The contribution of Singapore’s manufacturing sector to its GDP rose from roughly 11% in 1960 to a high of approximately 28% in 2000; it currently is at 20% today. Singapore’s manufacturing capabilities have evolved considerably, with strong competencies today in high-value areas of manufacturing such as R&D and product design. The country ranks in the top 20 for economic complexity and performs well across all Drivers of Production, except Sustainable Resources. Singapore is a leader on the Global Trade & Investment driver as one of the most open and trade-friendly countries in the world. A strong institutional framework propels Singapore's success in many areasa including the future of production. Singapore contributes less emissions than other leading countries, but has challenges relatd to baseline water stress ans alternative energy sources.
With a strong technology platform and ability to innovate has positioned the country well to specialize in high-tech manufacturing industries such as aerospace and pharmaceuticals. The UK performs solidly on overall education outcomes, but could further develop technical training. It has a strong Institutional Framework but, historically, the government has intervened less in directing industrial development. However, at the end of 2017, the government launched a new industrial strategy developed through public-private collaboration.
The United States is globally renowned for its ability to innovate and is currently at the forefront of major developments surrounding the emerging technologies of Industry 4.0. The United States’ manufacturing sector is the 2nd-largest in the world, with an MVA of nearly US$ 2 trillion in 2016, representing close to 16% of global Manufacturing Value Added and 12% of US GDP. The United States has the world’s eighth most complex economy. The United States is making efforts to reinvigorate its manufacturing sector. Tax reform at the end of 2017 cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, making it more attractive for companies to shift some of their production to the United States. However, policy and regulatory uncertainties, relating to immigration and free trade agreements, for example, still remain.
The Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea performs well across the Drivers of Production with the exception of Sustainable Resources. The country is particularly strong on Technology and Innovation, and ranks in the Top 5 for R&D expenditures and patent applications per million people. Its well-documented ability to innovate has helped to fuel its historic rise, and can be a boon in ushering in the next production paradigm. To improve its readiness for the future of production, the Republic of Korea will need continue to enhance labour force capabilities, particularly in critical thinking skills, digital skills and knowledge-intensive employment.
Japan’s manufacturing sector is currently the 3rd-largest in the world with a total MVA of over US$ 1 trillion in 2016, representing nearly 9% of global Manufacturing Value Added. Japan performs particularly well on Demand Environment, due to a sophisticated consumer base, robust corporate activity and large market size. Japan also ranks in the top 20 on Technology & Innovation and Institutional Framework. Japan faces challenges related to human capital, with an ageing and shrinking population as well as lower migration than comparable countries. Japan has room for improvement on the Sustainable Resources driver as well.
With over half of Germany’s manufacturing output being exported, Germany’s history of manufacturing excellence is globally renowned. Germany was one of the first countries to increase digitization and the interconnection of products, value chains, and business models to drive digital manufacturing forward. Germany is widely acknowledged as an Industry 4.0 pioneer and is taking a leading role in building global standards and norms for international adoption. Germany ranks in the top quartile across all Drivers of Production and in the top ten for the Technology & Innovation, Human Capital, Global Trade and Investment and Demand Environment drivers.
France’s manufacturing sector is the 8th-largest in the world, with a total Manufacturing Value Added of over US$ 280 billion in 2016. France performs well across all Drivers of Production— ranking in the top quartile of all countries for every driver—and performs particularly well on the Global Trade & Investment, Demand Environment and Sustainable Resources drivers. The main challenge for France is to convert readiness and capacity into a strengthened Structure of Production.
After surpassing the United States in 2010, China’s manufacturing sector is the largest in the world, with a total global MVA of nearly US$ 3 trillion in 2016, representing approximately one-quarter of global Manufacturing Value Added. While China performs very well on the scale of its production base, it still can improve on the Complexity component, as it is the 26th most complex economy in the world. Though China is the world’s largest contributor of carbon emissions, it has stated a commitment to become more energy-efficient and sustainable in the future. Adopting emerging technologies can help accelerate this goal.