Manufacturing has been a critical part of the development story in Asia. Its large consumer base has seen a rapid increase in the level of discretionary spending. This positions ASEAN as a vibrant market for the production and sale of goods. However, this Asian-styled development model faces challenges.
Export-based manufacturing helps to earn valuable foreign currency, drives investment into building infrastructure, creates jobs as demand shifts away from agriculture, and nurtures an eco-system of local SME suppliers that support the big foreign manufacturers.
Will the next generation of less-developed economies be able to thrive on export-based manufacturing as a path to prosperity? Despite varying levels of industrial development in the region, all countries in ASEAN face a long road to reach the productivity frontier.
The World Economic Forum is uniquely positioned to provide a platform among regional stakeholders that will serve as a catalyst to facilitate cooperation in the region focused on key priorities:
The goal is to analyse the big trends impacting manufacturing in ASEAN, assess countries' competitiveness for manufacturing in the context of these trends, and understand how the region can best position itself for the future of production by bringing regional leaders together.