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United States to lead as top manufacturing nation by 2020

Staff writer ▼ | December 8, 2015
The United States is expected to become the most competitive manufacturing nation over the next five years, with the current leader China sliding into second positio.
U.S. factory
Deloitte   2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index
This is according to the upcoming 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index report from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited's (Deloitte Global) Global Consumer & Industrial Products Industry group and the US Council on Competitiveness (Council).

The prediction is based on an in-depth analysis of survey responses from more than 500 chief executive officers and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world.

The country index rankings are included in a preview of findings released at the Council's annual National Competitiveness Forum held on Friday, 4 December 2015.

"The 2016 Global Manufacturing Competiveness Index shows the importance of policy, investment, and innovation for company and country level competitiveness," says Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the Council.

"Its findings help companies shape their business strategies in order to compete successfully, and create jobs."

The ability of the United States to take the top spot may be largely due to the country's investment in research, technology, and innovation, which enhances the competitiveness of its industries and drives economic development, according to the study Advanced Technologies Initiative: Manufacturing & Innovation, a 2015 report also published by Deloitte Global and the Council.

"Manufacturing competitiveness, increasingly propelled by advanced technologies, is converging the digital and physical worlds, within and beyond the factory to both customers and suppliers, creating a highly responsive, innovative, and competitive global manufacturing landscape," says Craig Giffi, a leader in Deloitte US Consumer & Industrial Products Industry group and co-author of the report.

The 2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index forecasts that the top eleven countries will remain consistent between now and 2020, with some exchange of rankings. In addition to China and the United States retaining the top two spots, Germany and Japan will remain at third and fourth respectively.

India, currently 11th on the list, is expected to jump up to as high as fifth place.

South Korea, Canada and Singapore are expected to drop one spot each due to India's rise, while Taiwan and the UK are expected to drop two spots. Mexico, meanwhile, is expected to move up from eighth to seventh.

The next nine spots, however, show how the industry anticipates that developing markets will continue to mature and become more formidable over the next five years.

Malaysia is expected to rise from 17th to 13th, Vietnam from 18th to 12th, and Indonesia from 19th to 15th.

Conversely, European nations including Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, and the Netherlands are expected to drop as many as six spots in their ability to compete.