Manufacturing is the largest economic sector in the world, which is also one of the most important, directly and indirectly accounting for a large part of all economic activity and all jobs worldwide. It processes items and is dedicated to either creating new goods or adding value by producing finished goods for sale to customers or intermediate goods to be used in the production process. After the industrial revolution that began in Britain a few centuries ago, labour-intensive textile production was successfully replaced by mechanization and the use of fuel. Today, manufacturing creates jobs, technological development and an increase in international investment.
For this reason, some jurisdictions are leveraging manufacturing output and value-added exports to increase their operations, business performance and revenue, and to address the challenges and opportunities that manufacturers face every day in conducting their businesses.
According to Deloitte's 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index, China, the United States, Germany, Japan and South Korea are ranked as the top five most competitive manufacturing countries in the world. These countries generate about 60% of global manufacturing GDP.
United States The United States is successful in attracting investment in many of the world's most active industries, such as aerospace, auto assembly, pharmaceuticals, to name a few. The USA has signed an agreement with Germany to implement a dual vocational training program for the advanced manufacturing sector. US business policies focus primarily on technology transfer, sustainability, monetary control, and science and innovation, giving manufacturing companies (automotive in Detroit and high-tech in Silicon Valley) a competitive advantage.
Germany Germany retains a relatively high share of manufacturing exports. The country provides long-term support in government-sponsored science labs and national programs created to foster manufacturing innovation in areas such as solar and wind power and renewable energy (renewable energy sources accounted for 28% of the country's electricity generation in 2014). In addition to an energy revolution in the manufacturing industry, the country is striving to phase out nuclear energy.
Japan Japan has a technology-intensive manufacturing sector that dominates the global manufacturing landscape in most advanced economies. The country maintains manufacturing competitiveness as there is a close link between manufacturing competitiveness and innovation. Japan has strong potential to become one of the most advanced manufacturing jurisdictions in the world. The Robot Revolution Realization Council was established in the country in 2014 as part of the Japan Revitalization Plan, introducing infrastructure and energy resources for next-generation vehicles. Japanese companies account for 50% of the global factory robot market.
South Korea As the world leader in the manufacture of liquid crystal displays (LCD), smartphones and memory chips, automobiles, and the world's largest shipbuilder, South Korea is actively pursuing growth in free trade agreements with more than 50 countries. The country invests heavily in education and produces a large number of researchers every year. It is also known that supporting manufacturing innovation in South Korea with venture capital investments to boost high-tech startups is identified as a strategic priority.
China Canada and its provinces compete on a global scale for investments that result in low production costs, low wages for factory workers, and the adoption of globally popular product mandates. As a result, there are some significant trends in Chinese manufacturing that can easily be highlighted. These trends include creating a globally competitive, expansive manufacturing business model, helping to create a competitive business environment for manufacturing in China and increasing sales in domestic and overseas markets. This fact can encourage start-ups to grow, invest and compete with other successful manufacturing companies.