surprising due to the volume of companies who outsource to them.

Ultimately, manufacturing is an ever growing sector and the improvements of technology and introduction of AI into the production lines will continue to increase productivity and efficiency, resulting in a clearer forecast in electronic manufacturing. With many countries now using robotics and automation to improve efficiency within productions, the impact of the drop in these countries isn’t expected to massively affect the global electronics sector as people and machines are expected to coexist on the production lines together.

So why is the United States predicted to peak in 2020 and become the manufacturing capital of the world? Well, as they’re continuing to invest heavily in talent and technology across top universities, they could be creating positions for up and coming manufacturing industry leaders more proactively than any other country.

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