Processing Magazine

CEOs see emerging nations surge as U.S., Germany and Japan face changing game

November 21, 2012

WASHINGTON — Over the next five years, 20th-century manufacturing stalwarts like the United States, Germany and Japan will be challenged to maintain their competitive edge against emerging nations such as China, India and Brazil, according to the “2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index” (Index) from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s Global Manufacturing Industry group and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

The Index confirms that the landscape for competitive manufacturing is in the midst of a “massive power shift” — based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 550 CEOs and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world.

RELATED: Lack of leadership seen to thwart US manufacturing renaissance, survey suggests

The Index lists the United States as the world’s third most currently competitive manufacturing nation, but ranks it fifth just five years from now, only slightly ahead of the Republic of Korea. The three other developed nations currently in the top 10 also fall in five years: Germany drops from second to fourth place, Canada slides from seventh to eighth place and Japan drops out of the top 10 entirely, falling to 12th place.

Further, it finds that Germany’s slide in competitiveness holds true for several other European nations, including the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland and the Czech Republic, which are all expected to experience a dramatic decrease in their ability to compete. Poland, for example, drops from 14th to 18th place on the Index, while the United Kingdom drops from 15th to 19th place.

“America and Europe have continued to watch emerging markets mature and become formidable competitors over the past decade,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and consumer and industrial products industry leader, who co-authored the report and lead the research team.

Giffi points out that in five years key emerging nations are expected to “vault forward” in the Index: Brazil jumps from its current eighth place slot to third place and India jumps from fourth to second place. China remains firmly in first place.

Download the 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index