One of the main challenges regarding manufacturing is that the metric of describing it as a percentage of GDP fails to reflect the sector’s global and complex nature, especially in international value chains, and its impact on capabilities and knowledge dissemination across value chains. The attention of public policy is shifting from the promotion of competitiveness to the development of capabilities, which is perceived as a more effective strategy to improve competitiveness. Policy-makers are increasingly looking to engage with the private sector to align their incentives, especially regarding skills and human capital development, innovation and trade policies.
To identify and address the fundamental drivers behind the future development of manufacturing, more relevant metrics must be established and more public and private stakeholders aligned at the global level. The Global Agenda Council on the Future of Manufacturing has been working on two initiatives to achieve this:
1. Global Value Chain Mapping: The council is working to identify and establish a common framework describing manufacturing capabilities and to address the fundamental drivers behind the future development of manufacturing. As part of this effort, the council is using the widely accepted global value chains framework, which analyses manufacturing and related service capabilities in a broad range of global industries.
2. Global Manufacturing Forum: The council has signed a letter of intent with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to set the foundation for a Global Manufacturing Forum. This forum will address the need to advance public-private partnerships in capabilities development to enable nations to move up the global value chain. The council will act as an advisory board to UNIDO in the management of the Global Manufacturing Forum, and will publish a report with UNIDO in September 2014.
Over the next two years, the Council will explore avenues by which it can inform and advance four issue areas: skills and talent improvement, innovation development, soft industrial policy, and resource efficiency. The council will also create a white paper that documents actions a country or company could implement in order to positively affect investment and expansion. The paper will explore key factors that impacted the success in a country, providing a “one-stop” shop to support investment.
Council Manager: Juergen Keitel, Community Lead, Aviation & Travel Industries, Mobility Industries, Global Leadership Fellow, Juergen.Keitel@weforum.org
Forum Lead: John Moavenzadeh, Head of Mobility Industries ,Mobility Industries, Member of Management Committee, John.Moavenzadeh@weforum.org