Manufacturing landscape ‘uncertain’ – Chatham House report

airbus300A new report from the think tank Chatham House says that prospects for the world’s manufacturing landscape are uncertain and developed countries are in for a prolonged period of low growth.

The new report, The World’s Industrial Transformation, contends that financial crisis and recession mean a long period of tepid growth is likely in the West, while developing countries such as China – now the world’s largest manufacturer – and India, should continue to grow at a healthy rate, partly owing to the emergence of a huge middle class that will need consumer goods and vast infrastructure investments.

The report assesses which industries will change the global manufacturing landscape and drive future growth.

Key findings include:

  • The aircraft industry should grow quickly, driven by growing demand for air travel. Production will continue to be dominated by the United States and Europe, at least until 2020, with smaller contributions from Brazil (Embraer) and Canada (Bombardier). But China will challenge the Boeing/Airbus duopoly by 2020.
  • The world market for cars will continue to shift in favour of developing countries. The developed world is saturated, and growth there will come from technical advances in fuel use and in safety. By contrast, car ownership in the developing world will soar, and production will increasingly be concentrated in these markets. China produced more vehicles in 2011 than the United States and Japan combined.
  • Pharmaceuticals demand will be buoyant, though there will be some brake on supply in countries where healthcare is public and government budgets remain under pressure. Recent basic scientific breakthroughs in genomics should produce an increasing flow of new drugs over the next 10 years.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.


About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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